7:04 PM EST
Doug LaMalfa, R-CA 1st

Mr. LaMALFA. Indeed, when we look at the project in totality here, what ended up being $100 billion to be legal under Proposition 1A, to have a true high-speed rail--which is required--to go from San Francisco to L.A. at a high speed, 2 hours and 40 minutes, a $100 billion project was revised now down to a $68 billion project, which does not include high-speed all the way to San Francisco in the north. It would stop at the San Jose area, and then you are required to use local transportation,

local light rail, what have you, to get all the way up to San Francisco. And at the southern end, you have, in L.A. County, it doesn't go to downtown Los Angeles under the new plan. It would stop somewhere in the north, remote north L.A. County portion. So it isn't truly high-speed rail anymore.

As you mentioned, too, Mr. Denham, on that, if they take the Palmdale route, they probably can't even sustain those speeds. So it is illegal on that count that it probably can't make a 2-hour-and-40-minute ride. And with that, you have three different segments. So if you have to buy three different tickets, I don't know how the customers are being suited by three different stops like that, as well.

We were told back in the day that the price of a ticket would somehow be tied to 85 percent of what an airline ticket was to go from north to south or south to north; and a real estimate, if this were self-sustaining, it would be somewhere maybe triple of that.

So the impacts of that, again, California agriculturally with water supply is struggling this year. So for a fraction of the amount of money it would take to bolster California's storage, we are going to spend perhaps what would have been $100 billion--in the revised number, $68 billion--to do an illegal Prop 1A version from south San Jose to north Los Angeles. That is a $55 billion gap on the entire project right there.

We can only point to $13 billion worth of funding, the 9.9 from the bond. Bonds have consequences. They have to be paid back by an already financially strapped State. As well, the 3.5 billion or so that is promised from the Federal Government under the 2009 stimulus has strings, too. It has an expiration period.

Please embellish on that a little bit, Mr. Denham, because we know there are some very important deadlines coming on that as well, if we can.