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

By Canadian Press	
	 		Trump wants California to pay back billions for bullet train				Feb 21 2019

By Canadian Press Trump wants California to pay back billions for bullet train Feb 21 2019

Gov Newson said in a statement on Tuesday that "it's no coincidence that the administration's threat comes 24 hours after California led 16 states in challenging the president's farcical "national emergency".

Despite the fact that Trump had previously declared support for high-speed rail (because countries like China have it), he mocked the California bullet train on Twitter and pointed out he's asking for far less for his border wall.

The Trump administration says it intends to cancel a $929 million federal grant for California's high-speed rail project.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's office and California rail officials didn't immediately comment.

The lawsuit, which California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Friday, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Monday evening.

The move by the Trump administration is just the next round in a long battle with the largely Democratic state over immigration and other issues.

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"This is California's money, and we are going to fight for it", said Newsom with regards to the railroad funds.

California Governor Gavin Newsom isn't happy President Trump is holding him accountable and liable for $3.5 billion in federal taxpayer funds after the state's "green" fast train project crashed and burned.

"We want that money back now", the president wrote February 13.

In response, a California state Senate staffer involved in the project told the Los Angeles Times that delays and changes to infrastructure projects are common.

A full-scale mock-up of a high-speed train is seen in Sacramento in 2017. The state agency running the project estimates that cost at $17.5 billion.

He said the state would focus on completing a shorter segment in the state's Central Valley while seeking new funding sources for the longer route.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation said it is "actively exploring every legal option" to get back the money. Newsom responded by tweeting that the money was "allocated by Congress for this project".

"There are 47 other cities across California that are not complying with their planning requirements in one way or another", Newsom said.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, a vocal critic of the project, said, "It doesn't matter what the state says about not giving the money back", he said.

The agreement with the federal government allows the administration to withhold or take back the money if the state fails to make "adequate progress" or 'complete the project or one of its tasks'.

Newsom called the move to withhold the money by the Trump administration retaliation for the state having filed the lawsuit the day before.

The government is also looking to collect on some of Californa's unpaid bills from the project.

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He's pledged to continue environmental work on the full line, which is required to keep the federal money. "We're building high-speed rail, connecting the Central Valley and beyond".

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