May 22, 2019

Watson Coleman Wins Gateway Support in FY 2020 Transportation Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2019) — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) secured support for the Gateway project in the fiscal year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill released by the House Appropriations Committee today. Among the included provisions are a $50 million increase over last year’s funding level for Amtrak Northeast Corridor Grants, and a requirement that Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Investment Act (TIFIA) loans be considered part of the non-federal share of project costs if such loans are repaid by non-federal funds — fending off arguments that states like New Jersey have not met their threshold for local funding for Gateway.

“The northeast corridor is critical to our national economy, and the Gateway project is critical to the continued growth and success of the northeast corridor," said Watson Coleman. "We can no longer afford to put off investments in our nation’s crumbling and outdated infrastructure, for Gateway or any other project. Across the board, this funding will create jobs, improve safety, and allow our country to continue to compete at the highest levels globally.”

The bill includes several potential funding sources for phase I of the Gateway project, including:

  1. $1.4 billion through programs at the Federal Railroad Administration
  2. Nearly $1.8 billion from New Starts and Core Capacity through the Federal Transit Administration
  3. $1 billion in National Infrastructure Investments (BUILD/TIGER) grants through the Department of Transportation.

The bill also extends the deadline for the obligation of funds appropriated in FY 2018 to September 2020 and makes other technical changes that maximize both the federal funding available and the approval process necessary to bring the Gateway project to fruition.

The THUD Appropriations bill provides funds for agencies including the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation, and the National Transportation Safety Board. The text of the bill is here.