Trump administration pushes to recoup funds for California high-speed rail project

The Department of Transportation (DOT) said late Tuesday it plans to cancel $929 million in federal grants for a high-speed rail project in California after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said the state would scale back the effort.

The DOT in a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority said the project has not progressed as originally laid out in its agreement with the government.

The DOT additionally announced it would seek to recoup $2.5 billion in funds already allocated from the "now-defunct" rail project, CNN reported.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE in recent days has lashed out at California over the project, invoking its funds in his push for money to construct a wall along the southern border.

In a tweet early Wednesday, he called on the state to return billions of "wasted" dollars.

 

Voters in 2008 approved plans for a high-speed rail that would have linked Los Angeles and San Francisco, with the project scheduled to be finished in 2022.

Newsom during his State of the State address earlier this month said the existing plan was too expensive and urged legislators to scale back the project to connect parts of the state's Central Valley.

He pushed back after Trump initially told the state it owed the government billions, tweeting, "This is CA’s money, allocated by Congress for this project. We’re not giving it back.

"The train is leaving the station — better get on board!" Newsom tweeted.

Updated at 9:19 a.m.