Trump Urges California to Give Back ‘Wasted’ Billions for 'Failed' Train Project

Trump administration to cancel $929 million in California high-speed rail funding

For starters, The New York Times reports, "the Trump administration also said it was terminating a $929 million federal grant to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, according to a letter the Transportation Department sent Tuesday", almost zeroing out the federal government's contribution to California's statewide high speed rail projects for the 2019 fiscal year.

This latest drama puts the conflict between the conservative White House and the most prosperous and populous state in the nation, one fully controlled by Democrats, in stark relief.

'This is California's money, and we are going to fight for it, ' he said.

California and the federal government signed an agreement in 2010 over this funding.

Besides pouncing on Newsom's decision to scale back the scope of the project, the Railroad Administration said the California project has missed several deadlines that were tied to the $928 million appropriation, and has no chance of finishing the first phase of the project by the 2022 deadline.

Among other things, the federal agency said Gov. Gavin Newsom's plans to downsize the project represent "a significant retreat from the state's initial vision and commitment and frustrates the objective for which federal funding was awarded". Realistically, no fiscally prudent government entity or private developer would plan a high-speed rail line to serve such a short, low-density, low-population corridor. The project has been repeatedly delayed since construction started in 2015, under then-Gov.

The Trump administration action is likely to add further fuel to critics, including those in California, who want the project stopped.

Finally, Newsom announced this month, "Let's be real". The initial plan called for building a bullet train that traveled between San Francisco and Los Angeles (through the Central Valley) in less than three hours. "There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency".

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The Trump administration is planning to withdraw nearly $1 billion in pending funding for California's long-awaited high-speed train project, citing cost overruns and inefficiencies.

In two tweets early Tuesday morning, Trump criticized California and the other 15 states filing suit, calling them the "mostly". "A different deal and record cost overruns".

Governor Newsom is cracking down on cities that fail to comply with state affordable housing laws.

The Trump administration has sent a notice to California High-Speed Rail Authority announcing the termination of a $929 million federal grant intended for the project, effective March 5.

"California now wants to scale back their already failed "fast train" project by substantially shortening the distance so that it no longer goes from LA to San Francisco", Trump said in a statement on Twitter.

At the time, Mr Trump attacked the project, saying the state owed the government $3.5bn for the "green disaster".

"Fake news", Newsom wrote.

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