Rich Pedroncelli / AP
The Trump administration has announced plans to cancel a $ 929 million federal grant to California's high-speed rail project. The administration also wants to recover $ 2.5 billion of federal funds already spent by California for the project.
The Ministry of Transportation accuses the California authorities of failing to meet several delays related to the $ 929 million credit allocated to the high-speed rail line of the state.
In a letter from the Federal Railroad Administration to the state's High-Rail Rail Authority, the federal authorities announced that it would terminate the subsidy effective March 5.
The FRA letter adds that the agency is concerned that California is modifying its initial plan to "link San Francisco to the north, Los Angeles and Anaheim to the south".
In his keynote address last week, Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, proposed cutting back the project and focusing on completing a link in the Central Valley between Bakersfield and Merced.
A day later, President Trump tweeted This California high-speed train project was an ecological "disaster" and required the state to return billions of federal dollars.
"California has been forced to cancel this massive high-speed train project after spending and wasting billions of dollars, they owe the federal government $ 3.5 billion, and we want to get that money back now," he said. Trump said.
Newsom responded with his tweet, saying, "False news, we are building a high-speed train connecting Central Valley and beyond, which is the amount of CA money allocated by Congress to this project. The train leaves the station – better get on board! (Also, desperately looking for a wall $$ ??) "
In a statement released Tuesday, Newsom said that the Trump administration's threat "is a clear political revenge" related to California's involvement in a lawsuit challenging the US government's emergency declaration. president for the construction of a border wall.
Trump himself connected the two questions in one tweet Tuesday, "As I predicted, 16 states, mostly run by democrats from the open border and the radical left, filed a lawsuit in the 9th circuit! Train, with no hope of completion , seems in charge! "
The cost of the initial plan to build a high-speed link between San Francisco and Los Angeles is currently estimated at $ 77 billion, about double the original price.
As reported by the Associated Press, the $ 929 million that Trump threatens to cancel was approved by Congress nearly a decade ago. The way the administration can force California to surrender the $ 2.5 billion that it has already spent is unclear, although the FRA letter says that it is not the case. agency "explore all available legal options".