By Michael Laris / The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday followed through with its plan to pull more than $900 million in federal funds from California’s beleaguered high-speed rail project.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said California officials “failed to make reasonable progress” and had not met federal requirements for the project. The decision is consistent with President Donald Trump’s penchant for sparring with leaders of the liberal-leaning state.
After Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in February proposed reducing the scope of the rail project, Trump tweeted that the project was a “green disaster” that “wasted many billions of dollars.”
“They owe the Federal Government three and a half-billion dollars,” Trump tweeted.
In addition to revoking the federal government’s agreement to contribute $929 million to the project, the administration on Thursday said it “continues to consider all options regarding the return of $2.5 billion” in stimulus funds.
California officials have previously said Trump’s move to pull federal funding from the project was “political retribution” against the state opposition to Trump’s promised border wall.
In February, Trump tweeted: “California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge” of efforts by a number of states to oppose the wall.