House votes to cut off money for high-speed rail

Rep. Jeff Denham’s amendment to would cut off federal funding for California’s high-speed rail project was approved by the House on Tuesday.

Denham introduced H.R. 3893, the Responsible Rail and Deterring Deficiency Act, in January with support from all California House Republicans. The House passed it Tuesday as an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, H.R. 4745.

“Without a viable funding plan like the one voters supported, California’s high speed rail project is going nowhere fast,” Denham, R-Modesto, said in a news release. “I’m pleased to have the support of so many of my House colleagues who recognize that we shouldn’t be spending any more taxpayer money on a project without a future.”

The roll call was 227-186. Among the six Democrats who voted for it were four Californians who face tough fights to keep their seats this November: Ami Bera, D-Rancho Cordova; Julia Brownley, D-Thousand Oaks; Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Springs; and Scott Peters, D-San Diego.

Here’s what Denham said about it on the floor:

But before you get too excited: This has happened before. Denham offered the same amendment to the same THUD (!) appropriations bill in June 2012, and that one passed on a 239-185 vote; all California Democrats (and all but four House Democrats) had voted against it.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Sad that #CA11 nominee Mark DeSaulnier gave cover to Congressman Jeff Denham’s lame, job-killing amendment during his endorsement interview with the editorial board at @joshrichman:disqus’s fine daily.

  • Naj

    Just more Republican posturing bullshit.

  • KIll the high speed rail boondoggle!

  • Craig Thomas Yates

    Metropolitan Transportation Commission chief Steve Heminger: “We were racing an earthquake.” Excuse excuse excuse, how many excuses are there from MTC for 21 other bridges?

    Time to disband entire rubber stamp MTC Commission and Staff especially Steve Heminger.

    Contract all the services of Caltrans, California bring in Utah roadway services and bring in quality engineers from Disney land.

  • JohnW

    Unfortunately, Jerry’s legacy project seems to be like the name of that runaway train movie, “Unstoppable.”

  • Robert S. Alllen

    2008 Prop 1A’s “Safe, Reliable” HSR on Caltrain would be NEITHER SAFE NOR RELIABLE. Stop HSR to the Bay Area at San Jose, with nearly seamless transfers there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, VTA Light Rail, and the planned SV BART. Squander no more HSR money on Caltrain

  • Robert S. Alllen

    Then up-grade UP/Amtrak East Bay Mulford route from San Jose to a transfer station at the BART overhead in Oakland (6 minutes from San Francisco’s Embarcadero station with a train every 4 minutes) and on to Sacramento: no costly trans-Bay HSR crossing!

  • JohnW

    Does your comment mean you are in favor of proceeding with the HSR project, notwithstanding the fact that it’s not truly high speed, has a limited route, will cost even more than the restated projections and there is no private investor participation on the horizon?