Trump, Newsom chat about California high speed rail

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WASHINGTON – California Gov. Gavin Newsom shook hands with President Trump at a White House dinner Sunday night, where Trump brought up the contentious high speed rail project during a brief conversation, Newsom told reporters.

Despite their differences, Newsom says he want to “continue to have a relationship with the president on things that matter.” The governor also held closed-door meetings with several Cabinet officials, although it’s not clear if the Department of Transportation was included.

Both Republican and Democratic members of California’s Congressional delegation also met with Newsom, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, Rep. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. While both Democrats have so far been silent on the administration’s actions to claw back $3.5 billion in grants for the project, McClintock told Fox News on Monday, “This high speed rail has been a boondoggle since the day it was proposed.” McCarthy has tweeted that “It’s time to move on from #CAHSR.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the California High Speed Rail Authority tells Trains News Wire that the agency is feverishly working on a response to the Federal Railroad Administration’s letter stating its intent to cancel a $929 million grant and seek the return of $2.5 billion previously transferred to the CHSRA.

In a statement sent to Trains News Wire, the rail authority’s CEO, Brian Kelly, says, “We have received and are reviewing the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) letter threatening federal funds dedicated to the high-speed rail project. We are preparing a comprehensive response by their requested deadline of March 5. We remain committed to delivering high-speed rail and its many economic, environmental, and mobility benefits to Californians.”

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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