During the House Appropriations Committee FY2022 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development markup, Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) offered an amendment that would prohibit federal funds from being used for California’s failed High Speed Rail project. The proposed Los Angeles to San Francisco line was originally estimated to cost roughly $33 billion to begin operating in 2020. However the failed project is now projected to cost $100 billion and still has no concrete date of completion.
During the markup, Garcia urged that federal funds no longer be wasted on the failed project.
“This really is about taking care of our beautiful State of California and not wasting precious taxpayers’ dollars on a program that is going to go nowhere. I support meaningful rail improvements, I support high speed rail projects—just not this one,” said Garcia during the hearing. “This is not high-speed rail; this is actually what I would call Franken-Rail, and like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster: this contraption is not smart, it is not pretty, it stinks, it is clumsily meandering through our communities, and is scaring our residents. It’s sucking up time and resources…We don’t need this high-speed rail in California. We can’t afford this high-speed rail in California, and neither can the federal government. We need to invest in meaningful rail projects like Metrolink and capacity on freeways instead.”
Garcia’s amendment was ultimately blocked by Democrats. California Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee Representatives Ken Calvert (CA-42), David Valadao (CA-21), and Garcia voted in favor of the amendment. California Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Norma Torres (CA-35), and Josh Harder (CA-10) all voted against the amendment.
Earlier this year, Garcia co-sponsored the Stop the High-Speed Money Pit Act, which would prohibit the use of Federal financial assistance for certain high-speed-rail developments in the State of California.
Garcia also advocated against funding the California Rail Project to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development hearing.
Click here to watch Garcia introduce his amendment and click here to watch his closing arguments.