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NJ congressional members slam colleagues seeking to defund Gateway

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A group of New Jersey congressional members Friday denounced 27 colleagues who are seeking to remove federal funding from the Gateway Program.

The project would add a rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York under the Hudson River and replace New Jersey’s frail Portal Bridge. The price tag is estimated at more than $20 billion. 

U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th District, Leonard Lance, R-7th District, Bill Pascrell Jr., D-9th District, Donald Norcross, D-1st District, and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th District, said funding is imperative to support the economy, security and infrastructure.

The 27 members want to rescind $225 million in budget authority from the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Account, $388 million in budget authority from the Northeast Corridor Grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation account and other amounts of budget authorizations as may be necessary from the additional $400 million in mass transit grant funding provided for by State of Good Repair Grants.

“Some of the moocher states still are not satisfied with how much they take every year,” Gottheimer said. “They are not satisfied with the fact that our state gets only 67 cents on every dollar we send to Washington. You have states like North Carolina that get $1.41, Alabama over $3, Mississippi $4.38. These moocher states are so greedy that they are trying to upend the bi-partisan appropriations bill that we just agreed to a month ago.”

Lance believes the Republican Party needs to embrace infrastructure the way President Dwight Eisenhower did in creating the interstate highway system.

“To tamper with it through rescissions is bound to fail,” Lance said. “It might squeak through the House but it is dead on arrival in the Senate.”

Pascrell chided the 27 congress members who want to defund Gateway as governing by chaos, including 14 who opposed funding Hurricane Sandy relief in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

“These people have a reckoning coming to them,” Pascrell said. “Why do they hate us so much?”

“If these bozos do not know what national security is, I will go to their district and explain it to them,” he added. “This is an American project. It helps the entire economy.”

Norcross recalled meeting with President Trump to discuss Gateway.

“The President specifically said ‘we’re going to get this project done,’” Norcross said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t ask him when are we going to get this project done.”

The 27 members of Congress seeking the rescissions are: Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.; Dave Brat, R-Va.; Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.; Ted Yoho, R-Fla.; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.; Thomas Garrett, R-Va.; Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Scott Perry, R-Pa.; Rod Blum, R-Iowa; Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Joe Barton, R-Texas; Jim Banks, R-Ind.; Brian Babin, R-Texas; Lamar Smith, R-Texas; Gary Palmer, R-Ala.; Jody Huce, R-Ga.; Mike Johnson, R-La.; Mo Brooks, R-Ala.; Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Daniel Webster, R-Fla.; Warren Davidson, R-Ohio; Mark Meadows, R-N.C.; Ann Wagner, R-Mo.; and Ken Buck, R-Colo.

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David Hutter

David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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