POLITICS

Fla. Gov. Scott: Obama’s a little late on Port of Miami visit

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

President Obama is in Florida this afternoon at the Port of Miami to gather support for several proposals for infrastructure investments, including an expanded version of the infrastructure grant program PortMiami was supposed to be built with.

The problem is that the federal government hasn’t been paying its share of the Port of Miami project, Gov. Rick Scott said on Thursday.

“We’re glad the president’s coming, but he’s a little late,” Scott told Fox News. “He’s going to come and visit one of our ports, but as you know the federal government has not been funding their portion of our port construction, and so Florida taxpayers have been doing it. We’ve gotten a lot done.”

“The port he’s going to, the Port of Miami, they were supposed to put up $75 million dollars but they didn’t, so he’s a little late, but I’m glad he’s going to come down and hopefully brag about our significant turnaround here in the state where unemployment has dropped more than any state but one, and in a little over two years we’ve generated around 300,000 private sector jobs.”

President Obama is using his remarks this afternoon to lay out details for infrastructure spending programs. Several have been mentioned already but the details are new, the White House said.

“The Port of Miami is a major center of commerce and an example of the critical infrastructure improvements that are being undertaken to remain competitive in the global marketplace using the types of combined investment from the federal government, state government and local government, and private investors that the President has called for,” Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during today’s briefing en route to Miami.

The proposals, which total about $21 billion, include creating a national infrastructure bank; expanding a bond program that was originally part of stimulus spending; and expanding the infrastructure grant program that was supposed to help fund Port of Miami improvements.

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