Murphy, Biden meet to discuss infrastructure package

New Jersey

President Joe Biden, right, sitting next to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, left, speaks during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in the Roosevelt room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, to discuss the bipartisan infrastructure deal in the Senate. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy spent Wednesday at the White House talking with President Joe Biden and some of his fellow governors about getting a bipartisan infrastructure package passed.

As Congress eyes an infrastructure package, a coalition of transportation agencies and Amtrak on Wednesday released a 15-year plan of rail improvements for the congested Northeast Corridor that would boost daily train routes and significantly speed travel on Acela express lines that would include New Jersey.

But the roadmap by the Northeast Corridor Commission, created by Congress in 2008 and comprising eight states and the Transportation Department, is contingent on Congress passing a big spending package.

Amit Bose, deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration and a co-chair of the commission, described the plan as a “mobilizing force” for transit change. He said the proposed upgrades along the 450-mile rail corridor would not only create 1.7 million new jobs but also support new travel patterns away from greenhouse gas-emitting cars “as our economy returns to full strength.”

Murphy spoke in support of the entire plan, transportation included.

“Rail stations, child care, clean energy, broadband – it’s all infrastructure,” Murphy tweeted out Wednesday. “We’re already making these investments in New Jersey right now, and we need Congress to join us so we can build our nation back better, create jobs, support families, and invest in our future.”

President Biden campaigned for Murphy in the Garden State when he won a first term in 2017.

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