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George LeMieux standing by his rail stance

Count former Sen. George LeMieux as the only one of the only big-name Republican Senate hopefuls who isn't reversing course over his previous support of high-speed rail.

LeMieux's central point: Rejected federal money that has already been budgeted is simply giving spent money to someone else. Here's his statement:

“Washington spending is beyond out-of-control.  When I was in the U.S. Senate, I worked day and night to roll back spending, and that effort has to continue even more aggressively now.  But there’s an important difference between dealing with new spending and dealing with money that has literally already been appropriated.  Congress has, for its purposes, already spent the high speed rail money.  The only remaining issue is whether it comes to Florida or goes to California or New York.  Rejecting this money will do nothing to lower our debt.  It will only send transportation funds to another state.”

 “I believe to promote business and create jobs in Florida we need to increase our transportation capacity.  Florida’s size, multiple city centers, and poor intra-state air travel, make doing business in this state a challenge.  High speed rail, done right, could be the answer to that problem.  I understand the Governor’s concern of putting state government on the hook for hundreds of millions in continuing obligations.  I would seek a public-private partnership to alleviate that concern.”