Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Dem lawmaker: 'The president has it in for California'

February 21, 2019
In The News

A Democratic California congressman says that President Trump has an ax to grind against his state after the Trump administration announced that the Department of Transportation would seek the return of federal funds for a high-speed rail project that California recently announced it would scale back.

Rep. John Garamendi told CNN on Wednesday that the move by the Transportation Department amounted to "payback" for the numerous lawsuits state officials led by Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) have brought against the Trump administration over issues such as immigration and the environment.

"Well, of course it's payback, and it's not the first time that the president has threatened California," Garamendi said.

"The president has it in for California," he continued. "But we'll just shrug our shoulders and go about doing that we're doing, which is to create the fifth-biggest economy in the world, to continue to create jobs, and to continue to push back against terrible policies by an angry man in the White House."

His remarks came hours after the Trump administration announced that it was canceling nearly $929 million in grants planned for California's high-speed rail system, which the state still plans to build between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and would additionally explore "every legal option to seek the return from California of $2.5 billion in Federal funds (Federal Railroad Administration) previously granted for this now-defunct project."

California's governor replied to one of Trump's critical tweets, vowing to fight the administration over the money's return.

"We're building high-speed rail," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted, adding, "This is CA's money, allocated by Congress for this project. We're not giving it back."