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Rick Scott. Image via AP.

Federal

Why Rick Scott said no to COVID-19 relief

Scott has numerous issues with the legislation.

Congress passed a massive $900 billion stimulus bill Monday night with just six no votes, and a Florida Republican in the Senate was one.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, protesting that “Washington is broken,” said Monday the bill is too big and too costly for legislators to pass.

“Early this afternoon, we were finally provided the text of the combined $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and $900 billion COVID relief bill. It is almost 5,600 pages long and we’re expected to vote on it tonight. Who in their right mind thinks that this [is] a responsible way of governing?”

“This crisis has devastated American small businesses and American workers and I support many of the COVID-related provisions to boost small businesses, prevent further layoffs and enhance unemployment assistance — provisions that are necessary because of the recklessness of the Chinese Communist Party and the overzealous shutdowns by politicians here in America who do not know what it is like to struggle for money or for work,” Scott said.

The Senator is “also glad this package does not include state bailouts, which I’ve been fighting for months, and makes reforms to the Federal Reserve, which provides further protections to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted.”

The Senator wasn’t done, however. Despite the omission of bailout money for state and local governments that Scott inveighed against for months, Scott stressed that he was down on the bill.

“But, in classic Washington style, vital programs are being attached to an omnibus spending bill that mortgages our children and grandchildren’s futures without even giving members a chance to read it. We are not spending money we have in the bank or anticipate we will collect in taxes. Washington doesn’t seem to understand that new spending today will be paid for by increased federal debt and result in a tax increase on families down the road.

“We have to stop operating this way; there is no excuse for the way Washington treats the American taxpayers. I’ve repeatedly voted against enormous and wasteful spending bills. The easy route is simply to go along as Congress continues to do harm to future generations of Americans, but I will not be a part of it,” Scott maintained.

Scott was joined by five of his Republican colleagues, but not Sen. Marco Rubio, in opposing the measure.

The Senator was praised for his stance Tuesday afternoon, with Americans for Prosperity – Florida State Director Skylar Zander thanking Scott for “rejecting this package that contains billions of dollars in spending unrelated to COVID and reads more like a Christmas wish list for special interests.”

Written By

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 AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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