Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott
says he will continue to reject the Obama administration’s offer of $2.4 billion for a high-speed rail project, as his priority is to get his state back on track and not burden taxpayers with anticipated cost overruns that inevitably would result from the venture.
In a Tuesday interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Scott – in Washington for the National Governors Association winter meeting – also said President Barack Obama does not understand his state’s problems.
“The federal government has offered us $2.4 billion dollars. But they are not going to cover the cost overruns,” Scott said. “These projects always go over. They are not going to cover operating costs. If it gets shut down we have to give the $2.4 billion dollars back. I'm not going to put the taxpayers on the hook for something like this.
“We need expansion of our ports. We have the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2014. We need to get Miami, Jacksonville, probably another port done,” he said. “We need to build our highways. Connect those ports to our rail system.
“That's where the money needs to be spent,” Scott continued. “They [the Obama administration] are committed to high-speed rail. I'm committed to getting our state back to work.”
Van Susteren asked Scott, who met with Obama, whether the president was responsive to his call for attracting more government and tourism to the Sunshine State.
“No. I asked him, I said: ‘Here's our problem, we need jobs.’ We are competing with other countries. And so high corporate tax rate, deficits, increased regulations [the] last two years, all that is impacting jobs,” Scott said. “Obamacare is killing jobs. It is not focused on driving down healthcare costs. It is raising our costs. We can't treat business people worse or their dollars will go someplace else.”
Van Susteren then asked about a District Court judge’s decision last month declaring Obamacare unconstitutional, because of the mandate requiring all people to get health insurance or have to pay a tax penalty, and whether he will implement the federal law.
“Our attorney general did a great job making sure we won that lawsuit. She will continue to do a good job. We are not going to implement it,” Scott said. “It is not the law of the land. I'm not going to implement any of that bill. It is bad for patients, bad for taxpayers, bad for business.”
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