WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate’s transit subcommittee, applauded the inclusion of critical funding to keep the Gateway Project moving in the federal spending bill that passed Congress today. Sen. Menendez fought to secure $650 million in Amtrak Northeast Corridor funding, a portion of which will be dedicated to Gateway, and an additional $130.1 million in transit formula grants that can be used to advance the project:

“This is another major victory that keeps the Gateway Project on the right track. Despite efforts by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans to derail Gateway and slash funding for Amtrak, our delegation was able to secure the same funding levels for Amtrak as we did a year ago amid threats of shutting down the government. This funding is vital to moving this critical project forward to ensure the safety and reliability of our infrastructure and the hundreds of thousands who use it each day.

“In addition, I fought to include language in the bill that prohibits the Trump Administration from arbitrarily excluding federal loans as part of any local match for federal New Starts funding. This legislation codifies in federal law what has been the normal practice of previous administrations, and allows local stakeholders to utilize these important funds to pay their share of the project cost—setting straight yet another failed attempt by the Trump Administration to derail Gateway.

“Gateway is a project of national significance that directly impacts one-fifth of the nation’s economy. Millions of people and our entire region’s economy hinge on the continued viability of a century-old Portal Bridge that often breaks down and a deteriorating Hudson River rail tunnel that sustained significant damage from Superstorm Sandy. While I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in the face of such unprecedented obstruction by this White House, we can complete Gateway faster and cheaper with the Administration fully on board. We are sitting on a transportation ticking time bomb and don’t have time for President Trump’s petty delays.”