tv Pres. Biden on Infrastructure Funding for Hudson Tunnel Project CSPAN January 31, 2023 8:17pm-8:50pm EST
how can you effectively serve your constituents? >> i have not been in touch with my campaign staff, i have been focused on other items so i don't have any answers for you now. >> are you confident that you will be cleared? >> yes, i am. >>. >> why are you confident. >> why didn't you tell people about your past, your finances? >> the questions will be answered to the appropriate people. the media is not judge and jury of anything. sorry. >> you are under investigation. '>> tonight, a hearing on expanding u.s. energy production and helping the u.s. economy. watch the house energy and commerce. at 10:00 on c-span, c-span now,
or online at c-span.org. >> the state of the union is strong because of you, the american people are strong. >> president biden delivers the annual state of the union address outlining his priorities to congress on tuesday, his first state of the union speech since republicans one back control of the house. we will take your phone calls, texts, and tweets. watch live coverage of the state of the union beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span now our free mobile video up, or c-span.org. >> president biden traveled to new york to talk about the construction of a rail tunnel project out of the hudson river being funded by the infrastructure bill. he was joined by senate majority leader chuck schumer. >> here we go. 1, 2, 3.
[laughter] [applause] ♪ >> hello, everybody. what a great day. what a great afternoon. and it is so great to be here to celebrate a major milestone in the most consequential infrastructure project in all of america, gateway. [applause] as many of you know, for a long time now, this project has been my passion, a labor of love, and after many false starts and
obstacles placed in norway, gateway is full speed ahead. [applause] with today's new dollars's, gateway's future is assured. finally, finally, finally we can say gateway will be built. so, hooray, hooray, hooray, here comes gateway! [laughter] i want to thank governor holcomb, governor murphy, bob menendez, cory booker, kirsten gillibrand, mayor adams, secretary buttigieg, deputy secretary polly, who worked for me for many years, for all of their help on this project. why is this project so important? because the rail tunnels under the hudson river are an essential artery that moves countless people and goods along the entire eastern seaboard. if that artery gets backed up,
then the heart of our national economy would cease to pump. america would go into recession overnight. millions would lose their jobs. the george washington bridge, the lincoln tunnel would be jammed with traffic 24-7. pollution would increase exponentially. all too often, we as a society fail to look far enough ahead, to plan for the worst case scenario in advance and avoid taking real steps to prevent it, but in this case, thankfully, we are looking ahead. we are active, and gateway is finally coming down the tracks. my late father who passed away a year ago taught me a lot of lessons that still stick with me. he is here now. most important was this -- if you know what you are doing is right and if you persist and persist and persist, then you will succeed.
so, we have persisted, and now we are succeeding. when i started talking about a gateway more than a decade ago, a lot of people refused to see the light. we all remember governor christie abruptly pulling the plug on the first iteration of gateway, one of the worst decisions any governor on either side has made. we had to start all over again. i worked hard to stand up the gateway government corporation and we got the states of new york and new jersey to each contribute 25% of the cost of the project in exchange for the federal government contributing 50%. thank you governors hochul and governor murphy. we painstakingly negotiated the technical principles of the financing agreement where federal loans would count as an equal share of funding. once again we finally had the pieces back in place, and once
again, a republican bully tried to wreak havoc. as soon as possible trump took office, he set up out some attaching gateway by holding all administrative approvals on completely bogus grounds. he said he would not even negotiate on gateway until there was money to build wall. he shut down the government for weeks. when he invited me into the oval office to try and force an agreement to build the wall and then maybe gateway, i had a few choice broken words for him. noefiing way, mr. president. now that doesn't mean we didn't make any progress during those years. we worked hard with the delegation in new jersey and new york to secure tens of billions of dollars in appropriations for various federal spending accounts that gateway could use once president
trump was gone. but what i couldn't have anticipated then is that the best is that the person who would replace trump would happen to be the best person anywhere to move gateway forward, mr. amtrak himself, joe biden! [cheers and applause] a man, a president who is more interested in tearing down walls that separate us thanks to his death negotiation and deep relationships in capitol hill was able to transform the cruel illusion of trump's so-called infrastructure week after week after week, into an infrastructure decade that would be funded by the amazing one point $2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure investment and jobs act that we passed into law . we are going to build this infrastructure decade -- where are you again -- with tens of thousands of new, good paying,
