By Vicki Needham - 02/18/11 10:13 PM EST
O'Malley and several other congressional lawmakers argued that the rail projects would create thousands of jobs in their states.
New York Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter and Paul Tonko also asked for a portion of Florida's funding, which Scott announced on Wednesday he was planning to refuse.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said he's trying to find a way to keep the funds in Florida by going around the state.
Lawyers are researching whether a metropolitan planning organization in Tampa and a rail authority in South Florida, which have volunteered to step forward in place of the state, can accept oversight of the rail project and the $2.4 billion in federal funds.
"As the home to the only existing high speed rail service in the nation, the NEC received far less than other corridors," in recent funding bills, O'Malley said.
He argued that his state is a "logical place" for the funds because they would show immediate results, serving one-third of the U.S. population, while ending transportation service breakdowns related to aging, insufficient and failing infrastructure.
LaHood said he's worked with the states, including Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist to ensure their state doesn't face financial hardship.
"We worked with the governor to make sure we eliminated all financial risk for the state, instead requiring private businesses competing for the project to assume cost overruns and operating expenses," he said in a statement.
The Obama administration has proposed spending $8 billion for high-speed rail in the coming fiscal year and a total of $53 billion over the next six years.