President Donald Trump is taking back $1 billion from California, and Democrats are absolutely furious.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration said that it was canceling a federal grant to California worth roughly $1 billion after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state would no longer be building a high-speed rail system.
During his State of the Union address earlier this month, Newsom announced that he was cancelling the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed rail project, arguing that it “would cost too much and, respectfully, would take too long” to complete.
Newsom told state legislators that he wanted to use a portion of the money, which was a piece of a grant from former President Barack Obama as part of the 2009 stimulus, to complete part of a bullet train under construction in the Central Valley.
“I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump,” Newsom told state legislatures.
Trump, however, has other ideas for the money.
Last week, the president took to Twitter to demand the $3.5 billion back from California, where the president wants to use the money toward the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Newsom fired back by arguing that the money belonged to California and that they were “not giving it back.”
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration sent a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, stating that it was terminating its agreement with the state and would not provide the state with the $928,620,000 that was originally allocated for the high-speed rail project.
The letter detailed several reasons as to why it would not be allocating the money, including the fact that the high-speed rail more than likely will not be completed by 2022, which was part of the original agreement for the funds.
The FRA also said California’s high-speed rail authority has failed to provide “timely and satisfactory financial reports” to the federal government.
The Department of Transportation is also “actively exploring every legal option” to recover the other $2.5 billion granted by the federal government to California for the project.
Last week, the president tweeted that the liberal state owes the federal government that $3 billion dollars.
“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars. They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!” Trump wrote.
California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars. They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2019
The president is looking to use the $3.5 billion dollars toward building another major chunk of the wall along the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
Time will tell what happens next, but Trump is trying to get the $3.5 billion back from California and combine that with the $1.4 billion in the congressional deal to put a roughly $5 billion down payment on the wall.