Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, is once again questioning why both of New Jersey’s United States Senators have failed to side with New Jersey taxpayers by demanding the Federal government waive the $271 million contribution toward the ill-conceived, failed ARC Tunnel project.
“This project came with an open ended commitment for cost overruns that our Governor and New Jersey taxpayers refuse to accept. Even after the U.S. Inspector General criticized the project, the Federal government along with our two U.S. Senators continue to ask for $271 million which would be paid for with money we simply don’t have,” said Pennacchio.
The Senator cited a bus terminal in Rochester, N.Y., which would have also used Federal dollars, that was canceled last year. Yet the State of New York was not required to return any money to the Federal government. “While N.J. Congressmen Andrews and Frelinghuysen fight for our taxpayers on this issue, Menendez and Lautenberg chose instead to politicize this matter by siding with the Federal government,” said Pennacchio. “Lautenberg told the Wall Street Journal, that we ‘absolutely owe this money.'”
Senator Pennacchio questions the effectiveness of our U.S. Senators compared to New York’s representatives who initially managed to get a tunnel built to and through New York at zero cost to New York State. They also were not asked to return money on the canceled Rochester bus terminal.
“I would hope at best this may just be a case of inept representation and not a case of Washington punishing a Republican New Jersey Governor while rewarding a Democrat New York Governor. Minimally, New Jersey’s taxpayers deserve an answer from our U.S. Senators,” concluded Pennacchio.