Payne, Jr. Discusses Gateway Project, TrumpCare on New Jersey Power & Politics

Payne, Jr. Discusses Gateway Project, TrumpCare on New Jersey Power & Politics

This weekend on New Jersey Power & Politics, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) spoke with News 12 New Jersey host Eric Landskroner about the Gateway Project and the GOP’s second proposal for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Click here to watch the video.

Below are the highlights:

On the impact of Trump’s proposed budget cuts on the Gateway Project

 

We’re very concerned about it. We’re hoping that Governor Christie, who really scuttled the ARC project, which we would be well into by now. We’re glad that he’s finally seen the light and the need for this funding. We’re hoping that with his influence with the president, and with our advocacy for the Gateway Project, that we can get it placed back in the budget. I feel that the president should understand how important this would be to New York, since he’s a New Yorker, and understand how important it would be to the economy in this region.

My district has a lot of constituents who use New Jersey rail as their lifeline. And they really moved to this area because of the proximity of New Jersey Transit to where they live and being able to get into New York. I was in the community of Glen Ridge last week and the pressing issue was the delays and issues around New Jersey transit.

We’ve seen three issues in the last four weeks. I was on the platform of Newark Penn Station waiting to go to Washington three weeks ago when the initial derailment happened in New York. I ran into another member of Congress who had been there on the platform for an hour. So, we’ve seen it firsthand. Then, subsequently, we had the other issues—the delays at Penn Station. And just this past Friday, there was another problem with delays. So it is a crisis. In the last four weeks we’ve had three major issues on that rail line—we are in a crisis.

We’re hoping that [U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao visits New Jersey’s rails]. Absolutely it would make a difference. Just as I stated, I was on the platform when these issues happened. So, I understand it firsthand. We feel that brining Secretary Chao here would help us a great deal in having her understand how important these federal dollars are to create the issues that have been there for years. The federal government has never really stepped up and given Amtrak the money that it should have received since 1970 when it took over the entire rail line of the Northeast Corridor. We’ve lost lives this year—a young woman died in the Hoboken incident. We hope that bringing her here will give her a better idea of why we are so adamant about continuing this project.

On GOP’s second proposal for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act

 

I’ve heard about their proposal and believe it’s even worse than the first one. This new proposal will deal with eliminating one of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act—people with pre-existing conditions not being penalized. They’re looking to give waivers to states to allow insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing more. That is one part of the Affordable Care Act that Americans love, and now Republicans are going to tinker with that. It’s setting up for another failure.

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