union jobs. all union. all good paying. [applause] as majority leader, i made sure the bipartisan infrastructure law included formulas and allocations that would provide ample funding for gateway and many, many other good projects across new york, new jersey, and across the country. and one of these programs that we got funded is the mega program which is providing the 292 million dollar grant that we are celebrating today to build the next phase of the box tunnel. this is the first unnecessary starting point of gateway. but it's also one of the hardest parts of gateway, because it cuts through solid manhattan bedrock to form the entry point of the two new underwater rail tunnels that are the centerpiece of the project. thanks to this historic $292 million investment led by the
president, passed by my senate and house colleagues, gateway is finally leaving the station. you can use whatever train metaphor you want, anyone you want, but get on the joe biden express now, because we are not stopping! [cheers and applause] for four years, the former president was shattering you know what. now, we are going to put real shovels in the ground, wielded by real american workers. that is the basic contract between -- basic contrast between this presidency and the last. empty rhetoric versus experience and leadership. schoolyard bullying versus building consensus. personal grievances versus getting things done. so, it is my absolute,
wonderful, wonderful, great pleasure to welcome to my beloved city the man who knows infrastructure, public transit, better than anybody in america and who will make sure that we get gateway done, the president of the united states, joseph robinette biden! [cheers and applause] ♪ pres. biden: hello, hello, hello. please have a seat if you have
one. thank you, chuck. thanks for that introduction. that was worth the trip. thank you. really, thanks very much. one person in particular pushed relentlessly for the advance of this gateway project and improving transit in the region. i don't know how many times i have heard from chuck about this project time and time and time again. he did not let anything stop him because he knows how incredibly critical it is to people's lives and the strength of the economy of new york and new jersey and quite frankly all across the country. and that is chuck schumer. he is relentless. he never gives up. no one has done more to make today a reality. this is chuck schumer day, pal. you got it done. chuck, you've done a hell of a job the big thanks to the rest of the delegation as well. senator gillibrand who's here , the true champion of this
state and who always puts new york first. she makes sure everybody in the military is straightened up too , but that is a different story. where is mayor adams? where are you? good to see you. thank you for the passport into the city. i and governor hochul, thank you, we got a chance to speak earlier. and governor murphy has been great friend for a long time. your leadership has been vital to this project and and the new jersey congressional delegation fought like hell to push forward all that this entails. bob menendez, where are you -- good to see you, bob. and cory booker. two good senators from new jersey. we tried -- while others tried to shut this down, i made clear that this is a national priority. i told you we would get this done and we did it together. i want to thank representative gottheimer and the two members of the new jersey congress, the
delegation, robert menendez, who is smarter than his dad, and don goldman. i know, because my son was smarter than i was. we have got a lot of work to do. you're going to pay for that when he got home, right? [laughter] i want to thank everyone from amtrak. and mta. there gateway government commission is really important and i thank you for your ownership. folks, just outside this space, the piece of the new hudson first tunnel is being built. it is one of the biggest parts of the gateway program now let me say this is the outset this . this is the beginning of federally constructing a 21st-century rail system that is long overdue in this country. this project is critical to transforming the northeast corridor, increasing speeds,
capacity, reliability and safety. in addition to getting folks out of cars and on the trains, we are going to help the environment. every study shows that you get from point a to point b on rail faster than you can on an automobile. you don't get the car, you get in the train. that is how important this project is for up to passengers 200,000 who take amtrak or new jersey transit under the hudson river every single day. it matters a lot, from the northeast corridor, from here to boston, boston to washington, all the way down. for years, people talked about fixing this tunnel and federally we are getting this done. this law is the most significant investment in rail the most significant investment of rail since we created amtrak over 50 years ago. and billions are going to projects along the northeast corridor, including replacing the existing hudson tunnel. that is why it is so important.
