California's ambitious high-speed rail project could slow down a little under the last-minute budget deal that's kept the federal government open.
As a lead-up to what lawmakers call the largest spending cut in U.S. history, negotiators lopped $1.5 billion from federal high-speed and intercity rail funding.
The move lets states keep high-speed rail funds they've already been promised, but reduces the new money they can obtain.
"It would have helped," California High-Speed Rail Authority spokeswoman Rachel Wall said Monday. "Obviously, if there was money available, we could put it to work."
The cut still preserves $1 billion for federal high-speed and intercity rail projects, for the fiscal year that ends Oct. 1.
The high-speed rail funding cut is part of $2 billion in housing and transportation spending reductions agreed to by White House and congressional negotiators late Friday night.
Negotiators folded the reductions into a stop-gap measure, which keeps the government open while the finishing touches are put on a much-larger $38 billion package of cuts.
"(These initial) spending cuts...show the American people that we are serious about cutting spending wherever and whenever we can," declared Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
The House and Senate will vote on the overall $38 billion budget-cutting bill sometime this week. Few details were available Monday about the specific additional reductions.