By Signal Staff
Seeking to prohibit federal funds from being used for California’s controversial high-speed rail project, Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, offered an amendment during the House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2023 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Bill.
However, the amendment was shot down by the Democrat majority on the Appropriations Committee.
Originally, the high-speed rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco was estimated to cost about $33 billion and begin operating in 2020. However, the project is now projected to cost $105 billion and counting, and still has no concrete date of completion.
“This rail project was meant to cost the taxpayers only so much, and yet the failing execution of this project is now resulting in a ballooning cost estimate without a realistic timeline for completion,” Garcia said in a prepared statement. “The coordinate system for this project is completely out of whack from its initial plan, which is why I proposed there be no further federal dollars wasted here.”
Garcia added: “This is a straightforward amendment. I’m not anti-trains. I think they serve a purpose in the greater metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco. I am, however, anti-government waste and that is why I proposed this amendment.”
Last year, Garcia advocated against funding the California Rail Project to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development hearing.
A state budget trailer bill signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom included $4.2 billion in funding for the project.
“California’s political leaders listened to voters and stepped up for the future of high-speed rail,” Ray LaHood, former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary and co-chair of the U.S. High-Speed Rail Coalition, said in a prepared statement. “I am gratified that funding for this critical legacy project will be expanded, creating new job opportunities and leading the way not only for California but for the country.”