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Villaraigosa Presses Obama to Speed Up Funding for Local Transit Projects

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Just minutes ago President Obama boarded his flight to depart Los Angeles after his brief visit to take part in a fundraiser dinner for the DNC and Senator Barbara Boxer's re-election campaign. On the tarmac were City Council President Eric Garcetti and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the latter of which took one last opportunity to ask the President to speed up funding for Los Angeles' 30/10 transit project, which would bring

So did Obama bite? "He didn't say no," Villaraigosa laughed with reporters, explaining that the President gave him a hug and told him: "The one thing about you is that you're indefatigable and won't take no for an answer."

Villaraigosa admitted that Obama didn't give him the money, but clarified that it wasn't straight up dollars he was seeking for Los Angeles, but rather federal backing to make the project happen more quickly. "What we're asking for is a guarantee or a loan subsidy of some sort," explained Villaraigosa. This 30/10 plan is composed of "12 projects scheduled to be completed in 30 years accelerated to 10 years. The Plan doesn't ask for free money, it asks for a long-term loan to be paid back with guaranteed funds from Measure R, the voter-approved sales tax hike."