Bullet train opponent to chair key Congressional rail group
January 16, 2013
• Jeff Denham named chairman of House subcommittee on railroads
• Has long opposed California’s high-speed rail plan
An outspoken opponent of the California High-Speed Rail system – Turlock Republican Rep. Jeff Denham – now has a larger bully pulpit.
Mr. Denham has been named chairman of the House Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee.
In June 2012 Mr. Denham introduced legislation to block any new federal money from going to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
At the time he said, “The state government is broke. My goal is to make sure this high-speed rail project does not move forward until we have it fully funded.”
Since then, California’s finances have improved to the point where budget surpluses are being projected.
In a December 2012 hearing, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took Mr. Denham to task for the legislation. “We’re not going to get one dollar as long as there’s language in the Appropriations bill that says that no federal money can be spent on California high-speed rail,” Mr. LaHood said.
“The amendments are meant to stop this project until we see a plan,” Mr. Denham replied.
Mr. Denham did noit take up Mr. LaHood’s offer to have the chairman of the rail project meet with him to go over the details of the system’s business plan.
“I am honored to have been selected to Chair the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials in the 113th Congress,” says Mr. Denham in written comments Wednesday. “Rail transportation is the backbone of America’s economy, and I look forward to the opportunity to look for more cost-effective and innovative approaches to passenger and freight rail service in order to generate American jobs and promote economic development.”
U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., made the appointment.