Eye of the TIGER? Menendez says Trump budget cuts could hurt Bayonne port

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At the Global Container Terminal in Bayonne, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said that President Donald Trump’s (R) proposed budget could put a huge hamper on transportation throughout the state.

A focal point of the presser was Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, better known as TIGER, grants, of which GCT received $11.4 million in 2012.

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis began to put this into a local perspective and took a swipe at Trump.

“TIGER grants put people to work and provide better economic prospects and transportation options throughout the entire country,” Davis said.

“This [Trump] administration’s failure to see the benefits of TIGER grants will diminish economic opportunities and reduce investments in our infrastructure. We must do everything in our power to support Senator Menendez in this fight and to save our TIGER grants for our economic future.”

This isn’t the first time Davis has taken issue with Trump’s proposed budget: stating earlier this month that Bayonne could potentially lose $1.4 million under the president’s proposed economic plan.

Calling TIGER one of the most competitive grant programs out there, Menendez explained that with the expansion of the Panama Canal and the deepening of the harbor, GCT can expect to transfer about 250,000 more containers a year.

“Given all the rhetoric we heard and jobs during his campaign, I thought that would be the case, but we have learned that sometimes that president’s rhetoric doesn’t line up with reality,” he stated.

“The Trump administration’s budget doesn’t rebuild the transportation system, it ultimately leaves it to languish in disrepair.”

Later, the senior Senator said Trump’s $1.1 trillion proposed budget would cut $2.4 billion nationwide, or 13 percent, of transportation programs.

The last speaker was Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31), a former state director under Menendez, who stressed investing in infrastructure and transportation projects to spur economic growth.

Responding to a question from Hudson County View, Menendez guaranteed that the current version of Trump’s budget will not make it through the Senate.

“I can guarantee you that, this budget as it, will not pass because you’ll need 60 votes in the United State Senate and I will harness enough of my colleagues to make sure there is a negotiation that this bill, as it is, isn’t gonna pass,” Menendez exclaimed.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a $56 million ship-to-rail facility at the GCT, with a spokeswoman later clarifying it would be used to transfer containerized cargo.

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