GOP lawmakers critical of rail proposal

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2011 12:31 PM
GOP lawmakers critical of rail proposal

Republican lawmakers are casting doubts on the viability of California's high-speed rail project and suggesting they're ready to halt federal funding to build the proposed 800-mile line.

A House panel held a hearing Thursday on the viability of the project, which has more than doubled in cost to $98.5 billion. GOP Rep. John Mica of Florida, the panel's chairman, described the project as "imploding." Others called it a boondoggle.

But Democratic lawmakers said the state's transportation network is overwhelmed and that alternatives are needed to keep the state economically competitive.

Democratic Rep. Jim Costa of California said that with low interest rates and inflation, now is the perfect time to invest heavily in the high-speed rail line.