Mayor de Blasio proudly opted for political theater Wednesday, boycotting a gathering of the nation’s mayors with President Trump on infrastructure to protest a Justice Division warning to “sanctuary cities.” Plainly, de Blasio cares extra for grandstanding than for getting federal assist for the town’s decrepit public housing or its subways.
In any case, the theater serves his ambition to be the nationwide progressive chief; serving his constituents doesn’t.
Sadly, he’s removed from the one native pol taking part in this sport. Sen. Chuck Schumer is pushing exhausting for federal funds to assist construct a brand new cross-Hudson rail tunnel, however he can’t get a lot assist from the remainder of the New Jersey-New York Senate delegation.
Jersey’s Bob Menendez is sidelined by his coming retrial on corruption costs. And Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are chasing the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — which implies spending all their time #resisting and attacking Trump. They don’t dare threat any taint of compromising with the administration, and even partaking it.
The Obama administration had promised to have the feds decide up half the price of the Gateway venture, which features a new tunnel in addition to different work on Amtrak’s Northeast Hall. However a leaked draft of Group Trump’s plans suggests it could give you simply 20 p.c.
That would go away broke New York and dealer New Jersey to cowl the remaining 80 p.c of the $13 billion tab for a brand new cross-Hudson rail tunnel, plus $17 billion for associated Gateway tasks.
It’s exhausting to see how the 2 states can give you that type of dough. But the present 110-year-old tunnel is on its final legs, and until a brand new one is constructed quickly, the metro area (and far of the Northeast) faces huge transit ache.
True, the leaked plan permits for Uncle Sam to pay extra on tasks deemed within the nationwide curiosity. And the draft is simply a place to begin; Trump could must bend its “rules” to get Democratic assist to go his plan by Congress.
However most native pols appear extra prone to blow up any compromise than assist it. After a gathering with Trump and space politicians on Gateway final 12 months, for instance, Booker blasted the prez for making “guarantees on infrastructure, which to date have fallen flat.”
Rely him as an impediment to any tunnel deal.
In the meantime, each Gov. Cuomo and the Backyard State’s new gov, Phil Murphy, have purchased first-class seats on the “Trump is the satan” bandwagon. And Cuomo’s additionally mulling a 2020 White Home bid.
Trump & Co. absolutely perceive the significance of a rail tunnel beneath the Hudson, and it’s exhausting to think about they received’t assist discover a technique to have a brand new one funded. The one query can be how a lot Booker and Gillibrand’s ambitions and Trump-trolling value the area.