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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 TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council 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 RyanPelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care Trump urges Dems to help craft new immigration laws: ‘Chuck & Nancy, call me!' Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa 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.

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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 SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers 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 FrelinghuysenElection Countdown: Florida Senate fight resumes after hurricane | Cruz softens ObamaCare attacks | GOP worries Trump will lose suburban women | Latest Senate polls | Rep. Dave Brat gets Trump's 'total endorsement' | Dem candidates raise record B Trump to fundraise for GOP candidate in key NJ House race Florida politics play into disaster relief debate 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 BuddCredit union group to spend .8 million for vulnerable Dem, GOP incumbents Cook Political Report moves 5 GOP-held seats towards Dems Trump calls North Carolina redistricting ruling ‘unfair’ MORE (R-N.C.) told the Post.