The U.S. House voted Tuesday to clear a potential obstacle to Minnesota's bid to host Expo 2023, also known as the World's Fair.
Legislation sponsored by the full Minnesota delegation was approved on a voice vote. It gives the U.S. Secretary of State the authority to rejoin the Bureau of International Expositions.
U.S. membership in the organization lapsed in 2001. Non-members don't get the same consideration for expo bids.
The U.S. hasn't hosted one since 1984. U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer said they're coveted events.
"The six-month World Expo, held every five years, can draw millions of visitors and generate billions of dollars of tourism, construction and other job-creating economic activity — all while promoting exports of U.S. products around the world," Emmer said.
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Poland, Brazil and Argentina also submitted bids. The BIE's 169 member states will elect a host country in November. According to Minneapolis' Expo 2023 website, the U.S. theme is "Wellness and Well Being for All: Healthy People, Healthy Planet."
Emmer said private money would be used to pay past or future dues, and no taxpayer money could be used on a pavilion or exhibit.