Local leaders react to Trump administration's termination of high-speed rail funds

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A look at President Trump's Twitter account shows a longstanding feud with California.

It's why the government's decision to cut funds to high-speed rail came as little surprise.

And why Democrats are calling it tit for tat.

"We have a President who wants to build a wall that really isn't needed, but he's trying to make a point so he's punishing cities, counties, and states," said high-speed rail supporter Henry Perea.

RELATED: President Trump on California High-Speed Rail: 'We want that money back now'

Governor Gavin Newsom says the action is political payback.

The threat comes 24 hours after California led 16 states, challenging the President's national emergency at the border.

However, The Federal Railroad Administration says the High-Speed Rail Authority failed to meet its obligations and commitments under the grant agreement.

"What's really important, is that federal money was misused by the High-Speed Rail Authority. Knowing full well there were risking the potential for these types of consequences," said Assemblyman Jim Patterson.

Patterson says a state audit earlier this year showed theHigh-Speed Rail Authority made reckless decisions.

He believes a second federal audit in progress will yield the same conclusion.

"The consequences are real here. I think this calls into question if the segment from Merced to Bakersfield can even be completed," he said.

RELATED: Gov. Gavin Newsom curtails plan for High-Speed Rail, plans to only build between Merced and Bakersfield

But supporters of the bullet train seem confident California can secure the lost money.

"We have a Governor who knows how to play chess. In Washington D.C., they have someone who plays checkers right now. I'll put my money on Governor Newsom," Perea said.

The state and the federal government will likely have another showdown in court.

Opponents of high speed rail says if California does decide to fight and not give up the grant money received, the federal government could just withhold future funding for crucial infrastructure projects.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.