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Home / US / Trump wants California to pay back billions for bullet train

Trump wants California to pay back billions for bullet train



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

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it plans to cancel $ 929 million allocated to the California high-speed rail project and wants the state to return another $ 2.5 billion it has already spent.

The US Department of Transportation's announcement follows President Donald Trump's threats of clawing back $ 3.5 billion that the federal government has given to California to build a bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Gov. Gavin Newsom promised a fight to keep the money and said that the move was in response to California, suing the administration, this time on Trump's declaration of emergency to pay a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico .

"This is a clear political retribution from President Trump, and we do not sit idly," Newsom said in a statement. "This is California money, and we will fight for it".

It is the last spit between the White House and California. At the start of the day, Trump linked the emergency declaration to the train, noting that California had filed the request on behalf of 16 states.

"California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their Fast Train without control, with no hope of completion, seems to be in charge!" The president tweeted.

The train project has faced repeated cost overruns and delays since California voters approved it in 2008. The Trump administration claimed Tuesday that the state did not provide the necessary matching dollars and not can complete some construction work Deadline 2022.

Newsom said in his first state state speech last week that he planned to downsize the project and immediately focus on building 171 miles (275 kilometers) of railway tracks in central California . His office said he still plans to complete the complete line, although he said the current plan would cost too much and take too long.

He is committed to continuing the environmental work on the entire line, which is necessary to keep federal money.

But the US Department of Transportation said that Newsom's comments last week reinforced the concerns of the administration about the project.

"Governor Newsom unveiled a new proposal that represents a significant retreat from the vision and initial commitment of the state and frustrates the purpose for which federal funds have been allocated," read the letter that sets out the case for # 39; cancellation of money.


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