‘If We Built It, I Don’t Know If They Will Come’

McCarthy slams California high-speed rail spending


The House Majority Whip decried further government spending on California’s high-speed rail project Thursday.

“Look, I know Hollywood happens to be in California, but this is not a Kevin Costner movie. If we built it, I don’t know if they will come,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy  (R., Calif.) said during a House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on “An Update On The High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program: Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned.”

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Just because we’ve invested money doesn’t mean we have to invest more,” McCarthy told the committee. “I have real doubt of the viability, the costs and if and when this will ever be built.”

McCarthy said the revised high-speed rail plan calls for $38 billion more in federal funding. But he said that estimates of the train’s ridership were overblown and that Congress may have to subsidize the operation of the train if and when it is ever built.

Last year, McCarthy called on the General Accounting Office to conduct an audit of the revised rail plan, which has been overhauled and pared back since Gov. Jerry Brown took office last year.

The governor has been a staunch defender of the train, calling its opponents “declinists” who lack long-term vision for the state.