Many thought it was spending-averse Republicans like former-vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan that sunk the $5.5-billion loan application for XpressWest, the proposed high-speed rail train from Vegas to Victorville, California. But it also had something to do with XpressWest's plan to build and buy trains from outside the US. Buy-America is a program of the US Department of Transportation that stipulates that DOT loan recipients "purchase steel, iron and other manufactured goods produced in the United States for their projects." XpressWest was working with a Canadian company on purchasing rail cars, a move defended by the president of the US High Speed Rail Association, who said there simply aren't American companies making bullet trains (as you may know, the nation's first HSR is supposed to start work soon in California). Nevada senator and senate majority leader Harry Reid admitted the White House is worried about XpressWest obtaining the remaining $1.5-billion in private financing needed to get the train running, but said the loan application can be revived if it's amended with a new financing and purchasing plan.
· Buy-America Snag Stalls Vegas High-Speed Rail [AP, via Daily News]
· Did Paul Ryan Kill the XpressWest Fast Train To Vegas? [Curbed LA]