Trump wants California to reimburse billions for a fast train



President Donald J. Trump meets with Liu He, Deputy Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, at the White House Oval Office at the White House on Thursday, January 31, 2019 in Washington, DC.

The Washington Post | The Washington Post | Getty Images

President Donald J. Trump meets with Liu He, Deputy Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, at the White House Oval Office at the White House on Thursday, January 31, 2019 in Washington, DC.

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it plans to cancel $ 929 million allocated to the California high-speed train project and wants the state to return an additional $ 2.5 billion it had already spent.

The US Department of Transportation announcement responds to President Donald Trump's threats to recover $ 3.5 billion from the federal government to California for the construction of a high-speed train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Governor Gavin Newsom pledged to fight to keep the money and said that this decision was a reaction from California to sue the government again, which would have led Trump's emergency declaration to pay. for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

"It's clearly a political reward for President Trump, and we will not sit idly by," Newsom said in a statement. "It's California's money and we will fight to get it."

It's the last fight between the White House and California. Earlier in the day, Trump linked the emergency declaration file to the train, noting that California had filed the protest on behalf of 16 states.

"California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on its uncontrollable Fast Train, with no hope of being completed, seems to be in charge!" the president tweeted.

The train project has faced cost overruns and repeated delays since it was approved by California voters in 2008. The Trump administration argued Tuesday that the state had not provided the necessary funds and could not finish some construction work by 2022.

Newsom said in his first State of the State address last week that he was considering cutting back the project and immediately focusing on building 275 km of tracks in the center of the California. His office said he was still considering completing the full range, although he said the current plan would cost too much and take too much time.

He is committed to continuing the environmental work on the entire chain, which is necessary to retain federal funds.

However, the US Department of Transportation said Newsom's comments last week have heightened the administration's concerns about the project.

"Governor Newsom has tabled a new proposal that represents a significant step back from the original vision and commitment of the state and counteracts the purpose for which federal funding has been awarded," read the letter describing the case of the cancellation of money.


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