It did not take long for one of Orange County’s newest members of Congress to start stepping up for California taxpayers.
This week, US Representative Michelle Steel (CA-48) introduced legislation that would stop any further federal funds from being spent on California’s decades long failure: the “High-Speed Rail” project.
The California High-Speed Rail project started in 2009, with the goal of building a high-speed rail train from Los Angeles to San Francisco that would be fully operable by 2020. After more than a decade, the project’s price tag has ballooned from about $33 billion to more than $100 billion with no segments in operation and no realistic timeline for when the rail line will be completed. Despite these failures and no evidence supporting that completion of this project is attainable, California is pinning their hopes on a taxpayer bailout from the federal government to secure additional funding.
“The California High Speed Rail Project is a failure. Costs have continued to rise, while people and businesses have lost their properties, and the sections of the high-speed rail that do exist are inoperable,” said Rep. Steel. “This is an unacceptable and an embarrassing waste of taxpayer dollars. California has had over a decade to get this project on track and has failed to do so. Today I introduced a bill to ensure this poorly run, money pit project will not receive more federal funding.”
The project received over $2 billion in funding from the Obama Administration that requires the first segment to be operable by 2022. In 2019, the Trump administration cancelled $929 million in federal funding for the project. The state faces the real threat of having to return the money provided under the Obama administration if they cannot get a usable portion up and running.
Reps. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Devin Nunes (CA-22), Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-25), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Young Kim (CA-39), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Jay Obernolte (CA-08), Kevin Brady (TX-08), Rick Crawford (AR-01) and Scott Perry (PA-10) have signed on as original cosponsors of the bill.
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