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Trump dumps $13 billion Obama-backed NY-NJ rail tunnel plan

Trump dumps $13 billion Obama-backed NY-NJ rail tunnel plan

#Resistance chickens will start coming home to roost in 2018.

Many of us will look back on 2017 with some regrets. However, few will have as many as blue state Democratic politicos who decided to embrace the #Resistance instead of acting as true representatives of their states’ citizens. Rather than negotiate or compromise with either President Trump or the Republicans, they have postured and tweeted away this past year as if there were absolutely no consequences to be faced.

As 2018 opens, the bill has come due. I noted last week that the Department of Justice quashed a $3 million project with Los Angeles over that municipality’s proudly proclaimed “Sanctuary City” status.

Now news comes of an Obama-backed rail-tunnel project between New York and New Jersey that has been derailed.

The Trump 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, according to Crain’s New York Business.

…The project would have funded necessary repairs to an Amtrak tunnel between New Jersey and New York City, as well as help fix damaged dual-tunnel conduit and rebuild New Jersey’s Portal Bridge.

The expressly stated reason given by Trump administration officials is that they view this project as local in nature.

…[I]n a letter Friday, the Trump administration notified New York and New Jersey that the Obama-era deal was now “non-existent” because the states recently requested that their portions be covered by loans from the federal government — meaning Washington would supply all of the initial funding for what the Trump White House is calling “a local project.”

“Your letter also references a non-existent ’50/50′ agreement between USDOT, New York, and New Jersey. There is no such agreement,” wrote K. Jane Williams, deputy administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. “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 also cited cost concerns.

Williams wrote she had “serious concerns” about the first phase of the project that asked for $11.1 billion from the federal government. “Your proposal also overlooks that 50% would be considerably higher than much existing precedent for past ‘mega projects,'” she said.

Subsequently, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office wrote a letter to plead the case for the federal government’s continuing the commitment to help finance the project.

In a letter to a U.S. Department of Transportation official, Cuomo’s budget director recalled an August meeting between Trump, his Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the New York and New Jersey House and Senate delegations.

…”USDOT stepping away from the 50:50 framework now would represent stepping away from a previously agreed upon path and the entire basis for getting this critical national infrastructure project done,” the budget director, Robert Mujica, wrote to Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s spokesman Brian Murray believes the matter will be fully addressed as President Trump unveils his infrastructure plans:

“We are confident that, as the White House advances an infrastructure proposal this year, federal funding for the most important transportation project in the United States will be addressed.”

Perhaps. But I suspect that the choices made of some of the state’s leading politicians was a contributing factor to the administration’s re-evaluation of the funding.

I sure hope these particular representatives enjoyed polishing their #Resistance credentials through 2017. In April of 2018, they will be forced to explain to the citizens they represent why there is no longer a state income tax deduction. They should also prepare their excuses for the loss of key infrastructure funding, and perhaps find a way to fund what is needed using local tax monies.

Another 2018 Prediction: Accusing Trump of being an unstable, Russia-colluding, white-power embracing, Hitler-clone is not going to fly for increasing numbers of constituents.

I suspect #Resistance chickens will start coming home to roost this year.


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Amazing who supposedly discerning people who wrap themselves around the moniker resist are stupefied when President Trump effectively uses the power of his office to strike back. He, more so than an other President, realizes there is little value in seeking to please those who will always reject you. So now, Blue State Income Tax is no longer fully deductible – and New York and New Jersey lose a tunnel.

“The Trump Admin. ended DACA under the pretense that Republicans wouldn’t be so heartless to young, hardworking #AmericanDreamers.”

No, Bob, the Trump Administration allowed DACA to expire at its pre-determined (by Obama) expiration date, based on the FACT that the amnesty program was an unconstitutional exercise of executive power (something Obama himself admitted repeatedly, before signing the order anyway).

The Trump Administration said that if congress wanted to write the DACA amnesty into law, then it would have to pass a law. That was not “mean,” it was the way that our Founders designed the constitution to work.

But we can understand how, after 8 years of Obama’s lawlessness, it would be incomprehensible to you, Menendez, to see a president actually taking his sworn oath to uphold the constitution seriously!

“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.”

Shots fired! SHOTS FIRED!!!!

” . . . stepping away from a previously agreed upon path and the entire basis for getting this critical national infrastructure project done,”

How the hell is a Jersey tunnel, used almost exclusively by local commuters, a “critical national infrastructure project”?

This was just more blue-state sucking at the federal teat, and Trump’s administrator Jane Williams was absolutely right to cut them off.

If New Jersey and New York need this work done, let their taxpayers pay for it.

4th armored div | January 1, 2018 at 3:03 pm

in regard to DACA, why didn’t Chuck Chuck Schumeret al, negotiate with (R) to start the ball rolling ?
He wants a ‘talking point’ for ’18 voters NOT Schemers – oops Dreamers.

ain’t Menedez in the hoosegow yet ?

    Menedez won’t be sent to hoosegow as long as there is a friendly judge presiding at the trial. This was shown during the last trial. Plus, I doubt the charges which the jury hung on, will ever be refilled. Be a large miracle if that happens.

So as I understand it, the $13 billion (that’s billion with a B) project will fund “necessary repairs to an Amtrak tunnel between New Jersey and New York City, as well as help fix damaged dual-tunnel conduit and rebuild New Jersey’s Portal Bridge.”

13 billion? To rebuild a bridge and repair a couple of tunnels? Where’s the other 11 billion going?

I would pull the federal funding on that basis alone. It cannot possibly cost that much unless everyone from the governor down to the night watchman are wetting their beaks.

