JERSEY CITY, NJ (WCBS 880) – History could be about to repeat itself.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane In Jersey City

The Surface Transportation Program, which provides federal funding for road, bridge and public transportation projects, will expire on September 30.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), says the Republican version of the bill that would renew the program could cost New Jersey 18,000 transit and construction jobs.

Menendez says a 35 percent reduction in funding equals a $500 million loss to the state each year.

On Monday, he appeared at a Hudson County Department of Roads facility with Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy alongside a chart depicting a car plunging over a cliff.

“This proposal is not about creating jobs, or investing in our future, it’s about ideology. It’s not about the country and it’s certainly not about middle class working families for these people. It’s political,” said Menendez. “We simply cannot negotiate away the strength of the nation with every piece of legislation and be held hostage by a few Tea Party individuals who seem to want to dictate the nation’s agenda.”

Pulling a page from the White House strategy book, Menendez is calling for e-mails, letters, and calls to Republican leaders, saying the demise of transportation funding at the end of September will bring New Jersey commuters to their knees.

When funding for the FAA wasn’t renewed, thousands workers were furloughed and construction and demolition projects were put on hold.

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