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McCarthy Statement on DOT California High-Speed Rail Announcement

May 16, 2019
Press Release

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) terminated the FY10 Cooperative Agreement with the CA High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA). The FRA found that the CHSRA had violated the terms of the agreement on the high-speed rail project. The FRA will rescind nearly $929 million in unspent federal funds from California’s failed high-speed rail project.
 
"The California high-speed rail project has been inherently flawed from the very beginning – timelines have not been met, ridership projections have been exaggerated, and the budget has ballooned by tens of billions of dollars,” said Congressman McCarthy. “Today’s announcement ensures that we move on from the failed boondoggle and focus on actual solutions that help Californians, like desperately-needed water storage and infrastructure projects. With this decision, I urge Speaker Pelosi and the entire California delegation to help schedule the RAILWAY Act for a vote on the House Floor, so that we can ensure this federal money can come back to California and strengthen our water storage infrastructure." 

"Administrator Batory has been thoughtful in the decision-making process, and I applaud him for protecting hardworking Americans," McCarthy stated.

 Background

  • California ended its original goal of a high-speed passenger rail service from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which was a crucial component to its FRA grant funding.  
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration announced it would rescind nearly $929 million in unspent Federal funds effective March 5, 2019. These funds were made available to the California high-speed rail project nearly a decade ago through the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
  • FRA is exploring all alternatives regarding the return of an additional $2.5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds given to CHSRA.
  • Congressman Kevin McCarthy introduced the RAILWAY Act on March 7, 2019. This bill would repurpose federal high-speed rail project funds to surface water storage projects (authorized by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act that was enacted in 2016), as well as to projects designed to help small, rural communities:
    • Develop new sources of water when residential wells run dry; and,
    • Reduce or eliminate elevated nitrate levels in drinking water.

To view the FRA letter, click here.