Chao: NY, NJ can come up with more money for Gateway rail tunnel project

Chao: NY, NJ can come up with more money for Gateway rail tunnel project
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Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoDemocratic chairman presses Transportation secretary over transparency in Boeing 737 Max probe Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Democratic lawmaker asks for probe of reports Chao favored Kentucky officials MORE told lawmakers on Tuesday that New York and New Jersey should come up with more funding for a multibillion-dollar rail project that would connect the two states.

Chao said during an appearance before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that the $30 billion program, known as the Gateway Project, would take funds away from other transit efforts across the United States.

“It’s going to take money from every other transit project in America,” Chao said.

“New York and New Jersey can come up with larger than zero or 5 percent,” she added.

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New York and New Jersey lawmakers are pushing for answers after the administration backed away from the program, which is aimed at rebuilding passenger rail connections under the Hudson River between Manhattan and Newark, N.J.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report Giuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry Giuliani associate Lev Parnas discussed Ukraine with Trump at private dinner: report MORE last week reportedly pressed Speaker Ryan (R-Wis.) to withhold funding for Gateway, which has been a crucial focus for lawmakers from New York and New Jersey, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDivided Supreme Court leans toward allowing Trump to end DACA Ilhan Omar blasts Pete King as an 'Islamophobe' after he announces retirement: 'Good riddance' Top Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election MORE (D-N.Y.).

Last summer, the Trump administration withdrew from the program’s board. 

And 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.

Rep. Donald Payne Jr.Donald Milford Payne Jr.Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Harris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support 2020 Presidential Endorsements MORE (D-N.J.) on Tuesday pressed Chao on the states’ commitment to providing half of the funds for the project. But the secretary denied the existence of any documentation for such an accord, saying that New Jersey and New York are seeking to finance the program using loans from the federal government.

“There’s no commitment. There’s no document. There’s no pending application,” Chao told the New Jersey lawmaker, who urged the secretary to “look at the facts” about the project.

The administration would “be more than pleased to look at” any proposal from the states should they submit it in writing, Chao said.

“The misinformation on this project has been stunning,” said Chao.