WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today released the following statement on President Trump’s budget proposal to eliminate the New Starts Program. The budget proposes to phase down the New Starts program, by only providing funding to projects with existing Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGAs). Future new transit capital projects would need to be funded by the States, because according to the budget, those are “localized projects.”
“President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the New Starts program—and the Gateway Project along with it—is irresponsible, short-sighted, and demonstrates a complete failure of leadership. President Trump is single-handedly trying to derail Gateway and send a catastrophic ripple effect that will cause irreparable harm to our regional and national economies. I would have expected a greater level of appreciation for the magnitude and importance of the Gateway Project from a Manhattan real estate mogul.
President Trump’s campaign rhetoric about investing in our nation’s infrastructure has proven to be just that—empty words, used to win an election, that he has no intention of delivering on. Dismissing transit infrastructure as “localized” projects is an outdated and dismissive mindset that fails to recognize transit’s central role in our regional and national economy. A shutdown of the Northeast Corridor—which will be a reality without Gateway—will cost $100 million per day and will jeopardize a regional economy that contributes $3.7 trillion to the nation’s GDP. If this is truly the President's priority – to cripple our transit network and our economy – I will fight him every step of the way to stop it.”