Reps. McCaul, Brady, Ellzey Continues to Oppose Taxpayer-Subsidized Federal Funding for High-Speed Rail Project
TX Congressmen Lead Letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Opposing Federal Intervention for Controversial Project
Dec 16, 2021
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressmen Michael McCaul (TX-10), Kevin Brady (TX-08) and Jake Ellzey (TX-06) sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expressing their continued opposition to Texas Central Railroad's (TCR) ability to access taxpayer-subsidized federal funding for their high-speed rail project from Houston to Dallas.
Specifically, these members oppose any money from the $10 billion allocated for high-speed rail funding included in the recently passed House version of The Build Back Better Act to go towards the controversial Texas Central Railroad bullet train. Although Texas Central is currently ineligible to access any of these funds for PRIME grants, Congressman Brady will continue to urge against giving taxpayer dollars to this project should they become eligible in the future.
In the letter, they wrote:
"To be clear, we strongly support infrastructure that advances the growth of our country; however, we oppose federal intervention and funding for a controversial project that is tens of billions of dollars over budget, years behind schedule, lacks a single permit to construct and has publicly pledged to be constructed "exclusively with private financing."
"As TCR struggles with financing and permitting – and undergoes a Texas Supreme Court challenge – it is imperative that the U.S. Department of Transportation safeguard taxpayer dollars and recognize the economic injustice imposed upon rural citizens and their communities by a project that private investors are fleeing for good reason."
"In the desire to protect American taxpayers and Texas rural communities, we continue to oppose any taxpayers-subsidized federal funding for Texas Central."
Click here to read the full letter.
REP. JAMES WHITE: SUPREME COURT SHOULD AFFIRM GOD-GIVEN CONSTITUTIONALLY-PROTECTED PROPERTY RIGHTS OF TEXAS CITIZENS
State Representative James White filed an Amicus Curiae Letter requesting a review in the case of James Fredrick Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. and Integrated Texas Logistics, Inc.
In Texas, ownership of private property is among the most cherished rights of citizens and the culmination of the three inalienable rights celebrated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Texas Declaration of Independence. Because of the seminal right of Life, one can exercise Liberty, and with Liberty, one can enjoy the fruits of Property.
The Texas Constitution expressly limits the use of eminent domain for the “public use” and only the Texas Legislature may grant eminent domain under conditions authorized “under law.” Currently, none of the entities espousing to build a so-called “high speed rail” meet any Texas statutory definition of a railroad company or an interurban electric railway company, and therefore, do not have the power of eminent domain under law.
Several months ago, a Texas court of appeals granted eminent domain authority entities desiring to build high speed rail on private property. This is inconsistent with the state constitution and state statutes.
“The issues in this case are far reaching and critically important to every landowner in Texas,” stated Rep. White. “Therefore, it is imperative that the Supreme Court of Texas hear this case and rule on behalf of the property rights of all Texans.”
“Without the state supreme court weighing in, Texans are facing a troubling precedent: an entity simply obtains eminent domain authority by merely filing papers with the Secretary of State and falsely claiming to operate a railroad or chartered to construct an interurban electric railway,” said Rep. White.
“This is not the law and never has been the law. The Texas Constitution, the Texas Legislature, and most importantly, the People of Texas never intended to give private entities such broad and extraordinary power.”
The Texas Supreme Court has repeatedly, recently, and unanimously recognized that strong judicial protection for individual property rights is essential to freedom itself. “I look forward to the highest court in this state to continue its legacy as the guardian of the property rights of Texans,” said Rep. White.