Rick Scott wants education ‘slush fund’ stripped from relief bill he voted for
Sen. Rick Scott.

scott
Scott voted for the bill, now wants changes.

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.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


5 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    April 22, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Mmm and exactly where will the Slush fund go.

    • HorseTrading

      April 22, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      Perhaps to a place where you and your Democrat friends don’t want it to go…to the working people and the small businesses that employ them.

      The fact that Sen. Scott voted for the bill, is something that was pointed out in the headline, to make him look two-faced.

      But, in reality, all the Republicans who voted for the bill, did so because without agreeing to the wasteful expenditures wanted by the Democrats, the bill would have been held up even longer, and the media would have blamed the delay (as usual) on the Republicans.

      Thus, the horse trading, which is why so many of us hate Congress.

      • Ocean Joe

        April 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm

        Yes, Rick Scott is now the champion of the working people, as demonstrated by a dysfunctional unemployment compensation system he saddled DeSantis with.

  • Frankie M.

    April 22, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    If there’s one thing Rick Scott is an expert on it’s slush funds. Remember that slush fund he created for those Floriduh welfare queens so they could drive around in their Bentley’s and dine at Ruth’s Chris every nite of the week…all on $275 a week. And how about that Medicare slush fund he funneled to Columbia/HCA hospitals. As a friend to the common working man I think Harvard should give back that $9M when Scott returns $300 million in stock, a $5.1 million severance and a $950,000-per-year 5 year contract severance package to the US government. Of course he’s probably already spent that on obtaining higher office. Who says money can’t buy influence?

  • Dayna Gaut

    April 23, 2020 at 10:22 am

    As public k-12 schools must reevaluate student safety and a possible hybrid online/brick and mortar system in addition to regular schooling and online options, we need the money. I urge the Senator to narrowly identify who gets the money. Our public school system is on the cusp of change. Many School board members are plainly out of their knowledge wheelhouse and must be replaced. That is why I stood up to serve for my Orange County School Board District 4. I’m not trying to get attention for me, the important issue is the children who don’t have access to computers and/or wi fi. In Polk County, they put hotspots into school busses and drove them to areas without coverage. That was a good emergency move. Please stop calling it distance learning, it is emergency schooling. Distance learning is a complete online curriculum model. In Orange Count some students received packets of worksheets printed on newsprint to get through the end of the year.

Comments are closed.


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