Governor Doubles Down On His Fight for Gateway Tunnel Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his speech before the Chamber of Commerce crowd in the Marriot, Gov. Phil Murphy sounded familiar themes around his commitment to being progressive while  simultaneously growing the state’s economy.

New Jersey literally invented the modern world, he told the crowd, giving an Alexander Hamilton nod to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) on the dais.

“We were Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley,” said the Governor. “We do not know her name but somewhere in New Jersey is the next Wizard of Menlo Park.

“We are doing everything we can to make Newark the next home for Amazon,” he added.

He spent some time on the Gateway Tunnel project.

“I will fight tooth and nail for Gateway,” said the Governor. “No project is as important to our state economy and our national economy. I spoke earlier this week with President Trump and his team at the White House.”

His message to Trump was clear, he said: Get gateway back on the priority list.

Murphy gave a shout out to retiring U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11), who was not at the dinner (neither was U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, who’s also retiring).

“We will work together to get one last huge win for New Jersey with him,” the Governor said, in reference to Frelinghuysen and the latter’s work on Gateway.

Much of the rest of the speech sounded like reaffirmed campaign trail bullet points.

Invest in colleges and universities.

Anxious to unlock jobs in clean energy sector

Resist any plan to drill off the Jersey Shore.

Fix New Jersey Transit.

Wealthiest and biggest corporations to grow our economy

The middle class didn’t get anything near this.

“I remain committed to a true millionaire’s tax,” he affirmed.

“A Republican friend of mine a year ago called me a pro-growth progressive,” Murphy said. “I will take that tag. Just as we will claim the progressive soul of this state we will grow.”

He acknowledged the death this week of Carmen Orechio of Nutley, once a state senate president.

The Governor has ordered flags flown at half mast tomorrow in honor of Mr. Orechio.

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