Trump Trying to Sabotage Top Infrastructure Project: Report

Sources say president is urging lawmakers to deny funding to NY-NJ rail tunnel
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2018 10:22 AM CST
Trump Trying to Sabotage Top Infrastructure Project: Report
President Donald Trump arrives at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, March 2, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Trump is suddenly opposing what is widely seen as one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country, at least in part, because he's mad at Sen. Chuck Schumer, sources tell the New York Times. The Gateway project is a $30 billion plan to build a new rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey under the Hudson River. A failure of the current rail tubes, which are over 100 years old and in desperate need of upgrades, could be catastrophic for the national economy, one Republican senator tells the Washington Post. But despite the Trump transition team listing the Gateway project as the country's top infrastructure priority, the president is reportedly now urging Republican lawmakers to deny all federal funding for it.

Sources say Trump believes the project is important to Schumer and the president doesn't see why he should give the Democratic leader something he wants when Schumer continues to block his agenda. Rep. Paul Ryan was reportedly shocked when Trump brought up the issue with him this week. Under an Obama administration agreement, funding for the Gateway project was to be split between New York, New Jersey, and the federal government. A top Federal Transit Administration official now says that funding agreement is "non-existent." Trump's opposition to the project could make it harder for Congress to pass a government spending bill later this month. Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart says the project is one of the top priorities to get funding in the bill. (More infrastructure stories.)

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