DOT Secretary LaHood is incredulous that these states, after campaigning so hard to win the stimulus grants, would then turn them down. He insists that HSR is a national project, akin to the interstate highway system. However, should a state reject the funds, they could not be used for roads, as many of the candidates hope to do - they would be given to other HSR projects.
"The state-level opposition is a reminder of the challenge of building a national transportation project in the United States: while the federal government can set priorities, the construction is up to the states.
With recent polls showing all of the anti-rail Republican candidates leading or within striking distance of their pro-rail Democratic rivals, it is possible they could be elected and try to stop the train projects."
From Grist: Republican guv candidates line up to say no to federal stimulus money for rail: "The rail issue appears to be emerging as another political football for Republicans determined to sink any ambitious proposal the Obama administration comes up with."
Thanks to Mathews Hollinshead