House Republicans take stand against high-speed rail spending

Bee Washington BureauJune 29, 2012 

A train travels through a wind farm in an illustration from the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

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WASHINGTON -- The Republican-controlled House on Friday reiterated its intention not to spend new federal dollars next year on California's controversial high-speed rail project.

By a 239-185 vote, cast nearly entirely along party lines, the House approved language authored by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, meant to block the high-speed rail spending. The amendment was added to a Fiscal 2013 transportation spending bill.

"We've got highways that are falling apart. We've got bridges that are falling apart," Denham said Friday. "We need to ensure our gas tax dollars get used for their intended purpose -- of actually improving our roads."

Denham's amendment sent a signal, in part, as the $51 billion transportation and housing bill did not include any funds for the Obama administration's high-speed rail initiative. California officials have indicated they do not need a new infusion of federal dollars during Fiscal 2013, which starts Oct. 1.

In a similar vein, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, won House approval Friday for an amendment blocking new federal spending for a subway system in San Francisco.

McClintock's new congressional district, starting next year, includes portions of Calaveras, Tuolumne, Fresno, Madera and Mariposa counties.

The reporter can be reached at (202) 383-0006, mdoyle@mcclatchydc.com or on Twitter @MichaelDoyle10

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