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Senate prez joins Scott in rejecting feds’$2.4 billion for rail

by 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.”

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9 Responses to “Senate prez joins Scott in rejecting feds’$2.4 billion for rail”

  1. Sid Says:

    Go Mike!!!
    TriRail requires a taxpayer subsidy of $120. for EVERY round trip.
    Save us from this make work boondoggle.


  2. JesUp Says:

    This $2,400,000,000.00 has nothing to do with deficit reduction, and nothing to do with taking dollars away from education. This money is already there to be spent, and if Florida doesn’t take it, other states are already in line waiting for it.
    Too bad Haridopolos is aligning himself with Gov. Scott, and not bringing the jobs that will now go to other states instead of our great state.

  3. People Not Corporations Says:


  4. JesUp Says:

    He’s only doing this cause he’s going to be running for senate and figures he can’t uset the tea party!

  5. Smart Move, Mike! Says:

    Great leadership, Haridopolos! The “Stimulus” is a complete failure and hasn’t created jobs anywhere (Unemployment is far higher today than obama said it would be if we passed the darn thing!).

    I admire Haridopolos for making the tough call that this plan is a dud. He voted to approve it, but now that the take it or leave it attitude from washington is clear and the policy failurs apparent, he is doing what a true leader does saying enough is enough!

  6. mustlovedawgs611 Says:

    @Jessup, have you ever heard of leading by example!! Right now haridopolos is a state official and can only do what is best for our nation with the powers given to him. This kind of vision and foresight are the attributes that are going to make him a great federal leader in two years. Seriously, when was the last time Bill Nelson ever took a leading position on anything that would reduce our state and countries deficit??? Thanks for nothing Nelson!@

  7. papabear Says:

    It’s never too late to fix something. I’m glad Mike found the right place and made the right call here. No matter how he voted before, he was in a position to make difference here and he did. Having lived through the nightmare of Tri-Rail myself, I don’t want to have to pay for its sequel somehwere else in FL. And if this train’s dead, you can thank Mike for that.

  8. Kelly Says:

    So true, bear. He had a chance to make things right on the rail issue here and he took it. He was a conservative when it counted, and it saved Florida a whole lot of money! Good work, Mike. :)

  9. harri dope is a politician and he knows where is bread is buttered Says:

    hey, harridope is like CharLIE Crist! The minute his butt hit his florida senate president seat he announced he is running for US Senate against Bill Nelson! He’s smarter than CharLIE he can see the hand writing on the wall. The people is broke and the government in all stages is over extended with bonds out the yeng yang! The Federal goverment is still collecting $300. for every million the federal reserve prints on our printing presses and loans back to us! The government employee leeches will lose this battle simply because they have never heard the word “no” are too stupid to understand money don’t grow on trees!

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