Washington Review, March 8, 2018
This week in Washington, I questioned Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao on the Administration’s obstructionist attitude towards the Gateway Tunnel project and met with a number of local and international groups to discuss legislative issues.
At the beginning of this week, I attended a Transportation and Infrastructure hearing with Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. I questioned Secretary Chao on the Administration’s seemingly obstructionist behavior towards the Gateway Project, which is vital to the economy and operation of New York and New Jersey, as well as the nation. The Gateway Project has been under attack by the Administration, which has gone out of its way to try and eliminate vital Capital Investment Grant funding, reject the 50-50 partnership agreement, and is reportedly petitioning Speaker Ryan to pull all funding for the Gateway Project from the upcoming Omnibus. These tunnels are 108 years old and need to be redone. If the federal government allows these tunnels to collapse, the entire country will pay a dear price. There are 52 million people in this region of the country, and our districts generate about 20% of the national economy. It is crucial that the Gateway project get adequate funding to ensure seamless operation and continued productivity. When New Jersey and New York are one of the most important economic centers in the country, why is this Administration insistent on targeting such a vital project?
Earlier in the week, I met with members of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey to discuss the importance of AFG and SAFER grants in supporting the lifesaving work that our firefighters do. Grant funding is essential in allowing firefighters to continue their operations, and I am proud to support the reauthorization of these programs.
I also welcomed AIPAC members to the office to talk about the continued hostility of Iran towards Israel and the need for maintaining U.S. military assistance to Israel. Additionally, I was pleased to welcome to Washington, Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Commissioner Ivan Velazquez. Commissioner Velazquez stopped by to update my colleagues and me on his important work in rooting out corruption and strengthening the rule of law in Guatemala. I applaud his important work, which must be protected and allowed to continue.
Later, I was joined by representatives from the New Jersey School Nutrition Association which came by the office to discuss how Congress can work to improve the availability and quality of federally funded meal programs for students. I also met with representatives of the Bristol-Myers Squibb foundation to learn about their work improving access to health care for rural, migrant, and under-served populations.
Finally, I met with members of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency to receive an update on legislation that affects the housing and financial services industry. Affordable housing is essential to the wellbeing of our communities.
Thank you for reading the Washington Review. Again, hearing from my constituents enables me to be a better representative of the 8th District. For regular updates, you may stay in touch by leaving comments on my Facebook, Twitter, and website.