The Obama administration, which has been urging California to push through growing opposition to its bullet train project, asked Congress on Monday for nearly $35 billion in passenger rail funding over the next five years.
The request in its fiscal 2013 budget includes $1 billion for next year and nearly $8 billion in 2018, a massive funding plan that faces difficult odds of getting through Congress. Last year, the Republican-controlled House and even the Democratic-led Senate slashed a similar request and left no new money for any high-speed rail project.
The California project has about $3.3 billion in federal grants from prior years that it plans to use to start construction this year and an additional $9 billion in bond money approved by voters in 2008. But the project is short $86 billion and Republicans are attempting to freeze any additional federal funding for it.
-- Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles TimesImage: An artist's rendering of a proposed California high speed rail station is shown. Credit: California High-Speed Rail Authority