Nearly $1 billion in funding for the Gateway Project was included in the $1.2 trillion spending bill passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday to provide funding for the federal government for the 2018 fiscal year.
The bill contains $900 million for the transportation project, which includes building a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and repairing the 100-year-old tubes badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, faced challenges from fellow GOP lawmakers who called his plan to allocate $900 million to Gateway an “earmark.” In a statement released on Thursday, Frelinghuyesen praised the passage of the bill with the funding for Gateway intact.
“Now more than ever, it is imperative to our economy and to our quality of life to have safe and well-functioning transportation infrastructure. It is not an overstatement to say that Gateway is critical to our nation’s economy,” said Frelinghuysen.
Last Thursday, the White House invited New Jersey and New York’s governors and members of Congress to discuss the Gateway Program. Rep. Frank Pallone called the meeting encouraging. “It was quite clear that he thought that this was very important for commuters between New York and New Jersey,” said Pallone.
President Trump had previously proposed limiting the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program to capital investment projects with contracts already in place. According to Amtrak, the Gateway Project is still in the planning and design phase.
The project will cost an estimated $24 billion, according to the Department of Transportation.