The Trump administration canceled nearly $1 billion in federal funding that was earmarked for California’s high-speed rail project.
The decision comes months after California’s Democratic Governor, Gavin Newsom, admitted that the project was a failure and could not be completed as initially envisioned.
California ‘failed to make reasonable progress’
In a statement, the Federal Railroad Administration said it will not give California the $928,620,000 that it was originally promised, saying the state:
- Failed to make reasonable progress on the project.
- Repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of its grant.
- Abandoned its original vision for a high-speed train connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Federal govt to Calif: We want the $2.5 billion we gave you back
The Trump administration also said it wants back the $2.5 billion in funds that were previously allocated to California for the project.
BREAKING: The Federal Railroad Administration has notified California its ENDING its high speed rail agreement, clawing back crucial $ for project pic.twitter.com/WPhn6hIZ0g
— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) May 16, 2019
Calif. governor admitted the rail project was a failure
In February 2019, Governor Newsom admitted that “the current project, as planned, would cost too much and take too long…There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”
Instead, he proposed using the money to build a high-speed train between two smaller cities (Bakersfield and Merced). That was not the original plan, nor the reason why the $1 billion in federal funds were allocated to California.
The initial plan called for a 520-mile high-speed rail system from Los Angeles to San Francisco that would have allowed trains to travel up to 220 miles per hour. The train system was supposed to be fully operational by 2033.
But it was clear to Governor Newsom and President Trump that that would never happen.
Democratic governor calls revocation of federal funds ‘illegal’
After the Federal Railroad Administration pulled the money yesterday (May 16), Newsom fired back at Trump, calling the move “illegal and a direct assault on California.” (No, it’s not.)
JUST IN: Governor Newsom says CA will defend money in court after Feds cancel High Speed Rail $:
“The Trump Administration’s action is illegal and a direct assault on California, our green infrastructure, and the thousands of Central Valley workers who are building this project. pic.twitter.com/FoZdBERE42
— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) May 16, 2019
Calif. attorney: Trump has the right to demand money back
In February 2019 — shortly after Newsom confessed that his rail project was a failure — California trial attorney Harmeet Dhillon said President Trump is within his legal rights to demand the money back.
“Grants given by the government are always given with certain strings attached and conditions. The governor of California announced that the project that the money was given for is no longer going to be built as such,” Dhillon told Fox Business. “In fact, President Trump is within his rights to try to claw back the $2.5 billion that has [already] been given for this project.”
Dhillon continued: “The federal government gave California money to build a specific project that is no longer being built. Simply put: That’s the people’s money. And it belongs back in Washington for use for other purposes that are actually going to be build.”
Source: Fox Business
Many on Twitter applauded the Trump administration’s move to end the $1 billion California boondoggle.
I am a fan of rail…heck I'm on the @Amtrak Acela this minute – with that said…this was going to be a huge boondoggle where the high speed rail would have done nothing to improve or contribute solving California's transportation challenges…good move to pull the funds! https://t.co/0iq2UWhslo
— Tony Shaffer (@T_S_P_O_O_K_Y) May 17, 2019
Great news! @USDOT has taken final action to CANCEL $929M of your federal tax dollars for California's high-speed rail disaster.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) May 16, 2019
Calif. champions illegal aliens over law-abiding Americans
California Governor Newsom and President Trump have been at odds for months. California — which declared itself a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants has repeatedly sued the Trump administration over its immigration policies.
As BizPac Review reported, California joined several other states in a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s authority to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall in light of the illegal-immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border.
Ilhan Omar renews call to abolish ICE in response to Trump’s merit-based immigration plan.
Reminder: Every day, ICE protects our communities by preventing violent criminals like MS-13 gang members, child molesters, and smugglers from entering the US.https://t.co/AZ2FhKZERR
— Samantha Chang (@samantha_chang) May 17, 2019
Democrats and their media lackeys screeched nonstop about Trump “abusing his authority” to declare a national emergency to address a crisis that threatens US sovereignty and national security.
Reality check: All US presidents in the modern era have declared national emergencies at some point in their tenures. In fact, the United States is currently in the middle of 31 national emergencies ― 12 of which were declared by Barack Obama.
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