No Funding for Union Jobs in Trump's Budget
Press reports that his "catastrophic inaction" on the Gateway project is a disaster
Trump has proposed a new budget but has failed to provide funding for one of the most important infrastructure projects, the Gateway Tunnel. Read more below from AMNY.
President Donald Trump continued to spurn the Hudson River’s failing commuter rail tunnels, as elected officials stared down a “doomsday scenario” for the region.
The White House’s proposed 2020 budget does not include any new funding for the stalled Gateway Program, which in part would replace the two 110-year-old, Sandy-damaged Hudson River tunnels — a vital, 2.5-mile link for hundreds of thousands of daily commuters who take the rails between New York and New Jersey.
“Those transit projects are local responsibilities, and elected officials from New York and New Jersey are the ones accountable for them,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen on Monday, during a budget briefing call with reporters.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has met with Trump to talk about Gateway in the past, responded by saying it was “laughabl[e]" for the federal government to assert that Gateway is solely the responsibility of the two states since Amtrak owns the tunnel.
"Inaction would be catastrophic not just for the region but for the entire national economy,” said Cuomo in a statement. “The Trump Administration must stop playing political games and holding this funding hostage. If the federal government refuses to fund this project, then the President will have to answer to the travelers and businesses across the Northeast who rely on this critical transit corridor."
As the federal government made its case, Rep. Peter King (R-Long Island) joined Josh Gottheimer, his colleague from across the aisle and river, at Penn Station. They took to the Amtrak concourse to announce new legislation Monday that would require the federal government to draft an alternative service plan should a Gateway tunnel be forced out of service for repairs.
“Every day we wait is a day closer to a terrible disaster — economic disaster, physical disaster and potentially a national security disaster,” King said.
The new legislation came the same day the Trump administration unveiled its proposed budget. King and Gottheimer harshly criticized the White House for “slow-walking” the approval process for the Gateway Program, a roughly $30 billion endeavor to rehabilitate aging rail infrastructure on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.