California Alleges Trump Pulled Funding for Rail Project in Retaliation for Border Wall Stance

The State of California has filed a new lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that the Federal Railroad Administration’s sudden decision to pull almost $1 billion in funding for a planned high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles was payback for the state’s opposition to Trump’s plans to construct a wall along the southern border of the US as part of his immigration policy. The state’s lawsuit alleges that in the days following certain criticisms made by California Governor Gavin Newsom of Trump’s border wall plans, Trump made a series of Tweets criticizing the state’s position on his immigration policies as well as its handling of the rail project, demonstrating the link between the funding cancellation and the border wall dispute. 

In addition to the lawsuit, California will seek a temporary restraining order to prevent the federal government from spending the money designated for the rail project on other things. Though California’s high-speed rail project has languished for years, state officials maintain their commitment to seeing it though, citing its environmental, economic, and mobility-related benefits.

Additional Reading

Complaint, State of California et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Transportation et al., filed May 21, 2019

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