2,200 trains. 2,200 trains run along the northeast corridor in the united states every single day. it is the busiest corridor in the united states of america and one of the busiest in the world . a problem anywhere along the line means delays up and down the east coast for folks trying to get to work, businesses trying to ship goods, travelers trying to get to see their families. by the way, as a u.s. senator i commuted for 36 years every single solitary day. every day the senate was in session. i traveled over 1,000,100 thousand miles on amtrak and i can tell you were on the -- where all of the delays were. they weren't all in wilmington, delaware. if this line shuts down for just one day, it would cost the american economy 100 within dollars a day. the -- $100 million a day. the current hudson river rail
tunnel can be a major choke point. a critical link to new york penn station, the busiest train station and all of america. the tunnel opened for business 113 years ago. the structure has deteriorated. the roof was leaking, the floor sinking. it was badly damaged by superstorm sandy. today, over 10 years later, there are still remnants of seawater to the tunnel eating away at the concrete and the steel and the electrical components. in 2020, there were over minutes 12,000 in delay in just one year . in the united states of america -- for god's sake, what are we doing? this is the united states of america. we know better. and now we will prove it. we will rebuild the existing title but we can't do that until we build a brand-new and entirely different and separate tunnel. you can't fix it without
building a new one. it will run faster speeds and no interruptions. it will be running 100 miles an hour. while the original tunnel is under construction. that will mean fewer delays, less risk and major major shutdowns. the new tunnel will have two tubes with one track in each tube so that they can keep operating even if one side breaks down. it's going to be safer, more resilient, more reliable and the biggest rail line in the united states of america. to get it done, the first step is completing the concrete casing under the hudson yards which chuck has been talking and talking and talking and talking about. [laughter] it sits above where the new tunnel will connect to penn station. this is a critical step for everything else we are going to do in the corridor and the rail. as you know, work started at hudson yards in 2013, but
stalled due to a lack of funding. thanks to the -- end i emphasize, the bipartisan infrastructure law -- we now have the money we are going to need to get it done. when the project is complete trains will be in and out of new , york more quickly more safely and with fewer interruptions . there is only one part no the overall gateway program to improve train travel between new york and new jersey. last year we also broke down on a portal at northbridge in new jersey. . thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law, we are rebuilding two other critical budgets, sawtooth and ducks bridge in north jersey. all told, this is another biggest classic credit show projects in the country. it's going to take time. it is a multi-billion dollar effort between the states and the federal government but we finally have the money and we're going to get it done. i promise you. we are going to get it done. [applause]
folks, we are making similar investments to improve rail up and down the northeast corridor. yesterday i was in baltimore for a similar announcement of the baltimore potomac tunnel, another critical junction that was built nearly 150 years ago. no changes in 150 years. i walked through that sucker too. [laughter] you think i am joking? i am not. . when you commute on the highway every single day, and that was my highway, you get interested when you are told things are falling apart. over the next few years we will hit milestones including the east river tunnel here in new york, the susquehanna bridge in maryland, the connecticut river bridge. we are not stopping at all. this was rail. earlier this month, i was in kentucky with the republican leader. we are spending over $1 billion on the brent spence bridge over the ohio-kentucky river that they have been trying to fix for
years and years and years. we are repairing the original bridge and building an entirely new one parallel to it you know over that bridge today which keeps breaking down. trucks carry roughly two billion dollars worth of freight goods every single day across that bridge. now. from florida to canada. the bridge was built 60 years ago. folks have been talking about fixing it for decades, but now we are going to get it down. there is more we are doing, for example, in the bronx, we are redeveloping the hunts point terminal produce market which handles 60% of new york's fruits and vegetables. . 60%. . we are expanding with refrigerated warehouse space, installing charging stations for electric vehicles so delivery trucks can get in and out faster and recharge for the return trip. on staten island, we are upgrading the port at the arthur kill terminal site to turn it into a state-of-the-art assembly
site for wind turbines. by just blade of these new wind one turbines is 102-yards long. the ships carrying this equipment are huge so we are dredging a 35-foot basin so the ships can reach the site and with the support of the governor of new jersey, we are reconstituting nearly three miles of highway that's now structurally obsolete, leading to the port of camden. and we are preparing point pleasant canal and cape may canal. critical waterways for two communities of the new jersey shore. one of the things that i am most excited about is we are doing well of this with all-american workers. all-american workers. [applause] by the way, all of it, all of that is union labor. [cheers and applause]. all of it. every freaking one.
union labor. i am not kidding. yesterday in baltimore, i announced we were building that project under the new project labor agreement, making sure that there is one of these projects as well here. the agreement of contractors and unions to put in place an agreement before construction begins, to ensure major projects are handled by well-trained highly skilled union workers . it resolves disputes ahead of time, ensuring safer worksites, avoiding disruptions and work stoppages that can cause expensive and extensive delays down the line. it's not just good for workers, it's good for tax payers, too. amtrak and the building trades have agreed to the project labor agreement that will be in place across the major rail construction projects up and down the northeast corridor. and the hudson river tunnel project will lead to 72,000 good -paying jobs over its lifetime.
