Rick Scott's decision to decline $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a state-of-the-art high-speed rail system in Florida continues to draw anger, ire and confusion today even from many Republicans. Today, a veto-proof majority of 26 state senators wrote a letter rebuking Scott's decision, while even former Republican Governor Jeb Bush seems confused by the decision.
Scott's decision appears to be steeped in Tea Party ideology. The decision came just weeks after he met with two seemingly random Tea Party "leaders" from Tampa who urged him to kill the plan, and the studies he cited in his decision come from a study conducted by a Libertarian think tank. Scott says he's worried that the state Government may be saddled with paying for overrun and maintenance costs associated with the project.
Though, even his fellow Republicans seem puzzled over the logic and ultimate decision made by the political neophyte.
Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican who chairs the U.S. House's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, says that Scott's decision "defies logic."
Jeb Bush, perhaps still the most influential Republican in the state, is even having a hard time understanding Scott's decision telling PolitiJax, "I'm surprised he didn't let the process go to a conclusion...before pulling the plug."
And today a bipartisan group of 26 state senators (or nearly two thirds of the Republican-controlled body) signed a letter rebuking Scott's decision.
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"Politics should have no place in the future of Florida's transportation, as evidenced by this letter of bipartisan support," the legislators wrote. "This project would create real jobs, cleaner and smarter transportation, and true economic development for Floridians."
The letter was signed by 14 Republican Senators including Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Rene Garcia of Miami-Dade.