U.S. House of Representatives Unanimously Passes Amendment Proposed by Congressman Jeff Denham to Nullify California High-Speed Rail Grant Agreement

Congressman Jeff Denham's District

Congressman Jeff Denham’s District

Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) received a press release this morning (June 10, 2015) from the office of U.S. Representative Jeff Denham, who represents many residents of the Central Valley concerned about the financial waste, ill-conceived route alignment, and relentless property takings of California High-Speed Rail.

You may thank Congressman Denham via email by going to this website:


Be especially sure to contact Congressman Denham if you live in his district. See the district map.

In a vote Tuesday evening (June 10, 2015), the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Congressman Jeff Denham’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill nullifying the current grant agreement between the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

“This amendment will finally hold California High-Speed Rail accountable for its finances,” said Rep. Denham. “The project is several decades behind schedule, nearly $70 billion over budget, and will not meet the speeds, travel times, or ridership levels promised to voters. No longer will they be able to accept a hamburger today for payment on Tuesday.”

Specifically, the amendment prohibits any appropriated federal funds from being used for high-speed rail in the state of California or for administering a grant agreement that includes a “tapered” match (described below).

When the Federal Railroad Administration initially awarded the Authority with nearly $3 billion in federal grant dollars under the federal stimulus package, it entered into a standard grant agreement with the Authority requiring a dollar-for-dollar match. This agreement stipulated that for every federal tax dollar spent, the Authority must spend a dollar from a non-federal source. California never came up with the money and subsequently missed payment deadline after payment deadline.

In order to avoid violating the Federal Deficiency Act, the Federal Railroad Administration quietly amended its grant agreement in December 2012 to allow for a tapered match – allowing federal dollars to be spent in advance of any matching dollars – despite having no assurances from the California High-Speed Rail Authority that the matching dollars would ever exist. The FRA’s Inspector General has subsequently criticized FRA for jeopardizing federal taxpayer dollars with this scheme. This amendment guarantees that the FRA must enter into an agreement that requires the Authority to match, dollar-for-dollar, federal tax dollars in current fiscal years.

See Text of Denham Amendment to Nullify the California High-Speed Rail Grant Agreement

Congressman Denham has repeatedly introduced legislation to stop the California High-Speed Rail Authority from continuing to waste billions in taxpayer dollars. In June 2012 and June 2014, he offered an amendment suspending federal funding for California High-Speed Rail. It passed each year. He also successfully added an amendment to the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7) in February 2012 ensuring that money in highway bills could not be spent on California High-Speed Rail. In January 2014, Rep. Denham introduced the Responsible Rail and Deterring Deficiency Act, which would suspend all federal funding to California High-Speed Rail.



  • It is time to take calif. Back, time to install water ways for the continued success of the U.S. highest production of clean produce. Time to create clean and inexpensive. Solar systems, time to control populations of foreign people’s raping our state programs and robbing our American kids of there educational rights. IT’S TIME.

  • Thank you very much for your outstanding job on stopped the unnecessary waste of monies and appropriation of lands that part of the agricultural lands and residential lands.

  • Finally the beast is dead. It was a bill of goods, a way to destroy agriculture in California. Now how can we sue for the return of funds from the authority and the Governor?

  • Stop that damn train we don’t need it I don’t want it an it’s stupid to spend all that money on such a stupid idea, spend it where we need it like on water an education

  • Thank you so much for all your hard work on this matter Congressman Denham. WELL DONE!

  • great but what happens now. can the Senate stop it? Can Obama stop it.
    We need dams and water storage and ways to move it around Calif. Not a high speed rail going no where. With no riders

  • what happens now. Can the Senate stop it. can Obama? We need dams and water and other infrastructure not a high speed rail going no where. Our highways are Crap. Spend to much on prisoners, They could live in a tent like in Arizona, Have to many enviromenalists who make our fires worse. Need the loggers back who are really tree farmers. who clean up the forest and replant them. We need ways to move water around in Calif. But not a train to no where.

  • Thank you sir for working so hard to get this legislature passed.

  • Congratulations and thanks for making the system work for us in California and protecting the federal tax dollars of all Americans. Hope this could be the beginning of the end of the crazy train.