laborers, electricians, carpenters, cement mates, and ironworkers operating engineers and more good jobs you can raise a family on. and most don't require a college degree, but they do require four years of apprenticeships. training programs. it is one of the reasons why the united states has the best -trained workers in the world. that is not hyperbole. we do. [applause] everybody thinks you want to join the ibew, just show up and you are an electrician. after four years of an apprenticeship may be. you guys are the best in the world. this project and others like it across the country are all about making investments in america's cities and towns and america's heartlands and the rural areas as well. it's about making things here in america again. it's about good jobs. the dignity of work.
it's about dignity. respect. about being able to look your kid and that i and say it's going to be ok and mean it. and he meant it. it's about respecting self-worth. and it's about damn time. for too long, we have talked about asserting american leadership once again building the best economy in the world . but to have the best economy in the world, you have to have the best infrastructure in the world. people don't build factories where there aren't real stations or ports or access to highways. they don't attract businesses unless you have the best infrastructure to get products to market, to create thousands of good-paying jobs. for most of the last century, our economy led the world by a significant margin because we invested in our people, we invested in ourselves and in research and development in america. we used to invest 2 2% of
our gdp in research and development. that is what we did four years ago. it is now at 0.7%. >> we used to rank number one in the world in research and development, now we are ranked 9 . the united states is number nine. china is number eight. now they rank 2. folks, we risk losing edge as a nation, and china and the rest of the world have been catching up for decades. the backbone of america has been the middle class. it has been hollowed out. too many good paying manufacturing jobs moved overseas, because labor was cheap over there. we exported jobs and imported their products. they have helped the corporate bottom line, but did not help many americans. when jobs move overseas, factories at home close down. once thriving cities and towns became shadows of what they used to be, and they lost a sense of their self-worth along
the way. when those towns were hollowed out, something else was lost -- pride, self-esteem, a sense of self-worth. these are the efforts of the so-called trickle-down economics. the view from park avenue that says "the wealthy, help them and maybe it will trickle down to everybody else." there is another view that i hold and that the majority of people hold, i think, like the folks in the city where i was born in scranton, the town where i was raised in claymont, delaware. they view america's workers as ready to work hard as hell if given and even shut. they just need the shot. they wake up every morning and bust their necks trying to make an honest living. f said it many times, wall street is important, but it did not build the country. the middle class built the country and unions built the middle class. [cheers and applause] i mean it. when i ran for president, i
agreed we were going to build from the bottom up and the middle out bring back good-paying jobs you could raise your family on. give families more breathing room to invest in ourselves again, invest in america again, and that is what we have done. in my first two years in office, the two strongest years of job growth on record in the entire history of the united states of america. we have created nearly 11 million, 11 million jobs, including 750,000 manufacturing jobs in two years. we are just getting started. where in the hell is it written to say that america can't lead the world again in manufacturing? where is that written? in addition, we have private major investment totaling 300 billion dollars in this one industry. one industry -- semiconductors. generating significant job opportunities. american manufacturing. for four decades, we imported products and exported jobs now
america is exporting products and creating jobs. there much more to do about what we're going to do to modernize the modern array of. lead me close with this -- americans see these projects popping up across the country and its earliest an important message, that people work together like we did on the bipartisan law, and the chips law. there is nothing we can't do. nothing. when has america ever, ever set a goal that he didn't reach? when has it ever? tell me a time that america has gone through a crunch and did not come out stronger on the other side than went in? we can get things down. instead of losing confidence in ourselves, we can do anything. we really can. we can move this nation forward and we can send another message. and message of pride.
pride in our country, pride in what we can do together. a sense of self-worth, knowing you can provide for your family. as i have long said, it has been a really bad bet to bet against america and i can honestly say that as i stand here today, i gave you my word as a biotin, i have never been more optimistic about america's prospects in my entire life. you just have to remember who the hell you are. we are the united states of america. there is nothing beyond our capacity. nothing at all. and it started here. got bless you of. , that may god protect our troops -- god bless you all, and may god protect our troops. thank you. ♪ [cheers and applause] ♪
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