Clinton accuses Trump administration of using Gateway to 'settle petty political scores'

- April 27, 2018

Hillary Clinton is not impressed with the Trump administration's approach to Gateway, a development she described as "our country's most critical infrastructure project."

Speaking to the Regional Plan Association on Friday, Clinton said that the administration is using the $13 billion project to "settle petty political scores."

It's not clear what scores, precisely, Clinton was referring to. But during the recent budget negotiations, many suspected Trump wanted to kill federal funding for the project because it is so closely identified with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, its most prominent regional champion.

Ultimately, the budget included some money that could be used to start work on the tunnel, though its ultimate full-funding prospects remain unclear.

"If our existing rail tunnels under the Hudson River fail, our region will become completely paralyzed and cut off, and the economic consequences will reverberate, not just across this region, but across the country and the world," Clinton said. "Not acting on the Gateway tunnel is a disaster in itself waiting to happen."

The project would build a new rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan's Penn Station to replace the existing one, which is 107 years old and was falling apart even before Hurricane Sandy inundated it with salt water.

Toward the end of the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation agreed to split the cost of Gateway with Amtrak and the states of New York and New Jersey.

The Trump administration has declined to honor that agreement.

A spokeswoman for the DOT had no immediate comment.


 

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