Rick Scott suggests Mitch McConnell could have stopped new IRS hires
The feud continues.

Scott McConnell
"Why couldn't we wait two weeks for Republicans to take over the House before we did the omnibus?"

The one-sided feud between Florida Sen. Rick Scott and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continues.

During an interview Friday afternoon on Philadelphia’s WPHT-AM, Scott suggested that the Kentucky Republican could have stopped the Internal Revenue Service from hiring 87,000 new tax agents if he’d only had the political courage to do so.

“Well, I ran against Iran against Mitch McConnell because, you know, he’s been caving into the Democrats. You know, he supported the omnibus bill,” Scott said, referring to the $1.7 billion package passed late last year with Republican Senate support, while Democrat Nancy Pelosi was still House Speaker.

“Why couldn’t we wait two weeks for Republicans to take over the House before we did the omnibus,” Scott asked. “Guess what? We would have gotten rid of the 87,000 I.R.S. Agents.”

Scott lost his bid for Senate leadership, garnering only ten votes in his failed challenge to McConnell after the 2022 Midterm Elections. Conservative Senators aligned with him have made similar arguments that Senate Republicans could have stopped the bill, despite Democrats controlling the Senate before and after the 2022 election.

Scott, the wealthiest member of the Senate, has messaged heavily against the workforce additions at the IRS, including a letter telling people there is no point in applying to join the “IRS super police force” that would “kill” negligent taxpayers because Republicans would defund them.

The Senator has been no less voluble about McConnell, meanwhile, even with the caucus not backing his failed challenge for the Minority Leader position last year. He did not rule out another challenge for leadership in two years during a recent media hit on The Charlie Kirk Show,

“Absolutely. I’m not giving up,” Scott said in response to a direct question. “Charlie, I’m not giving up.”

“I pray that you can become Senate Majority Leader one day. We should be in the majority in the Senate. It’s ridiculous that we’re not,” Kirk harrumphed.

The GOP failure to flip the Senate in spite of a challenging first two years for President Biden, which should have offered momentum, was a subject of an ongoing controversy between Scott and McConnell during Scott’s less-than-successful run as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

Scott spent a lot of time last year defending NRSC strategy against attacks, and also delivered a series of defenses of the 2022 candidates who emerged from Primaries while addressing McConnell’s doubts that Republicans had more than a 50/50 “jump ball” shot at taking back the Senate due to questionable candidates in certain races. Scott predicted that as many as 55 seats could go Republican, which did not happen.

The first public indications of disquiet between caucus leader McConnell and Scott came last winter. They had a public split over Scott’s “12-point plan to rescue America.” McConnell slammed the plan’s suggestion of review of federal entitlement programs as a nonstarter even if the GOP had taken back Senate control.

Scott has begun his re-election campaign, and the messaging suggests McConnell is his foil more so than any in-state politician. The Senator’s first ad addressed his failed challenge to McConnell with a national ad buy seen on Fox News.

“We’re on the road to woke socialism and Republicans are just a speed bump,” Scott warned in the spot. “We can’t keep doing the same old thing. It’s time for Republicans to be bold, speak the truth, and stop caving in.”



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


  • Victoria

    January 21, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Americans actually want full staffing at the IRS so somebody can answer questions and process returns.

  • cassandra

    January 21, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Fraud Scott is lying again. The 87,000 hires are for many different IRS positions—- not all “new tax agents”, and they will be hired over ten years–not all immediately.

    Additional agents will allow IRS to audit more very high income ‘earners’ whose lawyers currently stall the IRS. As it is now, IRS can only afford to question middle income earners’ tax returns.

    Additional IRS agents will significantly decrease investigations of middle income and small business earners who are currently being disproportionately audited. Additional staffers will be able to answer quests from regular taxpayers who cannot afford a tax lawyer.

    Scott is trying desperately to protect himself and his friends from IRS scrutiny. With additional IRS agents and staff, increased taxes will be collected—but only from upper income ‘earners’.

    • cassandra

      January 21, 2023 at 12:11 pm

      * questions

      • Harold Finch

        January 22, 2023 at 3:02 pm

        I hope your right. So we will see……….

  • Joe Corsin

    January 21, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    God knows why people who don’t have at least 20 million in the bank vote for Rick Scott. Clearly these people only function to sabotage and obstruct government to benefit the rich. Donald Trump proved to everyone once again that there’s a sucker born every minute.

  • Donald E. L. Johnson

    January 21, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    I definitely will vote for Sen. Rick Scott’s re-election in 2024, but I’m skeptical about his Ted Cruz-style approach to politics and Sen. McConnell.

    While’ I’ve had my differences with Scott and McConnell, I think Scott has a lot to offer the country and that Mconnell, who is a bit younger than I am, has an amazingly strong record and is doing a great job of dealing with two peas in a pod, Trump and Biden.

    Scott’s tweets on spending remind me of the cluelessness of a lot of GOP senators some 60 years ago.

    Instead of promising budget cuts, which scare people, he should be using his expertise in health care and his experience as a former Florida governor to come up with politically workable proposals.

    For example, why aren’t he and Sen. Romney, another healthcare and business whiz, joining to reform Medicare and Medicaid. They need to be debureaucratized. Just simplifying providers compliance with conflicting laws and regs would free up billions for hospitals and other providers to invest in staffing up so that seniors and the poor get quality healthcare.

    The same approach would free up trillions to make DOD and other agencies better servants of their core constituencies.

    Why aren’t GOP senators coming up with real reforms instead of the same old health care deform legislation we see every year. We don’t need more ACA (Obamacare).

  • rust

    January 22, 2023 at 9:05 am

    Alien Rick uses the phase “woke socialism” as if it’s an evil. What we want is for the IRS to make sure that the super rich pay some taxes to help fund our government. You know the government that helps pay for National defense, infrastructure, disaster assistance and other beneficial services. The IRS is presently understaffed and needs technical upgrades. It’s a baldfaced lie to say that the funds allocated for the IRS is intended to create a Nazi police force to harass ordinary taxpayers. Alien Rick is a crooked cheater who got rich by stealing Federal Medicare funds and who does not speak truth – he pleads the 5th.

  • akjohnIII

    January 24, 2023 at 10:47 am

    I am not reading Floridians opinions . These are Democrats letting their frustrations out on Sen. Scott. I also see here that most of you complainers still don’t how the FAIR TAX really works.
    Do some research before you gripe about it.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn