Trump Shuts Down Funding For Already Approved Obama-Era Rail Tunnel Deal
by Lance Perriman December 31, 2017
After the passage of his controversial tax bill, President Donald Trump said he plans to kick off 2018 with a renewed push for a massive infrastructure spending program, a key campaign promise which he recently described as “the easiest of all.” However, his administration has shut down an Obama-era deal to have the federal government help fund a $13 billion rail tunnel project between New York and New Jersey.
“Your letter also references a non-existent ’50/50′ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey. There is no such agreement,” Federal Transit Administration deputy administrator K. Jane Williams wrote in Friday’s letter, which came after New York and New Jersey requested federal loans to cover their part of the deal to split the cost of the work.
“We consider it unhelpful to reference a non-existent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders,” Williams continued.
The project would have funded necessary repairs to an Amtrak tunnel between New Jersey and New York City, as well as fixing a damage dual-tunnel conduct and rebuilding New Jersey’s Portal Bridge.
The federal government often helps to cover the cost of necessary infrastructure projects.
This is yet another sign that Trump’s agenda is driven by hate for Barack Obama. The list of what President Trump has done is staggering in its clear focus on undoing what was accomplished by the former president.
Trump hasn’t attempted to build on what is working to make things better. He instead is very specifically attempting to wipe out the legacy of President Obama, from healthcare to the Paris Climate Agreement, from protecting the rights of transgender people in the military to protecting our federal lands he is determined to leave no accomplishment by the former President untouched.
His pathological pre-occupation was demonstrated once again.
Trump halts $13 billion Obama Amtrak plan despite calls for infrastructure spending in 2018
By Grace Guarnieri December 31, 2017
President Donald Trump and his administration halted a $13 billion federal spending plan to rebuild a crucial Amtrak passageway from New Jersey to New York. The administration said there was “no such agreement” to pay half of the cost to rebuild the commuter tunnel that services tens of thousands of New Jersey commuters despite Trump’s calls to spend more money on infrastructure in 2018.
Top Federal Transportation Authority officials pulled the plug on an Obama-era agreement with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Friday, Crain’s reported, after the governors sent a proposal to receive half of the project’s costs in loans from the federal government. The gateway tunnel project aims to rebuild a tunnel that brings New Jersey commuters into Penn Station, which sees about 600,000 commuters in a single day.
The White House plans to introduce President Trump’s infrastructure plan in January 2018. After signing the tax bill, Trump said that that he believed infrastructure agreements could be bipartisan.
President Trump tweeted about the need for infrastructure spending after an Amtrak train derailed, killing at least six on December 18. PHOTO BY STEPHEN BRASHEAR/GETTY IMAGES
“Infrastructure is by far the easiest. People want it — Republicans and Democrats. We’re going to have tremendous Democrat support on infrastructure, as you know,” Trump told reporters after signing the GOP tax bill into law.
Earlier this month, after an Amtrak train derailed in Washington state, killing at least three people and injuring 100 more, Trump tweeted about the necessity of fixing roads and railways.
“The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly,” President Trump tweeted “Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”
Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams of the Federal Transportation Administration, an agency under the federal Department of Transportation, responded to Christie and Cuomo’s Amtrak proposal in a letter. “Your letter also references a non-existent ’50/50′ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey. There is no such agreement,” Williams wrote.