In our February 9, 2018 Weekly Update, we reported on the Federal Government’s two-year budget deal, which set broad parameters for federal spending and averted one government shutdown. Unless Congress and the Administration agree on specific current fiscal year spending within two weeks, however, we will face another. For the February deal set a new March 23 ‘shutdown’ deadline. By that date, precise, programmatic spending must be authorized for all Federal Departments and agencies.
It is our understanding that the President has asked members of his party in Congress, including the Speaker of the House, to oppose funding for the Gateway Project and would veto any Appropriations Bill that includes Gateway funding. Further, in testimony this week, before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao indicated that, at this time, the Administration has no plans to contribute any funding to the project.
The House has approved $900 million for the project, which is supported by both of our State’s U.S. Senators and all of our House Representatives. It is a top priority of New Jersey Congressman and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen. As Chairman of the House’s Appropriators, Chairman Frelinghuysen will play a key part over the next two weeks, as he negotiates a $1.3 trillion ‘Omnibus’ spending bill, needed to fund Federal programs and agencies through September 30, the end of the current Fiscal Year.
Please thank your Member of Congress and Senators Menendez and Booker for their efforts. Then contact the White House on this matter. The switchboard number is 202-456-1414.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x121.