We first reported on California’s ambitious high speed rail project in 2017 - as some called it a boondoggle wasting tax money. Joce Sterman joins us with an update now.
California Governor Gavin Newsom is scaling back the project...saying it’s too expensive and would take too long to complete. In his state of the state address earlier this year, he said a short section of the planned route can be completed, but there’s no way to get the whole thing done.
In 2008, the state's voters gave the go-ahead to finance the massive project, but it's taken almost a decade for construction to start, on a 520 mile high speed train system connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles. It's considered the future of travel in the United States, but a future built on the backs of US taxpayers, with more than 3 billion dollars invested so far.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy: To date the project in California has been the biggest recipient of federal money - billions of dollars.
Former Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the rail project a boondoggle. McCarthy has been a vocal critic as far back as 2012.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy: I know Hollywood happens to be in California but this is not a Kevin Costner movie. If we build it, I don't know if they will come. And that is not how we play with taxpayers money.