High Speed Rail

GOP Wants to Block Federal Loan for LA to Las Vegas Rail

No trust for ridership figures

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Two leading Republicans have urged the Obama administration to reject a $5.5 billion loan to build a high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Southern California, saying the deal is a bad gamble.

"The risks to the taxpayers from financing this project are untenable," Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama wrote to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a March 6 letter.

Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Sessions is the ranking GOP member on the Senate Budget Committee. Their argument was based in part on a 70-page report, released in August by the libertarian Reason Foundation, critical of the project being advanced by XpressWest.