Rick Scott still says Ron DeSantis should have returned extra COVID-19 relief funds
Sen. Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Rick Scott Ron DeSantis
'It makes no sense. Somebody's going to pay that money back.'

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be on the wane, but former Florida Governor and current U.S. Sen. Rick Scott continues to express dismay about Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s decision to continue spending federal relief funds.

During an interview with Bloomberg Television Wednesday, Scott was asked about DeSantis continuing to “deploy” COVID-19 relief funds for priorities not related to the pandemic. Scott said leaders with extra funds should return them to defray the federal debt.

“What every responsible state and local official should do is they should say ‘Hey, I’m going to send that money back. We need to pay down this $30 trillion worth of debt.’ We can’t waste money,” Scott said.

“If there’s something that we needed to do to deal with the COVID crisis, I get it,” Scott added. “But you’re sending money to states that they can spend basically any way they want, or to local governments. It makes no sense. Somebody’s going to pay that money back.”

Scott and DeSantis have diverged on COVID-19 stimulus spending before. The Senator called for DeSantis and other leaders to return extra money last year, even as DeSantis was programming the funds.

When rolling out the $116 million Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative last year in Scott’s hometown of Naples, DeSantis suggested he had complete discretion on how to allocate the federal pot.

“We got this money dumped,” DeSantis noted in March. “I could have just spent it and said it was emergency spending.”

The Governor has taken issue with the funding formula, suggesting it has served as “a bailout for blue states, poorly managed states.”

Democrats have hit DeSantis routinely, charging him with hypocrisy for programming COVID-19 relief funds while describing the process as “Washington at its worst.” What’s clear here, though, is that the Governor’s immediate predecessor still isn’t willing to endorse the spending of relief funds for unrelated purposes, suggesting some Republicans may be rankled as well.

DeSantis has said there’s no point in sending the money back to Washington.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said DeSantis, as reported by POLITICO Florida. “If Florida were to send the money back, (Treasury Secretary Janet) Yellen is going to send it to Illinois, California, New York or New Jersey. I don’t think that would make sense for Floridians — for us to be giving even more money to the blue states.”

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


  • Frankie M.

    April 6, 2022 at 2:48 pm

    Ronnie D likes to complain about getting the $$ but has no problem spending it.

  • That’s you

    April 6, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    “I could have just spent it and said it was emergency spending”

    Yeah you already let people who mental issues but guns

    Hope your next Ron lol

  • Frankie M.

    April 6, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    Follow up: Did Ricky ever pay back that $$ he stole from the guvmint?
    When the federal investigation of Rick Scott’s former hospital company became public in 1997, the board of Columbia/HCA forced him out. Scott left with $300 million in stock, a $5.1 million severance and a $950,000-per-year consulting contract for five years.
    What does Scott call that? Taking responsibility.


  • PeterH

    April 6, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    Rick Scott is absolutely correct on this particular issue. Additionally, Governor DeSantis should be actively working with the Biden Justice Department to hunt down COVID Business fraudsters. So far the Justice Department has identified $10 billion in business fraud.

  • Frankie M.

    April 6, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Scott is absolutely correct and needs to lead by example. When Scott refunds the billions of $$ he bilked from the federal guvmint Florida ahould return the covid $$. After all you if you’re gonna talk the talk you gotta walk the walk. Put some skin in the game you welfare queen.


    April 7, 2022 at 1:30 pm


  • Matthew Lusk

    April 7, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Democrat run States can not survive without federal bailouts. The welfare state is absolutely huge. But welfare is a misnomer, it’s more like salaries for ghost jobs, pork for no product contractors, and incumbent campaign funds through employer arm twisting. Crime is thicker than a London Fog.

    • Greet me

      April 10, 2022 at 12:22 am

      You know the only job Republican states have?

      Wal mart

Comments are closed.


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