NY Post: NJ and NY should make a deal with Trump on Gateway project

NY Post: NJ and NY should make a deal with Trump on Gateway project
© Greg Nash

The New York Post editorial board is urging New Jersey and New York to make a deal with President TrumpDonald John TrumpPoll: Both parties need to do more on drug prices Senate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump White House: Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, six countries MORE and put up more money for a multibillion-dollar rail project.

In an editorial published Sunday, the newspaper urged Trump not to veto an upcoming spending bill over the Gateway Project, which would rebuild passenger rail connections under the Hudson River between New York City and Newark, N.J.

“Trump should back off his veto threat, but Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy [D] will have to show flexibility, too,” the board said, referring to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and the New Jersey governor.

The Trump administration has backed away from the federal government’s involvement in the project, arguing New York and New Jersey should contribute more money to the rebuilding effort. 

Meanwhile, the White House last week threatened to veto an upcoming omnibus spending bill if it includes funding for Gateway, which has been a top priority for New Jersey and New York lawmakers like Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmtrak to rename Rochester station after Louise Slaughter Conscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise MORE (D-N.Y.).

“But Obama is gone, and Trump wants a better offer from New York and New Jersey. If the project is truly so important (it is), why not make him one?” the New York Post editorial board said Sunday, referring to a prior agreement between the Obama administration and the two states for the federal government to foot half the bill.

But the Federal Transit Administration in a December letter denied the presence of an agreement that says the federal government would split the cost of the project with New Jersey and New York, which are seeking to use government loans to finance Gateway.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoGateway rail project could get 1M in omnibus despite Trump's objections Overnight Regulation: FTC to probe Facebook over user data | FDA takes step to regulating flavors in tobacco products | Congress may include background check measure in funding bill Chao calls for inspector general probe into Florida bridge collapse MORE during congressional testimony last week emphasized that the two states should contribute more funding for the project.

“The president is concerned about the viability of this project and the fact that New York and New Jersey have no skin in the game," Chao told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

A spokesperson for the secretary later clarified that the administration is opposed to funding the project in the omnibus and isn't advocating to kill the program completely.

The New York Post argued Trump’s veto threat is “badly off-base” if it’s a form of political retribution for Schumer, who has publicly feuded with Trump since he took office.

“At the very least, Trump should rethink his veto threat — which could leave him shutting down the federal government simply to stop the first down payment on the tunnel,” the board writes.