On December 29, the Trump Administration killed a crucial infrastructure deal to fund a $13 billion rail tunnel under the Hudson River, a key piece of the larger Gateway Project. The action highlights Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s impotency among his fellow Republicans in Congress and the White House on issues critical to his constituents.
Frelinghuysen has been silent since the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that it doesn’t recognize the agreement President Obama struck to have the federal government pay half the rail project costs. As House Appropriations Committee chairman, the rail project – crucial to the economies of Frelinghuysen’s district, the region and the nation – should have been easy for him to support. But as a blue state Representative in a deeply conservative Republican congress, hostile to blue states, and fearful of losing his coveted position as chairman, he failed to speak out for us.
Regardless of whether the rail project’s federal funding commitment is restored, it’s obvious that Frelinghuysen has little influence in Washington – and is not able or willing to fight for his constituents. NJ and District 11 constituents deserve better.