|7:09 PM EST||
Jeff Denham, R-CA 10th
Mr. DENHAM. Well, certainly, we are falling way behind the rest of the world. Other technologies are starting to flourish in other parts of the world, yet here this project will take at least 30 years but, more likely, 50 to 60 based on where they are currently standing on the project. So this is something that will be far outdated technology if it ever gets completed.
But the real question is on the funding. Where is the commitment? This President certainly could look for or come up with other money. He could propose other money to fulfill this project. Not even Democrats will support that. That is not a Republican issue. This is an issue across the Nation saying, why would we come up with money, when we are starved across the Nation, to throw at a project in California that is being mismanaged?
I think that there are real questions there not only for the administration but private investors that are not willing to sink money into a failing project. They don't know what they are on the hook for. They don't know how long of a commute this will be or what the ridership numbers will ever be.
Even by this entire plan, there are too many stops. Whether you talk to the Rail Authority or whether you talk to investors around the world, with that many stops in those locations, you will never get to the 220-miles-per-hour speed, and you will never get to 2 hours and 40 minutes.
This thing is full of holes. It makes no sense for voters, and voters should have a say-so on whether or not they are going to commit any initial money or any further money as we move forward. This is about our future, not yours and mine, but our kids, our grandkids, and the type of debt that we saddle them with. At a certain point, I think that not only Californians, but Americans, need to wake up and say whether or not this is a project that deserves an investment.
Can we do things smarter? Can we do things like Florida and Texas? I don't think Florida and Texas are going to be alone. I think there will be other States that step up and find ways to do high-speed rail and find ways to make a commonsense solution in their States.
But in this State, this project is flawed. It is initially flawed by $20 billion, but certainly by more than $55 billion if we decide to move forward. At a certain point, you have to ask, how much is enough? I would say that now is enough.