Both Democrats and Republicans from Florida are balking at Florida Gov. Rick Scott's decision to reject $2.4 billion in federal aid to build a high-speed train line between Orlando and Tampa -- and one senator is even trying to completely bypass the Republican governor's opposition to the project.
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson spoke with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood today about financing the Tampa-Orlando rail line without the state government's involvement, the Palm Beach Post reports.
"We are exploring... how we could keep this project going forward since the state of Florida will not participate," Nelson told the Post. "We have the lawyers researching it."
Scott announced earlier today that he was rejecting the money because he believed the state could be on the hook for as much as $3 billion in cost overruns. Additionally, he said he was skeptical ridership would pay for the line's operating costs.
Nelson said earlier today that rejecting the federal investment amounted to "turning down 24,000 jobs, when we badly need them," the Miami Herald reports.
Republican Rep. John L. Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called the decision "a huge setback for the state of Florida, our transportation, economic development and important tourism industry."
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