‘It’s not too late’: Florida Democrats plead with Rick Scott to back bigger virus relief payouts
Image via AP.

rick Scott
Will Democrats move the Senator on a spending bill?

Will a press release from the Florida Democratic Party drive Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott to their position?

While history suggests that’s an unlikely proposition, the FDP nonetheless made an after-business hours appeal Tuesday evening to the first-term Republican, one that came after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the vote on the Democratic bill passed earlier in the day in the House.

“Senator, you have the opportunity to support working Floridians and vote to increase stimulus check payments to $2,000. While Democrats have been supporting larger payments for months, it’s not too late to change your tune and support the lives and livelihoods of your constituents. It’s time to put people above politics for once— say you will vote to support the $2,000 payments,” exhorted the state Democratic Party.

Scott, who will lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2022 election cycle, has thus far not commented on the push to increase stimulus checks by another $1,400 per person.

However, the other Republican Senator from Florida has found a way to support the proposal by yoking it to Donald Trump, who set off the $2,000 discussion last week with tweets saying that $600 wasn’t enough for individual relief checks.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio issued a statement Monday supporting Trump‘s call for $2,000 checks to be sent to each American citizen. The release was contemporaneous with the House voting up a bill to fulfill Trump’s vision.

“I agree with the President that millions of working-class families are in dire need of additional relief, which is why I support $2,000 in direct payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic,” Rubio said.

“I share many of my colleagues’ concern about the long-term effects of additional spending, but we cannot ignore the fact that millions of working-class families across the nation are still in dire need of relief,” Rubio continued. “Congress should quickly pass legislation to increase direct payments to Americans to $2,000.”

On Sunday, the President signed a $900 billion package that included $600 checks for individuals and $1,200 for families. The signing came after Trump teased a veto of the package because of insufficient funds for individuals and funding of various projects he deemed to be “pork,” despite his own Treasury Secretary being a party to the deal.

“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600?” he tweeted on Christmas Day. “It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!”

Despite Rubio and Trump wanting more money, Scott has been a voice of philosophical opposition.

“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.”

Those were Scott’s words as he was one of just six Senators to vote against the $900 billion bill earlier this month.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Ocean Joe

    December 30, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Scott’s slavish loyalty to Trump runs up against his belief that balancing the budget or reigning in spending must always take place on the backs of the poor. Think about it: where would our economy be if our president had taken covid seriously from the start? Now Trump wants to out Democrat the Democrats.

    Mr. Scott propose an amendment to eliminate payments to anyone who didn’t lose their job or is on social security, or lower the $75,000 cut off. And when folks like you talk about mortgaging our children’s future, think about the mortgaging the GOP has done by denying climate change.

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