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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Rep. Denham amendment would kill California high-speed rail funding

Yesterday, the House approved an amendment by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) that would block any funding from the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill H.R. 4745 from being used for California's high-speed rail project.

The amendment passed on a primarily party-line vote, 227-186, according to The Sacramento Bee.

"California’s high speed-rail project comes nowhere close to what voters supported with Prop 1A in 2008," said Denham in a prepared statement. "Ridership numbers have decreased, ride times have slowed and estimated costs have skyrocketed. The [California High Speed Rail Authority] has no viable plan to secure state funds or private money and in the meantime has spent billions in taxpayer dollars. Congress cannot authorize spending any more money on a project without a future."

In January 2014, Denham introduced the Responsible Rail and Deterring Deficiency Act to suspend all federal funding for California's high-speed rail project.

"I think it's unfortunate, because it continues the politicization of transportation policy," California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee.

Killing the project would cancel already committed contracts and would cost jobs for the more than 8,500 people already working on the project, he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/11/2014