The Wrong Side of the Tracks

Image by Madbuster75, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/madbuster75/4694788192/sizes/m/in/photostream/">via Flickr</a>.

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Florida’s loss is the Northeast’s gain today, as the Department of Transportation announced that a major chunk of the high speed rail money that Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) rejected a few months ago will be redirected to the Northeast corridor.

The route, which runs from Boston to Washington, DC, will get another $795 million in high-speed rail funding from the Federal Railroad Administration. This is part of the $2.4 billion that Scott declined back in February at the behest of his tea-party backers.

The line runs right through the Vice President’s favorite Amtrak stop, the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Railroad Station in Wilmington, Delaware. The state’s congressional delegation is cheering the news. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Rep. John Carney (all Democrats) issued a group press release:

When Governor Scott declined to accept his state’s share of these federal funds, we said we wanted to make Florida’s loss Delaware’s gain, and that’s exactly what we did,” Senator Coons said. “The Department of Transportation made the right call in allocating the largest share of Florida’s unused high-speed rail funds to the Northeast Corridor.

The funds will be used to make trains speedier, raise performance and increase passenger capacity. Of course, this isn’t just about making Amtrak better; it’s a decision that also has political implications. While Scott’s tea party fans were pleased by the rejection of high speed rail money, Democrats and Republicans alike criticized the move and tried (unsuccessfully) to sue to circumvent it.

Now not only does Florida not get the money, but residents will also have to hear from their friends and family up north about how great their train service is.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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