Trump urged Ryan not to fund NY-NJ tunnel project: report

Trump urged Ryan not to fund NY-NJ tunnel project: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE has reportedly become personally involved with an effort to strip funding for a massive infrastructure project connecting New York and New Jersey, lobbying Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPolitical figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer House approves five-year farm bill House postpones vote on compromise immigration bill MORE (R-Wis.) against the project.

The Washington Post reports that Trump urged Ryan to target the $30 billion Gateway project funding during a meeting this week on Capitol Hill, where Trump attended a ceremony honoring the late Rev. Billy Graham.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Gateway project, which would construct a tunnel from New York's Penn Station to neighboring New Jersey to replace two aging tunnels, was listed as the nation's top infrastructure priority by the president's transition team before Trump took office last year.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment from the Post, and a spokesman for Ryan's office declined to comment.

Trump's move to squash the Gateway project comes weeks after the White House released the president's 55-page, $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. The Gateway project is not mentioned in the plan.

The move is seen as a direct political challenge to one of the Gateway project's most vocal backers, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMontana's environmental lobby teams with governor to kill 600 jobs Dems allow separation of parents, children to continue, just to score political points Democrats' education agenda would jeopardize state-level success MORE (D-N.Y.), who the Post reports had held up a number of Trump's nominees in the Senate over the administration's refusal to move forward with the project.

But the project is also supported by powerful House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Dems see midterm advantage in new ObamaCare fight Lawmakers ask for increase in suicide prevention funding Overnight Defense: Trump defends summit results | GOP chairman tries to clarify canceled war games | House panel advances 4.6B defense bill | Saudis begin Yemen offensive MORE (R-N.J.), who represents suburban parts of New Jersey, home to thousands of commuters who work in New York City.

Per the Trump transition team's own estimates, the Gateway project's completion would create 15,000 jobs directly and another 19,000 indirectly, with an average salary of $73,000 per year.

In September, 155 House Republicans joined an amendment to a spending bill that would specifically strip funding from the Gateway project. That bill has not yet been taken up in the Senate.

"North Carolina and the other 48 states should not have to foot the bill for this hall of fame earmark,” the amendment's sponsor Rep. Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddSelling government assets would be a responsible move in infrastructure deal Bipartisan lawmakers introduce infrastructure bill for poor communities Koch-backed group to target some Republicans over spending vote in new ad campaign MORE (R-N.C.) told the Post.