Rick Scott unveils ‘Make Washington Work’ plan in Panama City

Scott1

Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott today unveiled his 10-point “Make Washington Work” agenda as he kicked off a bus tour in Panama City.

Included in Scott’s plan? Term limits on lawmakers, an end to pay raises and rules barring lawmakers from taking on jobs as lobbyists for decade after their time in office ends.

As far as branding goes, the plan serves as a clear successor to the “Let’s Get to Work” message that twice propelled him to statewide wins for governor, focuses on economic messages like job creation and tax relief.

The plan serves as a policy platform for Scott’s challenge of three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Polls show the candidates in a dead heat.

Scott touts his eight-year record in Tallahassee, during which time Scott’s campaign reports $10 billion in tax cuts, reduced regulations and 1.6 million new jobs.

“I wish Washington had a similar record of accomplishment on behalf of Florida families, and all Americans,” Scott writes in the plan. “Unfortunately, however, federal spending seems to race ever higher and higher, with the national debt growing exponentially.”

Scott’s plan includes 12-year term limits for lawmakers (six full House terms or two Senate terms), as well as a requirement that elected officials work five days a week either in Washington or in district offices.

He also proposes a restriction on lawmakers become registered lobbyists for 10 years after completing their terms.

A recent analysis by The Atlantic found that after the 2014 mid-terms, about half of departing members took lobs with lobbying firms. Scott’s team says after 2016, about two-thirds of departing members did the same.

Scott proposes an end to pay cost-of-living raises — and perhaps more importantly to pensions. “Taxpayers should not be required to foot the pension bill for Members of Congress at all,” the plan states. He also wants to kill insurance subsidies for senators and congressmen.

Scott’s plan calls for a requirement of a two-thirds majority vote to raise federal taxes or fees.

He also proposes a permanent requirement for lawmakers to pass a budget each year or forgo their pay, similar to the one-year requirement put in place in 2013 by the No Budget No Pay Act.

He wants to give the president a line-item veto similar to that enjoyed by Florida’s governor, granting the ability to kill individual spending projects in the budget passed by Congress, and he wants a prohibition on omnibus spending bills.

He also calls for the creation of an ombudsman in the Congressional Budget Office to improve transparency and accountability.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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