A New Jersey senator and three congressmen have asked the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to suspend a second phase of toll hikes later this year.

George Washington Bridge

Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Reps. William Pascrell, Albio Sires and Steve Rothman, all Democrats, sent a letter Thursday to Port Authority chairman David Samson.

They want the increases suspended until an external audit can show the agency has its finances in order. An independent audit released in January called the Authority "dysfunctional."

Tolls were raised by 50 percent for cash customers last fall in the first of five scheduled annual hikes.
Samson didn't immediately respond to the letter.

Last week, Lautenberg and William Baroni, the Port Authority's deputy executive director, fired accusations at each other at a contentious Senate subcommittee hearing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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