Trump wants California to pay back billions for bullet train

Trump wants California to pay back billions for bullet train

According to a statement, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans to terminate $929 million in federal grant funds yet to be paid for the California high-speed rail project initially planned to connect the L.A. Basin to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Despite the fact that Trump had previously declared support for high-speed rail (because countries like China have it), he mocked the California bullet train on Twitter and pointed out he's asking for far less for his border wall.

For starters, The New York Times reports, "the Trump administration also said it was terminating a $929 million federal grant to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, according to a letter the Transportation Department sent Tuesday", almost zeroing out the federal government's contribution to California's statewide high speed rail projects for the 2019 fiscal year.

"It's no coincidence that the administration's threat comes 24 hours after California led 16 states in challenging the president's farcical 'national emergency, '" Newsom said in a statement.

California is leading a 16-state coalition in challenging Trump's power to declare an emergency so he can accelerate his plans for a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border.

The move by the Trump administration is just the next round in a long battle with the largely Democratic state over immigration and other issues.

Newsom says California won't sit "idly by" and will fight to keep the money.

"The president also tweeted last week that the project was a "'green' disaster" and that the state should pay back the federal government's "three and a half billion dollars" in the project. We want that money back now.

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it is looking into cancelling the $929m grant as well as recovering a $2.5bn grant already being spent by the state.

Image copyright California High-Speed Rail Authority Image caption Construction has begun on parts of the rail system Can Trump take back the funds?

California hasn't yet fully matched the $2.5 billion in stimulus money.

The train project has faced repeated cost overruns and delays since California voters approved it in 2008. Trump said in a tweet Wednesday morning. Because they are no longer able to claim more than $10,000 under the SALT deduction, it made more financial sense for California's rich to hold onto their money and earn interest until the April 15 filing deadline rather than paying the tax during 2018, as usual.

"Abandoning high speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it", Newsom said. Newsom responded by tweeting that the money was "allocated by Congress for this project".

The Trump administration is planning to withdraw nearly $1 billion in pending funding for California's long-awaited high-speed train project, citing cost overruns and inefficiencies. Instead it could withhold money from other transportation projects.

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