Harris Blows the Whistle on High-Speed Rail Scheme to “Borrow” Eminent Domain Authority from Amtrak

On Friday, Texas Central Partners announced they would once again seek federal intervention in an ongoing eminent domain dispute that threatens to halt construction of a private high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas.

In 2016, the Surface Transportation Board dealt a major setback to the controversial high-speed rail line by declining to assert federal authority over the proposal and by refusing to grant federal eminent domain authority to Texas Central Partners. In a Friday statement announcing a new partnership with the cash-strapped federal Amtrak system, Texas Central revealed that they intend to use their new association with Amtrak to appeal the decision of the Surface Transportation Board – a move that, if successful, could result in Texas Central being given the authority to force Texas landowners from their property.

“As a result of this agreement, Texas Central has asked the federal Surface Transportation Board to reopen proceedings so it can assert jurisdiction over the high-speed train project,” said Holly Reed, Texas Central Partner’s chief lobbyist.

Cody Harris, the leading conservative candidate for State Representative in Anderson, Freestone, Hill and Navarro counties, blasted Texas Central Partners for their underhanded attempt to circumvent the Texas Landowners Bill of Rights and use federal authorities to seize land from rural Texas families.

“This dishonest and deceitful scheme by Texas Central is nothing less than an attack on rural property rights and a transparent assault on the sovereignty of Texas,” said Harris. “After years of chest-pounding, lawsuits, threats, and intimidation, Texas Central has finally admitted what we’ve known all along – that they have no authority to take the private land of Texans, and they won’t as long as the people of Texas have anything to say about it. Texas Central now realizes the only way to get what they’re after is to take their case before the bureaucrats and special interests in the DC swamp.”

“As your next state representative, I’ll defend the rights of rural landowners, stand up for our conservative values, and stop the high-speed train in its tracks. I’m Cody Harris, and I’m asking for your vote on May 22.”

A proud family man and Christian conservative, Cody Harris, his wife Taylor, and their four children attend First Baptist Church in Palestine, where Cody is a Deacon. He is an active member of the Texas Association of Realtors, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program, and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.