A popular mass transit tax break, which saves the typical New Jersey commuter hundreds of dollars a year, will be cut in half at the beginning of the New Year, unless Congress acts quickly to renew it.

U.S. Capital (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)

That seems very unlikely because of ongoing bickering and finger-pointing in the nation's capitol.

If the tax break is cut, it will cost many Garden State commuters, who take mass transit, close to $500 a year.

"It's an item in a long list of grievances that many Americans have with how the House of Representatives and the Senate operate," said the Chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville).

"They haven't taken up the simple bread and butter issue that really affects the lives of ordinary commuting Americans - that's a travesty," Wisniewski said. "My guess is they will ultimately get to it, but with all the other wrangling going on in Washington over debt limits and budgets and the Affordable Care Act, it's hard to know what they're focusing on."

Wisniewski pointed out encouraging mass transit ridership is very important, especially for a state like New Jersey because we don't have the ability to build additional roads.

"We don't have any place left to put them."

The assemblyman said it's never clear what message is coming out of Washington, so what we need to do is make sure commuters understand that our national leaders are aware of this, that they're on top it, that they're going to solve the problem.

"My hope is in the few days left in this calendar year, that both the Senate and the House will be in session in Washington - that they take this up and get it done."