California on Tuesday sued the Trump administration over its decision to cancel $929 million in funds for the state's high-speed rail program.
The office of California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomAppeals court blocks California vaccine mandate for prison workers Apple, Nordstrom stores hit in latest smash-and-grab robberies Ted Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' MORE (D) said it plans to file a request today to temporarily delay the administration's move to repurpose those funds, which were granted to the state in 2010, according to Reuters.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) last week announced its decision to cancel the funding, claiming the state “repeatedly failed to comply” with the terms of the 2010 agreement or address lingering issues with the project.
“Despite FRA's identification of Project issues, and the ample time provided to [California High-Speed Rail Authority] to take appropriate remedial actions, CHSRA instead chose delay and inaction,” the FRA said in the letter.
“In FRA's view, there is nothing in FRA's long working relationship with CHSRA to suggest that CHSRA would likely be able to initiate and complete the necessary corrective actions, if given yet another opportunity,” the agency added.
The California lawsuit claims that the funds were revoked as political retribution for the state's opposition to President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE’s border wall and that high-speed rail is necessary for the Golden State’s transportation needs and fight against climate change.
“The real motive underlying FRA’s action was political: to punish California for opposing President Trump’s proposed border wall,” the state will argue, according to The Sacramento Bee. “There is no reasonable alternative explanation for FRA’s abrupt and unprecedented action.”
The lawsuit goes on to tie Trump’s criticism of California with Newsom’s remarks on the border wall.
It notes that Newsom said on Feb. 18th that Trump’s efforts to build new barriers on the southern border was to fix a “manufactured crisis.” California also filed a lawsuit to block Trump’s plan to use money already appropriated by Congress for the barriers.
“As I predicted, 16 states, led mostly by Open Border Democrats and the Radical Left, have filed a lawsuit in, of course, the 9th Circuit! California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge!” Trump tweeted the next day.
“The failed Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting, is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed Wall!” he added in a second tweet.
The administration first considered cutting off funds for the project in February after Newsom said the rail’s scope would be curtailed amid cost hikes, delays and management concerns. A revised proposal would build a 119-mile connection between Merced and Bakersfield in the state’s Central Valley rather than a 520-mile rail that would connect San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2033.
Newsom has said he has not given up on the ultimate goal of connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles by high-speed rail.
Updated at 3:45 p.m.