“The irony is not lost on me,” says California Governor Gavin Newsom about the high-speed rail project Friday.
He says the state is going to prove it’s holding up its federal agreement for the high-speed rail.
“In essence what I said only reinforced what we need to do legally under the grant, which is focus on the Central Valley. The federal regulations require that focus,” Newsom explains.
The governor spent Friday morning reading to children at an elementary school in Sacramento, encouraging kids to never give up.
Later, with reporters he made it clear he’s not giving up on the rail project or its federal money. He confirmed the state is putting together a detailed response to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to avoid losing $3.5 billion for the project.
The FRA decided to cancel the money after the governor announced immediate plans for the project to only include a segment from Bakersfield to Modesto.
Newsom soon clarified additional future segments would include other regions of the state, but that the first valley segment is to get momentum going on the construction, proving its usefulness.
“That’s why they’ll see very well that what we’re doing is consistent with the regulations and rules and that’s why we made the decision we made, going forward,” Newsom says.
Newsom spent part of this week in Washington D.C., saying he had conversations with the Trump Administration and lawmakers clarifying the plan and agreement.
“It was an infamous vote, that you had to focus on the Central Valley. That’s what we’re doing, we’re doubling down on that, and that’s why I’m sort of perplexed by the administration’s response and that’s why I think it’s purely political,” he further explains.
That recent visit to D.C. didn’t change the governor’s mind about President Trump. He maintains he thinks the administration is bullying California, citing the state’s dozens of lawsuits against the federal government.