Trump Demands $2.5Bn Back For California’s High-Speed Rail Fail; Pulls $929Mn Grant

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Wed, 02/20/2019

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) says it is exploring legal options to claw back $2.5 billion from California in federal funds which have already been spent on the ill-fated statewide high-speed rail system, according to the New York Times.

The Trump administration is also canceling a $929 million grant which was allocated to the California High-Speed Rail Authority detailed in a letter from DOT, just one week after California Governor Newsom announced that the project had been derailed by cost overruns and numerous delays. Instead of canceling the entire project, however, Newsom announced that the state will focus on finishing the line currently under construction, running 171 miles from Merced to Bakersfield – and could open as soon as 2027.

The decision to yank the grant money and claw back the billions in federal funds comes one day after California filed a lawsuit along with 15 other states challenging President Trump’s emergency declaration on the border.

The $77 billion Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train, which has been a goal of California transportation planners for decades, has long faced opposition from Mr. Trump and other Republicans. But on Tuesday morning, the president explicitly tied the rail line to efforts to stymie construction of the Mexican border wall. -New York Times

Trump slammed California’s decision to sue, noting on Tuesday over Twitter that “The failed Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting, is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed Wall!”

One day after California canceled the project, President Trump tweeted of California: “They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!”

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