Over the weekend, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood ordered New Jersey to repay the $271 million (plus interest) they owe the federal government after canceling the Trans-Hudson ARC tunnel project. But Christie isn't budging, saying, “This is about whether that money will stay in New Jersey and be used for road projects in this state, or the federal government so it can go to another state.” New Jersey will be charged $52,000 a week in interest for failing to repay. But if he just ignores the feds they'll go away, right?
LaHood already rejected a state appeal to keep the money, and on April 29th the Federal Transit Administration began adding the interest to the bill. LaHood also said the federal government can withhold future funds until the money is returned. "The law is clear on this matter," LaHood wrote on Friday. "After the initial contract was entered into and later expanded at Governor Christie’s request, the state of New Jersey broke the terms," because New Jersey Transit received the money on condition that the project be completed. "The governor’s unfortunate decision will affect the commuters in New Jersey and the entire Northeast region for generations."