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The Empire

Schumer and Christie spar

"Terrible" is how Senator Schumer described NJ Governor Christie's cancellation of the ARC tunnel. (azi paybarah / wnyc)

Jim O'Grady:

Governor Christie’s spokesman Michael Drewniak isn’t pulling his punches over New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s criticism on the ARC tunnel. Earlier today, Schumer blasted Christie for make a “terrible, terrible” decision to kill the $9 billion commuter rail train under the Hudson.

“Where was the senior senator from New York with funding alternatives to a project that was predicted to run billions over projections – all of which were to be borne by New Jersey and its taxpayers?,” Drewniak said. “This was a ‘bi-state’ project for which Senator Schumer’s state and the federal government were set to pay zero, zilch, nothing for the cost overruns. We can live with the criticism while protecting taxpayers from this boondoggle, which was simply a bad deal for New Jersey.”

Drewniak went further in questioning Senator’s Schumer’s timing and motivation in slamming Governor Christie’s decision on ARC, which was made in October.

“I’ll also give Senator Schumer the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn’t brush up on the topic before he spoke. Unless, of course, his remarks are merely political, which is always a possibility,” Drewniak said.

No reply yet from Senator Schumer on this latest round of comments.

UPDATE: Schumer's spokesman, Mike Morey, emails: "Rather than come to the table and work with federal officials to deal with overruns, and preserve an asset everyone agrees is needed in the region, the Governor’s decision flushed $6 billion in federal and Port Authority money down the tubes.”