|7:02 PM EST||
Jeff Denham, R-CA 10th
Mr. DENHAM. It would be a fraction of the price, tens of thousands of jobs that would be lost of seeing farmland that goes by without being planted this year.
We have a huge drought. There are huge issues. And what everybody is trying to say is a high-speed rail--keep in mind, this initial segment, this initial operating segment which has a $20 billion funding gap, is not going to be electrified. It will not be high-speed. By their numbers, by their plan, this is another set of track that will not be electrified, that will run as it is being run today, with a $20 billion gap. So even if you came up with the entire $32 billion of this initial segment,
we are still stuck in the same situation that we are. We are just that much further in the hole.
Now, I know some of my colleagues would say, well, just spend the money as quickly as you can. Let's just spend some of it, and like other projects, once you have started it, some day the money will come. I don't think we can deal with that type of pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. I believe we have got to have a full funding plan that makes sense, one that has a private investor that was promised to us.
We have heard several times that, if you just write the legislation, we will have a private investor; if you just put it on the ballot and approve it by the legislature before it actually goes to the voters, we will have private investors that will sign on to this. Then it was right after the ballot passed, we have nearly $10 billion committed to by the taxpayers, for sure we are going to have a private investor now. [Page: H217]
Five years later, after the Federal Government has come up with several billion dollars, after the voters are now on the hook for $10 billion, and still today there is no private investor. You would be a fool to invest in this. This isn't Florida's project. This isn't Texas' project. This is a project with a huge funding gap that still is not going to be electrified--by their plan.