By Carey Codd

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — One day before President Obama’s visit to Port Miami, Governor Rick Scott is issuing a challenge to the President.

Scott says the President hasn’t done enough to support federal investment in the massive Port Miami project and the Governor says President Obama needs to pay Florida taxpayers back for their contributions.

“I’m sure the President is gonna come down and compliment us on what we’ve done but on top of that it would great if he reimbursed us for the money that our taxpayers have put out that the federal government was supposed to fund on our ports,” Scott told CBS 4 News.

The Governor wants the President to pay the State of Florida back $75 million dollars that Scott says the federal government was supposed to chip in.  Scott says the dredging project to deepen the port and make way for larger container ships will result in tens of thousands of new jobs. Scott says it’s part of his plan to lower unemployment.

“In two years, because we’ve reduced regulations, reduced taxes and streamlined the permitting process, jobs have come back,” Scott said.

But the White House has been supportive of the Port Project. Last summer CBS 4 News reported that the Obama Administration expedited permits for the work at the Port so the project could get underway more quickly. Our news partners at the Miami Herald reported Thursday that the White House told them the Obama Administration did help fund a $340 million dollar loan for the tunnel project at the port.

The President is expected to speak early Friday afternoon. Expect traffic delays in the area.


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