No money in Trump budget for Gateway Project
President Donald Trump's proposed budget would not provide any money for the Gateway rail project in New York and New Jersey.
Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen told reporters at a budget briefing on Tuesday that the $30 billion project is a "local responsibility" for New Jersey and New York, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Funding for the project has been a major issue in both states for politicians who had worked out a funding agreement with the Obama administration to replace the century-old Portal Bridge and Hudson River tunnels. Trump, who has recognized the importance of the project, pulled funding, some saying because of a political feud with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y..
“Those are projects that those communities themselves have thus far chosen not to fund,” Rosen said. “While we occasionally hear reports that officials from those states say they will do so, there is not yet any discernible path forward.”
Rosen was not in favor of "massive federal subsidies for projects that presently are ineligible and which lack realistic plans and commitments,” Rosen said.
The comment represent yet another change in the president's position on the project after he seemed to be at least willing to discuss it.
Gov. Phil Murphy told NJ.com he broached the subject of the Gateway Project with Trump at the White House during the National Governor's Association meeting in February. The president suggested they meet about the project in the near future, according to the report.
The governor in a tweet called Trump's budget "irresponsible and reckless" for failure to invest in infrastructure.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also met with Trump last November and called their discussion "productive" but accused the Trump administration of "political posturing."
"Inaction would be catastrophic not just for the region but for the national economy. The Trump administration must stop playing political games and holding this funding hostage," Cuomo said.
The Gateway Corporation, which is overseeing the project, disputes Rosen's comments about a lack of financial commitment.
"The notion that the locals have not stepped up with funding ignores more than $6 billion committed to the Portal Bridge and Hudson Tunnel Projects by the states and Port Authority," spokesman Craig Schultz said in a statement.
More from New Jersey 101.5