California to pull National Guard from border

13 February, 2019, 16:19 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom pledges to scale back high-speed rail and twin tunnels projects in State of the State speech

Gov. Newsom, who signed the order on Monday, will clarify the redeployment of troops during his State of the State address tonight, with a promise to "offer an alternative to the corruption and incompetence in the White House".

During his State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday said his administration is putting a halt to the highly anticipated high-speed rail that would travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The rail project, which was meant to connect the northern and southern parts of the state, will now connect Bakersfield and Merced in the San Joaquin Valley breadbasket, filling a glaring gap in the state system and keeping Newsom's campaign promise to help that often overlooked part of California. 'The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. "There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency".

While that construction continues Newsom said the state will conduct environmental reviews on the entire Los Angeles to San Francisco route and push for more federal and private money to connect the valley to the state's economic powerhouses, though he didn't say how. "I wish there were", he said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom delivers the State of the State Address at the California State Capitol, February 12, 2019. The latest estimates put the project's cost at $77 billion and a completion date set for 2033. "And by the way, I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump".

California voters approved a $10 billion bond in 2008 largely for the construction of bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The U.S. Transportation Department's inspector general's office noted in August 2018 that the state had only identified $30.7 billion in funding, or less than half the project's needs.

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A state audit issued in November said California's High-Speed Rail Authority's "flawed decision making and poor contract management have contributed to billions in cost overruns and delays".

"He really does seem to want to do something for rural parts of California - and most of those areas are represented by Republicans, so he will have to talk to us", Gallagher said. During the address, he said the state faces "hard decisions that are coming due" on clean water, housing and homelessness.

The speech came a day after Newsom defied Trump by ordering that several hundred National Guard troops withdraw from California's border with Mexico, days after Trump announced that he had ordered 3,750 troops to the country's southern border to prepare for a "tremendous onslaught" of immigrants seeking to enter the country.

Brown had agreed to deploy troops at the Trump administration's request past year, although he said they couldn't participate in immigration enforcement.

Newsom disputed Trump's claim there is a crisis on the border and any need for National Guard troops was eliminated when Trump chose earlier this month to add 3,750 more US troops at the border.

Newsom's speech also detailed his ambitious policy goals for the state.

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