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Bullet train gets White House backing on funds

The Obama administration asks Congress for $35 billion in passenger rail funding over five years as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urges California to overcome opposition to project

February 14, 2012

The Obama administration, which has been urging California to push through growing opposition to its bullet train project, asked Congress on Monday for nearly $35 billion in passenger rail funding over the next five years.

The request in its fiscal 2013 budget includes $1 billion for next year and nearly $8 billion in 2018, a massive funding plan that faces difficult odds of getting through Congress. Last year, the Republican-controlled House and even the Democratic-led Senate slashed a similar request and left no new money for any high-speed rail project.

The California project has about $3.3 billion in federal grants from prior years that it plans to use to start construction this year and an additional $9 billion in bond money approved by voters in 2008. But the project is short $86 billion and Republicans are attempting to freeze any additional federal funding for it.

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