California's bullet train won little support from congressional hopefuls from the Sacramento region Sunday, with just one of five congressional candidates participating in an election forum vowing to vote for federal funding for the project.
Third Congressional District candidate Kim Vann , Rep. Dan Lungren, and 9th Congressional District candidate Ricky Gill, all Republicans, and Democrat Ami Bera, who is challenging Lungren in the 7th Congressional District, all came down against funding construction of the high-speed rail line, citing the high cost of the project.
"We have failing infrastructure all over the state," said Vann, a Colusa County supervisor. "Until we address the failing infrastructure that we have, we shouldn't be planning for something that we cannot afford today." Â
Only Democratic Rep. John Garamendi, who is running for re-election against Vann, voiced support for the project.
"It's extremely important that we move towards rail," said Garamendi, noting that the state's current plan also provides funding for improvements to commuter rail.
While rivals Lungren and Bera agreed on the issue on the stage, the incumbent GOP congressman blasted his opponent for changing his position on the issue. Bera said during his 2010 campaign that he supported the project. He reiterated Sunday his current stance that investment in Sacramento's levees and other infrastructure projects is a bigger priority.
State lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown approved initial funding for the $68 billion project earlier this year, authorizing the spending $2.6 billion in voter-approved state rail bond funds and $3.2 billion in federal aid.