If you paid a contractor to build a house and you agreed to a price and timeline, but the builder blew through the timeline and racked up the price tag, you’d be pretty upset. I bet you’d demand accountability, maybe even a discount.
Well, when it comes to the federal government and your tax dollars, President Biden seems to be okay with projects that bust the budget, fly past the deadline, and are completely derailed.
Trains to nowhere might be the largest case of government waste we’ve uncovered!
Remember talk of the California High-Speed Train? Sold to taxpayers at a price of $33 billion and a completion date of 2020, this train still hasn’t left the station. Construction is costing about $1.8 million a day and it won’t be completed for another decade. The total price has skyrocketed to $128 billion— that’s nearly $100 billion more than the original price tag!
The Obama/Biden administration committed $3.5 billion for this gravy train as a “shovel ready” project more than a decade ago. President Trump stopped payment, saving nearly $1 billion. Now, the Biden administration has restored that money and even added another $50 million more, praising the project as an example of President Biden’s “build back better” approach. Then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi even celebrated how passage of the Biden bill would help to bring the high-cost, high-speed train into San Francisco.
That’s not to be confused with Pelosi’s infamous San Francisco subway earmark the Democrats inserted into their partisan “COVID” relief bill, which Republicans successfully derailed. Biden is “building that back” too, at the outrageous price of more than $1 billion per mile! Completion of the 6.5-mile subway extension was promised by 2026 at a price of nearly $4.7 billion. It’s now been delayed for a decade while the cost has doubled to more than $9.3 billion. And now, President Biden is pledging as much as $4.6 billion of taxpayer support, including $500 million, in his bloated budget.
Folks, your tax dollars would go a whole lot further if they were spent more wisely. The president has a kind of reverse Midas touch. But instead of turning to gold, the cost of everything he touches—and we all know he can’t keep his hands to himself—increases faster than the price of gold.
To hold the president accountable, I successfully inserted a provision into his infrastructure bill requiring the Department of Transportation to keep track of projects being paid for by taxpayers that are a billion dollars over budget or behind schedule.
Now, I am doubling down on my efforts with the bipartisan Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act that would expand these transparency requirements to every taxpayer-funded project, along with the Put the Brakes on Boondoggles Act that would bring each of these runaway trains to a squealing halt.
While the president boasts that his $1 trillion infrastructure bill is building a better America, the truth is Bidenomics and bureaucratic bungling are busting budgets and postponing projects across the country. A billion dollars over budget is not a rounding error, it’s the very definition of a train wreck. As the Senate’s biggest foe of wasteful spending, I won’t sit idly by as taxpayers are railroaded by Biden’s Boondoggle Express.