Ten House Republicans, including four from New Jersey, are urging House Speaker Paul Ryan to reject President Trump’s threats and include money for the Gateway Tunnel project in a federal government spending bill.
“We write in strong support for the Hudson River Gateway Tunnel project amid reports that President Trump is pushing congressional leaders not to fund this crucial infrastructure project of national significance,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter dated Friday. “We urge you to reject any effort to jeopardize this project of national significance and ask that we meet with you personally.”
The letter comes after Trump threatened to veto a $1.3 trillion spending bill if it includes money for the Gateway project, according to POLITICO. The spending measure would fund the federal government through Sept. 30. A Trump veto could result in a government shutdown when funding runs out on March 23.
The letter was signed by Representatives Leonard Lance (R-7), Frank LoBiondo (R-2), Chris Smith (R-4) and Tom MacArthur (R-3), as well as five House Republicans from New York and one from Pennsylvania.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11), chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has made the Gateway project a top priority as he negotiates a final version of the spending bill. He committed $900 million for the much-needed new rail tunnel under the Hudson River in a House version of the measure. He did not sign the letter sent to Ryan on Friday.
A Frelinghuysen spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
In the letter, the lawmakers said the $13 billion Gateway Tunnel project is crucial to the nation’s economy and noted the existing century-old tunnels under the Hudson River have deteriorated.
“These tunnels are at the vortex of the Northeast Rail Corridor. If one of these tunnels were to fail, the negative economic and transportation implications would ripple to other states,” they wrote.