Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-25) urged Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg against funding or supporting California’s High-Speed Rail during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) budget hearing.
“My hope is that while we aspire to fund programs that create jobs…we’re not only creating jobs but we’re also solving problems and bringing value to our communities relative to transportation,” Garcia said.
Garcia stated that funding programs that create jobs is important, but it is also just as important to make sure that there is an emphasis on not funding programs that are behind schedule and hemorrhaging massive amounts of money.
“There are going to be programs that we should not be funding,” Garcia stated. “There are programs that are either way behind schedule, that are hemorrhaging with massive overruns, that have little or no meaningful value to the transportation and infrastructure to our grids, to decompressing traffic in our local areas. I come from California, I come from Southern California where we have nightmare traffic. It’s the blueprint for disaster on our freeways.”
During the hearing, Garcia emphasized that while there are many transportation and infrastructure needs in California, the federal government should not waste funding on the state’s failed High-Speed Rail project.
“[California’s High-Speed Rail Project] is now over a decade behind. It was supposed to be done by 2020, but it’s really just now beginning,” Garcia added. “It’s way over budget, it was supposed to be $33 billion and it’s now looking to be about $100 billion, which is effectively about 20 percent of what the transportation elements of the JOBS Act will be. That’s a lot of money.”
Garcia joined fellow California Republican lawmakers in sending a letter to Secretary Buttigieg urging DOT against funding or supporting California High-Speed Rail.
“The California high-speed rail project has been a costly failure from day one,” the lawmakers wrote. “It has cost California taxpayers enough for this failed Obama-era project and we can’t afford to take on more deadweight projects with our $27 trillion debt still growing.”