A spending bill to keep the government funded is still being discussed in the legislature, but already President Donald Trump does not like what he is hearing and has threatened to veto the mega-omnibus bill if it includes certain things. President Trump is threatening the veto even if it causes issues concerning the March 23 deadline for funding.
Specifically, the president has threatened to veto the spending bill if it includes a pork project that Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer of New York pushed for, concerning the New York-New Jersey ‘Gateway’ project.
The ‘Gateway’ project, being pushed by Schumer and Republican Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, aims to improve traffic flow between Manhattan and New Jersey. To accomplish this, the project calls for nearly a billion dollars, which will allegedly be spent on a number of bridges and tunnels.
The project, which began in November 2011, has repeatedly required more money and has turned into a boondoggle. Funding sources have been questionable from the beginning, and the project is unpopular with many outside of the region.
Bipartisan groups of senators and congressmen from New York and New Jersey repeatedly pushed for the earmark, but republicans from around the country have fought against the federal funding of the project. North Carolina Republican Ted Budd, a Congressman representing the 13th Congressional District, said that North Carolina and the rest of the country should not “have to foot the bill for this hall of fame earmark.”
President Donald Trump has said that if this project is included, he will not sign the spending bill.
Trump’s stance is supported by conservatives, especially freshmen conservatives in the legislature.
According to Ted Budd in an interview Sunday night on SiriusXM 125 (the Patriot Channel), the ‘Gateway’ project is really a “bundle of nine different projects together.” He continued on to say that “it’s a tunnel, it’s a bridge, and it’s really a corridor connector between Newark, New Jersey, and Manhattan.”
He further pointed out that no one was questioning whether or not the project was necessary; they were simply concerned with the idea that forty-eight states should pay so that two states can turn a profit.
Budd also targeted ‘Republican’ Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, pointing out that in September 2017, it was Frelinghuysen who reintroduced the earmark during negotiation over a spending bill.
It was Frelinghuysen who reintroduced the pork project into the latest spending bill as well.
Senator Schumer considers the project to be an important personal project of his. He has repeatedly pushed for the project to receive federal funding, even though there are currently no promises of local funding from New York or New Jersey, the only two states who will gain from the project.
During an interview with Breitbart News Sunday, Congressman Budd shed some light on the sordid history of the project.
According to Budd, in 2010, Chris Christie, then the ‘Republican’ Governor of New Jersey, had $3 billion to put toward a project similar to the ‘Gateway’ project, which has been projected to cost as much as $20 BILLION in total.
Christie instead diverted that $3 billion into New Jersey’s highways, because it was an election year and Christie didn’t want to campaign on raising New Jersey’s already-high gas tax.
Trump has stated outright that if the bill includes the pork project, he will veto it. His Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, has confirmed this as well.
Budd makes a good point, though; why should the rest of the United States pay for a project that is designed to only profit two states?
Further, why would ANY sane person invest in a project that will have such limited impact when those who will reap the rewards refuse to put up any of the money?
The states of New Jersey and New York want to begin a construction project without putting their own money into it.
Likely, politicians realize that once the project starts, it’ll be much easier to convince the federal and local government to fund it.
Look at what has happened in the state of California with their ‘bullet train’ fiasco, after all. The state managed to get federal funding and combine it with local funds, and the costs of the project have since ballooned out of control.
The project deadline is constantly revised upwards, as is the cost. But the state refuses to abandon it, because after all; they’ve already started.
It seems like perhaps New York and New Jersey are relying upon a common fallacy called the ‘sunk cost’ in order to finance the project.
The ‘sunk cost’ fallacy is a logical fallacy that suggests that because money has already been spent on a project, and cannot be recovered, it is best to continue to spend the money, even if the project is of questionable value.
If New York and New Jersey want to sink their own funds into it, that’s their choice. The rest of the country shouldn’t have to pay for it, and Donald Trump and other republicans are right to stand up for America.