Senate prez joins Scott in rejecting feds’$2.4 billion for railby Dara Kam | February 18th, 2011
The day after a bipartisan coalition of his members pleaded with the federal government for more time to work an end-run around Gov. Rick Scott’s rejection of $2.4 billion for high-speed rail, Senate President Mike Haridopolos joined the governor in saying “no thanks” for the dough.
“The federal government has earmarked $2.4 billion to finance part of the cost of construction of the proposed Florida high-speed rail project. But to do so, Washington would borrow 100% of that money, which would be financed in large part by foreign, non-democratic governments,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said in a statement released this morning.
Haridopolos is running statewide for U.S. Senate in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary.
High-speed rail projects backed by President Obama’s federal stimulus funds have become a hot-button issue for tea partiers for whom the trains symbolize wasteful government spending.
U.S. Transportation Department Secretary gave Florida another week to come up with a plan for the $2.7 billion Tampa-to-Orlando project.
Read the rest of Haridopolos’ statement after the jump.
“There is no more important issue today for the long-term well being of our nation than to reign in deficit spending. Washington’s reckless spending addiction has set our nation on a critically dangerous path. For the good of the nation, it’s time to change course.”
“From the beginning, I have made it clear that Florida will cut $3.62 billion in spending this year and balance its state budget without raising taxes. We will not finance our future. We have also said that under no circumstances would we use state dollars, needed to support priorities like education, to pay for high-speed rail. For Floridians, that would be unforgivable.
“Florida is leading by example in keeping its fiscal house in order. We must demand the same from Washington. To President Obama and all members of Congress, I say we are far better off reducing the $1.5 trillion in proposed deficit spending by this $2.4 billion than we are to build a rail project that has a questionable, at-best, economic viability.”