By Jonathan D. Salant | firstname.lastname@example.org |
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has threatened to shut down the government rather than fund the Gateway Tunnel project, according to a published report.
Trump said he would veto legislation funding the government through Sept. 30 if it included money for a new tunnel linking New Jersey and Manhattan, according to Politico, which cited multiple sources.
Without a spending bill in place by March 23, federal agencies would be forced to close their doors for the third time under the Trump administration.
President Donald Trump is urging Congress not to fund the Gateway Tunnel project under Hudson River.
Trump’s threat accelerated his efforts to kill the project, which he initially appeared to endorse at a White House meeting with New Jersey and New York officials last September.
Trump, a Republican, earlier pressured U.S. House Republicans to drop a $900 million allocation for Gateway, which involves building a new tunnel under the Hudson River for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains and replacing the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment. The White House Office of Management and Budget, which weighs in on major pieces of legislation, has yet to issue an official policy statement.
Gov. Phil Murphy, calling the project “a national economic imperative” and “a national security imperative,” told reporters in West Trenton Thursday that he expected the money to be there in the end.
“I’m still an optimist,” said Murphy, a Democrat. “I still believe when something is so compelling with such broad-based support, it gets done. I assume there must be some other drama behind the curtain.”
State Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman Dan Benson, D-Mercer, sharply criticized the President for opposing the tunnel project.