Brady, Ellzey Oppose Taxpayer-Subsidized Federal Funds for Controversial Texas Central High-Speed Rail Project

Over budget, years behind schedule & with no federal permit, TCRR will leave taxpayers on the hook for failed project.

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08) and Congressman Jake Ellzey (TX-06) sent a letter to Secretary Pete Buttigieg of the Department of Transportation and Dr. Morteza Farajian of the Build America Bureau to express their concern about Texas Central Railroad’s (TCRR) intention to access $12 billion in federal loans for their high-speed rail (HSR) project from Dallas to Houston.

“Texas Central Railroad has yet again reneged on their promise after vowing for years to not seek federal funding for their proposed high-speed rail project,” said Congressman Kevin Brady. “Taxpayers should not be left on the hook for boondoggle projects that never come to come to fruition. I will always fight to protect federal taxpayers—not only in my district, but across America—to make sure our constituents aren’t stuck holding the bag when rail projects default on their loans.”

"Texas Central has failed to acquire the capital required to fund their project privately. They have been unable to acquire the funding through the Texas Legislature. And now, they turn to the federal government to bail them out," 
said Congressman Jake Ellzey. "We should not be spending taxpayer dollars on a project that was supposed to be fully privately funded. But more importantly, the American government should not be giving a foreign company funds to take land away from its people. If completed, the high-speed rail project will be devastating to Texas' farmland and ranchland. I-35 and I-45 provide economic stability to the communities and businesses along their corridor. I am proud to stand with Congressman Brady in pushing back against this project." 

In the letter the Members wrote:

“The $12 billion loan they are seeking would not only be the largest RRIF loan in the program’s history, but would consume more than one third of the total sum allocated to the program. We are concerned with Texas Central’s ability to skirt Buy America requirements, inflate ridership projections, and obtain federal loans without authority to construct, which will leave the American taxpayer on the hook. Should Texas Central pursue federal assistance, I encourage DOT to consider the alarming facts of this project.

“It would be a misuse of taxpayer dollars to provide a federal loan to Texas Central without approval from the STB. Although Texas Central claims it is in “execution phase,” many critical steps have not been taken and important questions about the financial feasibility of this project remain unanswered. Texas Central claimed they would never ask the public to subsidize their project, and now it is essential.”

Read the full letter here.
 
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