Getting the pulse of Washington. The times, they certainly are a'changin'. It's become obvious that high-speed rail proponents and defenders are talking more and more nonsense. Today was Secretary Ray LaHood's opportunity.
Please note that Secretary Ray LaHood is not going to let those Republicans best him by taking away his high-speed rail funding. He's just going to go to the Japanese and Chinese and get them to put up the $100 billion or so required. And that, dear friends is how the Obama Administration is going to lead us into the future; with a Chinese bought and paid for high-speed train, doubtlessly also built in China.
We can assume that Secretary LaHood hasn't been reading the papers to learn about the high-speed rail accident in China and what a major calamity it was, or the corruption, and shoddy workmanship, and being safety-blind. And, when he says private funding, that can't mean China, where even private isn't so private.
If this isn't all about politics, I don't know what is!
Congress says give California's high-speed rail money to Northeast
1:30 p.m. | Kitty Felde | KPCC
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
It was “beat up on California” day in the U.S. House Transportation Committee. Lawmakers from around the country want the state’s high-speed rail money.
Member after member told federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to stop “wasting” federal high-speed rail money on California. Instead, they urged him to spend it in what they say is the only place with the population density to make it work: the Boston-New York-D.C. route.
Secretary LaHood would have none of it, snapping back at lawmakers and defending the nearly $4 billion spent on California’s project. He denied that the Northeast was getting short changed, pointing out the region just got its own chunk of change: nearly a billion dollars.
"We do believe in the Northeast Corridor," he told members. "But we also believe in America. We believe there are people in other places in America that would like to have a train to ride!"
Committee members pointed out that California’s high-speed rail project did itself no favors with recent news about skyrocketing costs, delayed construction and lowered passenger estimates. But just two of the six Californians on the committee attended the hearing.
One of them, Republican Congressman Jeff Denham of Fresno, harbors serious doubts about spending federal dollars on a project that has yet to attract private money. LaHood says he's had meetings with Gov. Jerry Brown as well as Chinese and Japanese investors about attracting that private money to the project.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has scheduled a hearing next week to examine California's high-speed rail project.