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In issuing her preliminary injunction against the bridge, she said it won’t begin to help water flow until the corps takes other steps, which are still in the planning stages. Given that, the judge said, rushing to build the project amounts to “no more than construction of an ‘environmental bridge to nowhere’ that accomplishes (and harms) nothing but which would be a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Backers acknowledged that tacking this sort of provision onto a spending bill was unusual, but said the bridge has widespread support, and only the tribe - and now the federal judge - objected.

Still, it could not be learned Monday who approved the insertion of the provision that forces the bridge to be built into the $410 billion spending bill making its way through Congress.

The Miccosukee, in an ad last week, blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the measure. The tribe called it “a lamentable blast from the past in American history.”

But both leaders’ offices said they weren’t responsible.

“We had nothing to do with this,” said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat.

“This language was included at the request of the Bush administration and has bipartisan support. Neither the speaker nor her office played a role in its inclusion,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat.

The Army Corps of Engineers also said it wasn’t the source.

“To our knowledge the corps did not promote or draft this language,” said spokeswoman Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins.

The Interior Department did not return messages for comment.

Spokesmen for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, and Rep. Norm Dicks, Washington Democrat, the chairmen of the Senate and House subcommittees that wrote the parts of the bill funding the Interior Department, didn’t have a comment Monday night.

A spokeswoman said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican whose district could be affected, was unavailable, while a spokeswoman for Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida Republican, said the senator did not request the provision, but she said she couldn’t say whether he supported it.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat whose district is also affected, does support moving forward, said spokesman Jonathan Beeton.

“The congresswoman supports this project because it is the essential next step in Everglades restoration,” Mr. Beeton said. “This view is supported by the National Academy of Sciences. At the same time, she understands the concerns and the deep commitment of the Miccosukee Tribe to the restoration of the Everglades.”

Several Democrats pointed to the Bush administration’s support for the provision. But that came in his fiscal 2009 budget, submitted nine months before the judge ruled that the environmental laws hadn’t been followed.