U.S. Sen. Rick Scott continued his recent trend of demanding retroactive changes to bills he supported.
On Wednesday, the first-term Republican echoed the President’s call to have Harvard University pay back nearly $9 million it received via the federal CARES Act, before going further and calling for an end to the educational “slush fund” created by the $2.2 trillion economic rescue package.
“It’s ridiculous that wealthy universities like Harvard, which has a $40 billion endowment, would get taxpayer funding during a crisis,” Scott said.
“That takes money out of the hands of small businesses and individuals that need it. The university whose mission is to educate the ‘citizen-leaders for our society’ should show some leadership of their own and return this money,” Scott added.
“If they continue to refuse to do so, I’m urging the President to immediately submit the rescission request to Congress that I called for two weeks ago so we can rescind the funding to Harvard and other wealthy higher education institutions.”
Scott did not name the non-Harvard targets of rescission.
The President told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that Harvard would pay back the money. However, Harvard has no intention of doing that.
Scott proposes that a rescission request come from the White House, which would restrict usage of the money for 45 days. This proposal will be familiar to some readers, as the Senator floated it in a previous protest against the CARES Act at the end of March.
The Naples Republican wrote Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russ Vought, urging for clawback of “billions of dollars of wasteful and unrelated funding included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act so this money can instead be used to help American families.”
Among the proposed cuts weeks back: $25 million to the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, $88 million to the Peace Corps for “evacuating volunteers and U.S. direct hires from overseas,” and $30.8 billion to the Department of Education for an “Education Stabilization Fund.”
Also recommended for the chopping block previously:
— $75 million for National Endowment for the Arts
— $75 million for National Endowment for Humanities
— $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
— $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services
It remains to be seen whether the President will use a rescission request, for Harvard or any of the other spending he and other Republicans supported when it mattered but grouse about now.