You want infrastructure money? Stop insulting us with these crazy costs.

    I suspect it will be more like a 100B, how much more did the Boston Big Dig Cost. Rule of thumb, when the Gov says it will cost X dollar multiply that by at least 10.

      Stan25 in reply to ronk. | January 1, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      Gotta have that Davis-Bacon coming in. There can’t be a Government construction project (local or fed) without at least a 10% Davis-Bacon add-on.

    The New York Times is mostly just a tabloid these days, but somehow superb investigative reporting has still been done under its banner, in a recent three-part (so far) series of articles examining all that is wrong with the NYC subway system and whose fault it is (spoiler alert, “politicians and unions”). The same articles will help to illuminate why nearby road/tunnel projects are equally inept, wasteful, and never-ending.

    Google for the following headlines:
    “How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subways”
    “How Cuts in Basic Subway Upkeep Can Make Your Commute Miserable”
    “The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth”

Predictions, predictions.

Scott (dilbert) Adams has a post on his blog entitled “Trump: The Demolition President.” In it he asks the obvious, “Do you remember when you thought the news reported facts and that humans used those facts to make reasoned decisions? You probably don’t think that anymore.”

I follow a lot of lefties in my news feed, and I used to thoughtfully interact in debate with some of them in an attempt to correct their misconceptions, outright propaganda, or blatant lies, but I found that chewing on Christmas bulbs was a more productive endeavor.

It goes deeper than simply what Ronald Reagan said, — “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

Liberals are distinct from Leftists, but I’ve concluded that Leftists don’t want debate or facts. They want compliance as a means to increase their power – or they will silence you by any means necessary. We’ve seen it with the violent protests against democratic outcomes; We’ve seen it with violent threats against invited speakers on campus; we’ve seen it with malevolent manipulation by the media about current events; we’ve seen it with the people’s elected representatives weaponizing government against their enemies, and standing in the Well of the Senate vomiting outright lies against opponents with impunity.

By any means necessary. Trump is dismantling the Leftist god of government with his chainsaw, and they hate him for it.

    “…but I found that chewing on Christmas bulbs was a more productive endeavor.”

    LOL, much more productive.

    10% of the progs know they are lying, the other 90%, like the ones that show up here are just outright stupid.

Enter the Judiciary who – with a wink and a nod – restores all Federal funding for the entire panoply of Fascist-Progressive fantasies.

If it was a subway connecting two gay bars ora couple of black lives matter offices, an obama judge would find a way- and get about taking the ride.

Not this time, barry, you warped traitor.

Thank you! It’s about time that local municipalities and states start paying for their own projects. Maybe that means they will spend money more wisely? We can only hope. Happy New MAGA Year!

Point of order, Mr Chairman—anything which carries goods or persons over state lines is, by definition, “interstate commerce” and so in no sense merely “local”.

There are excellent reasons for the feds to tell NY and NJ to pay for their own damn bridges, but a claim that they’re “local” isn’t one of them.

On the other hand, the idea that repairs to the hardware on the NJ/NY border is of “critical national” importance is silly hyperbole. I suspect we can leave it to the feds to decide what parts of the infrastructure are of critical national importance … even if Saul Steinberg and The New Yorker wouldn’t agree.

    Mac45 in reply to tom_swift. | January 1, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    In the old days, the federal government did not usually pay for bridges, tunnels or goat paths, that crossed a state border. That was usually done by one or both of the two states involved, if it wasn’t done privately. If there was either a strategic or strong interstate economic need for the project, the feds might put up a portion of the cost, usually far less than the 50% that they usually put up today. So, simply claiming that some significant “interstate commerce” need is satisfied because a road, bridge, tunnel or goat path crosses a state border, is really stretching it.

    In this case, the federal government was going to be responsible for the entire bill. Partially through direct donations and partially through loans to the states involved. And, the toll was going to be at least $13 Billion.

this was part of the gateway program with amtrak, so there was some sort of “agreement” in place however I never saw anything SPECIFICALLY allocating funds to this from the 24B or so allocated to the gateway program.

There is no chance in heck that Gateway comes in on budget. Based on NYC recent experience, expect double or more. Then they use the Robert Moses approach of bad money after good. You already contributed 6.5 billion, if you stop, it does not get completed.

ITS A TRAP! The plan for Gateway with Penn South is stupid and dead end. It is for Amtrack and not for NJ Transit.

There are better plans and they are not being proposed.

Redmantrappedinbluestate | January 1, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Oh President Trump, please Please PLEASE pull the federal rug out from under Sound Transit.

Eliminate the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They only bleed money from all Native Americans. All these years have gone by. The Indian Nation needs to be set free of Washington.

Add it to the list of reasons we are all going to die…

Kirsten and millions of women are defending celebrity groupie gold diggers who will let you do anything you want to their bodies in exchange for a chance to marry your bank account.

Feminism. You’ve come a long way baby!

Please eliminate all federal funding for Jerry Brown’s train between two cities that nobody wants to visit.

A regional transit system (NJ-NY) needs to be paid for regionally. I’d have slightly more sympathy if public construction projects in the area were well-managed and came in on budget — but only slightly more sympathy. And if they were well-managed and on-budget, they wouldn’t need federal help to begin with.

Now, if the feds have any commitment to that ridiculous train in California, can that be pulled too?

buckeyeminuteman | January 2, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I’m sure Christie is mad. One less tunnel is one less thing for him to block traffic into NYC on. Either way, that should be funded by NY and NJ, certainly not by me.