California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images

The Transportation Department said Tuesday it intends to cancel $929 million in federal grant funds for California's scaled-back high-speed rail network, and that it is "actively exploring every legal option" to take back $2.5 billion in funds already given to the state for the project.

The big picture: Last week, California's newly elected Gov. Gavin Newsom disputed Trump's claim that California owes the federal government $3.5 billion for scaling back its plans to build an estimated $77 billion high-speed train from San Francisco to Los Angeles, saying the money was allocated by Congress. In a new statement, Newsom said: "This is clear political retribution by President Trump, and we won’t sit idly by. This is California’s money, and we are going to fight for it.”

  • Newsom also noted: "It’s no coincidence that the Administration’s threat comes 24 hours after California led 16 states in challenging the President’s farcical ‘national emergency.’"

Go deeper: California's $77 billion derailment

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths in 2020

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will be "definitely" somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of 2020.

Why it matters: "Whether we're closer to 200,000 or closer to 300,000 depends on what we do now and how it evolves," Gottlieb warned on Sunday as the U.S. surpassed five million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted on "Fox News Sunday" that President Trump's executive orders on coronavirus aid were cleared by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and said that Democrats are going to "have a lot of explaining to do" if they choose to challenge them in court.

Why it matters: Democrats and even some Republicans have criticized Trump's decision to circumvent Congress to extend unemployment benefits as executive overreach, given that the Constitution gives Congress power to appropriate spending.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 19,680,042 — Total deaths: 727,777 — Total recoveries — 11,962,565Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,002,523 — Total deaths: 162,455 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Nancy Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on employment — Trump adviser Larry Kudlow says he regrets suggesting the benefits could only be extended by Congress.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — Poll: 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.