California GOP delegation urges Chao to block rail funding

california high speed rail

California’s GOP congressional delegation has sent the Trump administration a letter asking it to block a federal grant that would ultimately support the state’s high speed rail project, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The Jan. 24 letter was sent to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and was signed by all 14 of California’s House Republicans, including Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who chairs the House Railroads, Pipelines & Hazardous Materials subcommittee.

In the letter, the delegation urges Chao to block approval of a $650-million grant the Transportation Department is considering for the Bay Area’s Caltrain commuter rail agency which would help install an electrical system. The high speed rail project would eventually use that same line between San Jose and San Francisco.

Republicans have been critical of the high speed rail project because of its rising costs and curtailed scope.

Democrats sent a letter of their own asking Chao to support the grant.

It is not known where President Trump and Secretary Chao stand on the project. On the one hand, Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding over the sanctuary cities issue. But the president has also promised massive infrastructure spending.

A decision could come next week.

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