Governor Hochul: “For 30 years, Americans, travelers, businesses, workers have been hoping for this day. But years of inaction, excuses, delays and the infighting are finally over. We're now heralding in a new era of working not against each other but working together to accomplish great things. And for the first time, we have representatives pulling together in the same direction who want to get real results.”
Hochul: “A century ago, our leaders knew and had the vision to recognize the need for this connection to bring our nation together. They knew that a reliable rail system could bring tremendous benefits beyond just New York and New Jersey. And today we've seen that this corridor is vital to our economic success. And that's been the story for over a century.”
Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul, Secretary Buttigieg, Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Gillibrand joined the Gateway Development Commission and Amtrak to mark the beginning of work on the Hudson River Tunnel.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
For 30 years, Americans, travelers, businesses, workers have been hoping for this day. But years of inaction, excuses, delays and the infighting are finally over. We're now heralding in a new era of working not against each other but working together to accomplish great things. And for the first time, we have representatives pulling together in the same direction who want to get real results.
And I want to start by thanking President Joe Biden. This would not have happened if we did not have a President who had the vision and the guts and tenacity to get this over the finish line. This means so much to the President, but the President means so much to us here in New York. Let's give a round of applause in his absence.
Secretary Buttigieg, we’ve been at many projects together. Yes, from here to Buffalo, investing the money that you have all fought so hard for. I want to thank you because I know you know local government. You know local government, where I come from as well and how important these projects are to communities as part of their identity. So, thank you, Secretary Buttigieg.
Majority Leader Schumer. God bless you for being out there. and fighting like a dog. I mean, you just never gave up. You said this is going to get done. And through the years, you’ve been that voice saying we have to push forward. I'm grateful that you are our Majority Leader. I'm grateful that you're our Senator. Majority Leader Senator Schumer. Thank you.
Senator Gillibrand is also out there fighting, representing the voices of all New Yorkers in all the fights she takes on. We are blessed to have her as our Senator. Senator Gillibrand as well, thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy is not here today, represented by his commissioner, but in case you haven't noticed, you also need a great federal government. Thank you. But if the states don't work together, this isn't happening. So, I want to thank Governor Murphy for the amazing partnership that we've had since I've been Governor, just two years. We've gotten so much done. Our teams work together, and you should not take that for granted because that has not always been the case. And I see a lot of smiles out there. You know what I'm talking about?
Our local leaders, Mark Levine, our Borough President. Kris Kolluri, I want to thank him for his work with Gateway Development. Mitch Landrieu, thank you. I saw you your first day on the job in Washington. I showed up. I said, “You're going to see a lot of me.” So, thank you for championing these projects. I know you have the rest of the country to look out for but maybe after Louisiana, you can look out for New York first. It seems like that's the case.
Tony Coscia, our great partner at Amtrak, thank you. And all the representatives from the building trade, let's give another round of applause for the men and women of labor who are here today. Anthony Simon, Ken Zebrowski is here, Erik Bottcher, and of course, the one and only Kathryn Garcia, the director of all state operations. Amazing.
The Majority Leader said the magic word, which I love the most, 70,000 good paying union jobs. That doesn't happen every single day. Let's not take this for granted. There are young people who will be working on the job site that weren't even born when this journey started down the track 30 years ago. And we are so excited about this as well.
A century ago, our leaders knew and had the vision to recognize the need for this connection to bring our nation together. They knew that a reliable rail system could bring tremendous benefits beyond just New York and New Jersey. And today we've seen that this corridor is vital to our economic success.
And that's been the story for over a century. But now we're called upon to make the investments to ensure for the next 100 years, this is reliable, it's stable, it can be counted on, and make sure it's never disrupted. Yet, it's been a long journey. Four presidents, five governors have all said they'd get this done.
Well, guess what? You have the Governors and the President and the leadership in Washington that are saying, “No more talk. This is the day the shovels go in the ground. Let's make this happen.” So, I'm excited to be here, and I'm real excited about the announcement, the additional money – thank you, thank you, thank you, because I have already mentally spent that extra money. Don't worry about it. But let me give you a hint. It's got shovels and hard hats as well. So that's what we're going to continue to do.
So, thank you everyone. This is a great day. And you'll see us at many more announcements because we have a President and a Congress – not a Congress, sorry. Senate that knows what they're doing. Thank you.