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Trump v. Train
February 20, 2019

President Trump is looking to take back more than $3 billion in federal money from California, and the state's governor is calling the move "political retribution."

The Trump administration on Tuesday said it will cancel a $929 million federal grant for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, saying the state's Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train project has "failed to make reasonable progress," per The New York Times. The administration also wants California to pay back $2.5 billion in federal money it's already spent.

This comes after California said it would be scaling back the $77 billion rail project, saying the version it had planned would "cost too much" and "take too long" but that construction on the 119-mile Central Valley rail link will still be completed, per Reuters. Upon making that announcement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he was "not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump."

Now, that's exactly what he's fighting against, and Newsom claims this is a direct response to his state's lawsuit against the administration for its declaration of a national emergency to secure border wall funding. "This is clear political retribution by President Trump, and we won't sit idly by," Newsom said. "This is California’s money, and we are going to fight for it."

Trump on Twitter previously compared the high-speed rail project to the border wall, saying it is "hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed wall!"

Brendan Morrow

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