Bipartisan Support For Governor Chris Christie’s Challenge To Federal Transit Administration

Members of both parties have weighed in supporting the Governor’s decision to fight the FTA’s arbitrary and inconsistent demand

U.S. Congressman Scott Garrett:
“Governor Christie’s decision to cancel the ARC Tunnel project was the responsible choice to protect New Jersey taxpayers.  Governor Christie and the citizens of New Jersey should not be punished for having the foresight to determine what they can and cannot afford during these tough economic times.  The federal government’s demand that New Jersey repay lost funds is arbitrary and unreasonable.  I fully support Governor Christie as he stands up for New Jersey’s right to make fiscally responsible decisions and I will do all I can to help him fight to protect New Jersey taxpayers.”  (Press Release, 12/2/2010) 

U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo: 
“Governor Christie was right to cancel the ARC project due to its excessive cost over-runs and financial burden on the state. Furthermore, he is right today to challenge the Federal Transit Administration’s assertion that state taxpayers must repay the FTA for their poor planning and lack of cost controls. I stand with the Governor and New Jersey residents in support of this legal effort,” said LoBiondo, a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.  (Press Release, 12/2/2010)

 U.S. Congressman Leonard Lance:
“I support fully Governor Christie efforts to protect New Jersey and its taxpayers and stand ready to work with our state’s congressional delegation in a bipartisan manner to ensure that the Garden State is not being wrongly singled out by federal transportation officials."  (Press Release, 12/2/2010)

 U.S. Congressman Steve Rothman:
“I too am interested in knowing the legal basis for the claim New Jersey needs to repay the federal government,” Rothman said. “I want to make sure if there is a sound legal basis for it that New Jersey has not been singled out for repayment if in fact, some suggest, other states have been able to cancel projects and not have to pay back the federal government…I’d like to see if there’s a way, now that the governor has made his decision to cancel the ARC tunnel project to be able to use the $3 billion … and even the $3 billion that the Port Authority was going to kick in for the ARC tunnel for transportation projects within New Jersey and also crossing the Hudson River,” Rothman said.  (Karen Rouse and Herb Jackson, “Christie expected to hire lawyers to fight fed's demand for $271M in tunnel costs,” The Record, 12/1/2010)

 U.S. Congressman Robert Andrews
"New Jersey sends far more (money) to Washington than we take in,'' Andrews said. "Part of our job is to reverse this trend, and part of that would be to get this waiver.'' (Asbury Park Press, 11/30/10)

 U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen
U.S. Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-Morris, said in a statement he would fight with Christie in “”resisting arbitrary repayment demands’’ over the tunnel. (Asbury Park Press, 11/30/10)

 U.S. Congressman-elect Jon Runyan:
“New Jersey  taxpayers should not continue to be punished for a project that, from the beginning, required an inequitable share of the funding burden to be assumed by our taxpayers. I stand in full support of Governor Christie’s continued efforts to put  the interests of New Jerseyans first on this critical issue. In the spirit of bipartisanship, our delegation must work together to ensure that New Jersey and our citizens are treated fairly in this process.”  (Statement by U.S. Congressman-elect Jon Runyan, 12/3/2010)

 New Jersey Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce:
“Governor Christie is doing the right thing for the taxpayers of New Jersey by standing up to the federal government that is demanding the return of monies spent on the cancelled ARC tunnel project. By taking on the Washington bureaucrats, the governor is again showing his allegiance to protecting our taxpayers. Governor Corzine and Democrat leaders never should have signed onto a tri-state project that made New Jersey responsible for 70 percent of the costs. Putting New Jersey taxpayers on the hook for billions in cost overruns is irresponsible and not the way to govern. It is exactly that type of behavior that has gotten our state into a fiscal crisis. In such difficult economic times, it defies reason why the Obama administration is trying to recover millions from our state’s long-suffering taxpayers when, in the past, New York State abandoned an FTA project without consequence. It is time for New Jersey’s federal representatives to work with the governor in opposing this unreasonable FTA demand.”  (Press Release, 12/2/2010)

 New Jersey Assemblyman Scott T. Rumana:
“New Jersey taxpayers should not be stuck with this unreasonable bill and I applaud the governor for once again protecting their interests. Governor Christie took a proactive stand for taxpayers against an ill-conceived funding scheme when he cancelled the flawed ARC Tunnel project. Now, he is making another stand against the federal government’s apparent ransom.”  (Press Release, 12/2/2010)

New Jersey Assemblyman Scott Rudder:
“New Jersey taxpayers should not be responsible for the $271 million that was wasted in the haste to construct a tunnel that was clearly motivated only by political, not practical reasons. This whole episode reeks of political theater and I’m glad Governor Christie is not going to let taxpayers pay for the mistakes of the federal government and previous administrations in Trenton. Government is supposed to protect the people. Governor Christie understands that principle; the Obama administration does not.”  (Press Release, 12/2/2010)

New Jersey Assemblyman John Amodeo:
“The Christie administration’s decision to go forward in its quest to prevent the federal government from recouping monies the state spent on the cancelled ARC Tunnel is another victory for New Jersey taxpayers who would have been saddled with billions in cost overruns had the governor not put a stop to the ill-advised project. Governor Christie has again shown true leadership by not allowing the FTA to take advantage of our state and its taxpayers.”  (Press Release, 12/2/2010)


New Jersey Senator Michael Doherty:
“I am deeply disturbed by the FTA’s unreasonable, capricious and arbitrary demand that New Jersey taxpayers pay it for a project doomed to fail.  The FTA set in motion a chain of events that inevitably led to the correct decision by Governor Christie to stop throwing good money after bad. What is more disturbing than the FTA’s unreasonable demands is the deafening silence from our two U.S. Senators. A bipartisan coalition of New Jersey Congressmen is working in Washington to pressure the FTA to drop its unreasonable claim; yet our two Senators have once again abandoned their obligation to represent the people of this state.”  (Press Release, 12/2/2010)

New Jersey Senator Joe Pennacchio: 
“This project came with an open ended commitment for cost overruns that our Governor and New Jersey taxpayers refuse to accept.  Even after the U.S. Inspector General criticized the project, the Federal government along with our two U.S. Senators continue to ask for $271 million which would be paid for with money we simply don’t have,” said Pennacchio…While N.J. Congressmen Andrews and Frelinghuysen fight for our taxpayers on this issue, Menendez and Lautenberg chose instead to politicize this matter by siding with the Federal government,” said Pennacchio.  “Lautenberg told the Wall Street Journal, that we ‘absolutely owe this money. I would hope at best this may just be a case of inept representation and not a case of Washington punishing a Republican New Jersey Governor while rewarding a Democrat New York Governor.  Minimally, New Jersey’s taxpayers deserve an answer from our U.S. Senators,” concluded Pennacchio.”  (Press Release, 12/3/2010)

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