President Trump’s transition team wisely put the Gateway tunnel at the top of its list of “Emergency & National Security Projects,” and the need for it has only grown. So why would Trump oppose it now?
Politicians fume over Trump's push to cut funds for Gateway project
Reports say the president told House Speaker Paul Ryan to block funding for the $30 billion Gateway project, which includes a vital new rail tunnel for Amtrak and NJ Transit trains to the city.
Some reports say Trump intended this as a swipe at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who backs the project.
That’s a lousy reason. After all, the existing tunnel is the only one that serves major rail lines to the city from New Jersey. It’s 108 years old and corroding from exposure to saltwater during Hurricane Sandy. If even one of its two tubes has to be closed for repairs, it would wreak havoc on the entire region’s transportation system.
Getting a new tunnel built before the existing one fails means getting the funds to get to work ASAP.
Trump aides deny he’s trying to spite Schumer, insisting he has valid policy reasons for his stance. And it’s true that most riders who use the tunnel use it to travel between the city and Jersey.
But the structure itself is owned by Amtrak, a national railroad company set up and funded by Congress. It’s key to passage along the entire Boston-Washington corridor — home to 50 million Americans and 20 percent of the US economy.
That’s a lot of innocents who don’t deserve to suffer in the Trump-Schumer crossfire. This is no time for low political games.
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