Republicans want high-speed rail from California to Las Vegas spiked


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The high speed train that runs on a new line between Beijing and Guangzhou runs into Xuchang East Station in Xuchang, central China's Henan province on December 26, 2012.

Top congressional Republicans want the Obama administration to reject a $5.5 billion loan being sought by a private Nevada company to build a high-speed train from the edge of California's Mojave Desert to Las Vegas.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, say in a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the project known as XpressWest is wasteful and too risky for taxpayers.

In a response Monday, XpressWest chief executive Anthony Marnell II defended the project as a jobs-engine.

He told Ryan, of Wisconsin, and Sessions, of Alabama, it would take advantage of a little-used pot of rail funding to cover much of the construction cost.

The line would connect Las Vegas with the small city of Victorville, Calif.

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