Last week, California governor Gavin Newsom (D) announced during his State of the State address that he planned to scale back a bullet train project, which was supposed to be built between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
On Tuesday, the Trump Administration said that it plans to cancel $929 million awarded to California’s high-speed rail project and wants the state to return an additional $2.5 billion that it has already spent.
According to Bakersfield Now:
‘The U.S. Department of Transportation announcement follows through on President Donald Trump’s threats to claw back $3.5 billion that the federal government gave to California to build a bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.’
The Trump administration has argued that California is unable to complete the work by the 2022 deadline and hasn’t provided required matching dollars for the project.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump labeled the project the “failed Fast Train project” as he and Governor Newsom sparred on Twitter over the matter.
Last Wednesday, Trump tweeted about how the state had “wasted many billions of dollars.”
Newsom tweeted back:
During his announcement last week, Newsom said that he plans to scale back the project with the focus on building 171 miles (275 kilometers) of track in central California. According to his office, he still plans to complete the project although he has said the original plan would be too costly and take too long.
Newsom has said that he will continue the environmental work on the train, which is a requirement for keeping the federal money.
On Twitter last week, in response to Trump, he said:
‘This is CA’s money, allocated by Congress for this project. We’re not giving it back.’
Mr. Trump wants to cancel $929 million that the state was awarded nearly a decade ago and Caifornia hasn’t started spending that money. However, the state has spent an extra $2.5 billion that the president also wants back.
The 2022 deadline hasn’t approached so it is unclear whether the federal government can actually demand that money back until the deadline approaches.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in attempts to get the money back, it is:
“actively exploring every legal option”
Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R) from California’s 23rd district released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, saying:
‘At every turn, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has mismanaged and misled Californians on the viability of the project. Its budget has ballooned by the billions, projected ridership numbers have proven exaggerated, and the private investment that was promised never materialized. And throughout it all, the Authority has gone to great lengths to keep these facts from California and American taxpayers. Just last week, Governor Newsom rightfully acknowledged the failure, saying: ‘ultimately, the current project, as planned, would cost too much and take too long.’
‘It is time is to move on from the broken high-speed rail project and redirect our efforts to infrastructure projects that work for Californians. I applaud Secretary Chao and Administrator Batory for their prudent decision protecting hardworking American taxpayers.’
Mr. Trump has no problem though spending billions for a wall that most Americans do not want and has declared an emergency in order to fund his unnecessary project.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube