GAO to review Calif. high-speed rail

"The work is just getting started so we don’t have an anticipated completion date as of yet," a spokesman for the GAO said in an email. "Among the issues we plan to look at are how reliable are the rail authority's estimates of the project's construction cost and financing, their estimates of passenger traffic and revenues and the estimates of the project's economic impacts."

Issa is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Mica leads the chamber's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Rahall is the ranking Democrat on the Transportation Committee and Brown is the top member of the minority on the panel's subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.

As the largest high-speed railway still under consideration in the U.S., the California railway has emerged as symbol of the partisan differences on transportation funding. Republicans on the Transportation Committee have argued that it makes more sense to build high-speed railways in densely populated areas like the Northeast, while Democrats have compared the construction of new rail lines to the development of the interstate highway system in the 1950s. 

Republicans in the House passed an amendment last month to block any of the money that would be allocated by a proposed $260 billion transportation bill from going to California railway.