On Thursday, the Trump administration announced that they are planning on pulling $929 million in federal funds away from California’s high-speed rail project which has turned out to be a major failure.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said that the officials of California “failed to make reasonable progress” on the project and they didn’t meet federal requirements either.
According to the Department of Transportation, there is still another $2.5 billion that has been granted to California so they are “actively exploring every legal option” to recover this money as well.
Check out what the Stars and Stripes reported in relation to the growing conflict:
The U.S. Department of Transportation said California officials “failed to make reasonable progress” and had not met federal requirements for the project. But the decision is also consistent with President Donald Trump’s penchant for sparring with leaders of the liberal-leaning state.
After Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, in February proposed reducing the scope of the rail project, Trump tweeted that the project was a “green disaster” that “wasted many billions of dollars.”
“They owe the Federal Government three and a half-billion dollars,” Trump tweeted.
In addition to revoking the federal government’s agreement to contribute $929 million to the project, the administration on Thursday said it “continues to consider all options regarding the return of $2.5 billion” in stimulus funds.
California officials have argued that Trump’s move to pull federal funding from the project was payback for the state’s opposition to Trump’s promised border wall.
This news seemed to greatly anger the Democrat governor of California Gavin Newsom who called the action an “illegal and direct assault on California.”
“Just as we have seen from the Trump Administration’s attacks on our clean air standards, our immigrant communities and in countless other areas, the Trump Administration is trying to exact political retribution on our state. This is California’s money, appropriated by Congress, and we will vigorously defend it in court,” the governor said in a statement.
Earlier in the month, Newsom announced that he was going to cancel the high speed rail project, claiming it “would cost too much and, respectfully, would take too long” to complete.
Newsom also mentioned that he still wanted a portion of the money to complete a small portion of the track in the Central Valley.
“I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump,” Newsom said to state legislatures.
President Trump seems to have other plans for where the money should be spent. Earlier in the year, the President announced that he wants to use the money on the border wall.
“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars. They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!” The President said in February.
If successful, the $3.5 billion would be used towards a large chunk of the wall along the Southern border.