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New GOP Governors Kill $1.2 Billion In High-Speed Rail Jobs

By Brad Johnson  

"New GOP Governors Kill $1.2 Billion In High-Speed Rail Jobs"

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Govs. elect John Kasich (R-OH) and Scott Walker (R-WI).

Republicans who were elected on Tuesday are beginning to deliver on their campaign promises to kill America’s future. Within hours of declaring victory, the incoming tea-party governors of Wisconsin and Ohio stood fast on pledges to kill $1.2 billion in funding for high-speed rail in their states. The funding, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will revert to the federal government for investment in other states — unless Republicans in Congress are able to kill that, too. Walker warned he would fight President Obama to keep the Milwaukee-Madison link killed “if he tries to force this down the throats of the taxpayers.” Kasich — who called the high-speed rail project linking Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati “one of the dumbest ideas” he’s ever heard — used his victory speech to announce, “That train is dead“:

Scott Walker, the incoming governor of Wisconsin, for instance, vowed on Wednesday to carry out a campaign pledge to kill a proposed high-speed rail link between Milwaukee and Madison, part of a larger project to create a high-speed rail corridor across the upper Midwest, from Minneapolis to Chicago. The project was to be fully paid for with $810 million in federal stimulus funds. Mr. Walker said he wanted the money spent on roads, although under the terms of the grants, such a use of the funds is prohibited.

The newly elected Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who ousted Ted Strickland, a Democrat, has also reiterated a campaign pledge to kill a $400 million stimulus-funded rail project in his state. “Passenger rail is not in Ohio’s future,” Mr. Kasich said at his first news conference after the election. “That train is dead.

In addition to their ideological opposition to creating new jobs through government investment, both Walker and Kasich question the reality of climate science, like other new Republican governors threatening clean energy projects across the nation.

Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.

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