The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is attempting to block federal grant funding for the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
GOP lawmakers are pushing forward a transportation appropriations bill that will directly block federal funding to California’s high-speed rail project.
Driving the news: The California High-Speed Rail Authority is awaiting approval of a federal grant of around $28 billion, which would allow it to complete the initial operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield, purchase electric train sets, and construct a rail station in Fresno.
- The project has the support of President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who have advocated for its approval.
- Governor Newsom recently sent a letter to President Biden urging him to approve the federal grant for the project.
- President Biden previously restored a nearly $1 billion grant to the High-Speed Rail Authority in 2021, which had been blocked by the Trump Administration.
The backstory: The California High-Speed Rail Authority has already environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.
- The GOP opposition comes after the High-Speed Rail Authority received a $202 million grant from the US Department of Transportation to construct grade separations in Shafter, California.
- The initial operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield is tentatively scheduled to begin operations around 2030.
- The project aims to unite the Bay Area with the Los Angeles Metropolitan area through high-speed electric trains reaching speeds of over 200 mph.
- Phase 2 of the project aims to expand the system to connect Sacramento in the north and San Diego in the south.
- The House is set to vote on the proposed appropriations bill on Wednesday.