All Aboard Florida divides likely Senate rivals Murphy, Grayson

June 10, 2015
Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter and Alan Grayson of Orlando previewed a potential 2016 Senate primary clash on Tuesday night when they took opposing sides on an effort to block the All Aboard Florida passenger train.
 
Murphy, who launched a Senate campaign in March, has been a staunch opponent of the planned Miami-to-Orlando train. That position has played well in his Palm Beach-Treasure Coast House district, where there is bipartisan concern about noise and road and bridge closings associated with the train.
 
Grayson, who has said he will “probably” enter the Senate race as well, supports All Aboard Florida. And a news release Grayson sent out Tuesday night suggests he believes the project will be popular with Democrats statewide.
 
On Tuesday night, Murphy was the only Democrat in the House to vote for two amendments by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, aimed at blocking funding for the train. One Posey amendment failed on a 260-173 vote and another failed on a 275-148 vote. Grayson joined the rest of the Democratic caucus — including Palm Beach County Reps. Lois Frankel, Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings — in opposing the Posey amendments.
 
Grayson sent out a press release saying he “rallied with Congresswoman Corrine Brown (FL-5) and nearly every other House Democrat Tuesday night” to oppose the “anti-transportation” amendments.
 
Grayson’s release also singles out Murphy as “the lone Democrat to side with Posey and the majority of Republicans who voted to hamper private financing for All Aboard Florida.” Said Grayson: “All Aboard Florida will improve the lives of thousands of Floridians … Mr. Posey’s amendments will limit investment in projects like All Aboard Florida, and put us even farther behind the rest of the world when it comes to high-speed rail. We have an opportunity to improve the environment, get cars off the roads, and help the economies of both Miami and Orlando with this project. It makes zero sense to do anything that slows it down.”
 
Murphy, on Facebook, posted: “My colleague Rep. Bill Posey offered several amendments to the Transportation spending bill this week to prohibit funding for All Aboard Florida. I’m very disappointed to see that the House did not approve his amendments, but we’ll continue to work together to stop All Aboard Florida.