Rick Scott pillories Mitch McConnell after collapse of border deal
Sen. Rick Scott at D.C. press conference. Screenshot from X video.

Rick Scott
Meanwhile, Democrats blamed GOP holdouts for any failure to reach a deal.

The collapse of a border deal in the U.S. Senate has lawmakers demanding a different approach. U.S. Sen. Rick Scott criticized his own caucus’s leadership for the situation, and may be laying groundwork for a leadership campaign.

The Naples Republican led a press conference with self-described Senate conservatives. He and other participants criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as frequently as President Joe Biden.

“McConnell decided we are not going to have something that forced a lawless administration to secure the border,” Scott said.

McConnell at a conference meeting recommended Republican Senators vote “no” Wednesday on a budget deal expected to go to the floor. That was after a majority of Senators in the caucus publicly said they opposed the deal, including both of Florida’s U.S. Senators, Scott and Marco Rubio.

In 2022, he became the first challenger to McConnell in decades. He ultimately lost a 37-10 vote. Florida Politics asked Scott’s office if he intends to challenge McConnell for the job of caucus leader, but officials said the Senator has not made any such announcement.

Asked about his last run for caucus leader, Scott at the press conference voiced some resentment that the election was held in November, rather than waiting until all Senate races in the cycle had been resolved in January.

“They rushed it, and we talked about what we wanted to do different,” he said at the press conference.

But as the border deal collapsed, Republicans in Congress took arrows from all sides.

After U.S. Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, negotiated a deal with Senate Democrats that set thresholds for shutting down the border after 5,000 interactions in a day, former President Donald Trump criticized the deal as soft on immigration.

McConnell last month characterized that as a political move intended to leave the border to languish so Trump could run against Biden on the issue in November.

As the deal collapsed, Democrats said Republicans now own any border problems.

“Republicans in Congress cannot get anything done,” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat, told Florida Politics in a statement.

“Extreme MAGA Republicans complain about border security but refuse to act to address the issue. Republicans demanded a border fix and then walked away because they thought fixing the problem may help President Joe Biden.”

But Scott said the means of negotiation, primarily with leadership engaged but the rest of the caucus left in the dark, was the problem.

“We’re going to have to change the way this place works,” Scott said. “I’m a business guy. If I asked somebody to go to negotiate a deal for me, if they didn’t keep me informed, they’re taking a big risk the deal would not happen. That’s exactly what happened here. We had meetings. A lot of us at conference meetings, we told our position both on the border and on Ukraine, and then decisions were made completely without us.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Elly

    February 6, 2024 at 6:00 pm

    Is allowing 5000 illegal immigrants a day (1,800,000 a year) good policy??? What’s up with that??? Basically, Democrats want the same thing as now but want more taxpayer money.

    • Michael K

      February 6, 2024 at 6:14 pm

      Uh, no. I think you misunderstand what immigration policy means. This is exactly what the Republicans asked for and wanted – until they were told not to by the twice-impeached former president facing 91 indictments

      • Michael K

        February 6, 2024 at 6:16 pm

        And, migrants seeking asylum are not “illegals” and a large part of the crisis at the border requires personnel.

        Truth is, Republicans really don;t want to address the issue and solutions so long as they can whip up people with red-meat hate and anger.

      • DemocratshateUSA

        February 7, 2024 at 9:59 pm

        A total lie.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" Ameriecan

      February 6, 2024 at 6:15 pm

      So true beautiful Elly,
      And Mitch McConnell is a dirty 8asturd who sold out to China many years ago even before the 8idens sold themselves to China.
      Rick Scott would serve our Great Nation well to throw Mitch out of leadership.
      Earl Pitts American

      • George

        February 6, 2024 at 7:36 pm

        Rick Scott is benignly toxic.

        • Carl

          February 7, 2024 at 9:28 am

          I agree. Vote him out of office.

      • rick whitaker

        February 7, 2024 at 8:43 pm

        earl, you fool, haven’t you learned, nobody wants florida politicians anywhere near their state or federal government. you are a lying ahole and everyone knows it. pushing poisonous florida maga politicians is deplorable.

    • JD

      February 6, 2024 at 6:28 pm

      Before you continue down the Chicken-little path, that’s not in the bill at all.

      That 5000 per day AVERAGE was to trigger the “border emergency” clause (or 8500 in a single day) of illegal CROSSINGS .

      It wasn’t to let that many in.

      And do you know how many green cards are issued currently in a year? Roughly 1,000,000 a year since 2007 (even under Trump).

      So did you not research these points or are you plant?

      Stop with the f@cking nonsense and admit the Republicans won’t govern.

  • Julia

    February 6, 2024 at 6:12 pm

    I just got paid 7268 Dollars Working off my Laptop this month. And if you think that’s cool, My Divorced friend has twin toddlers and made 0ver $ 13892 her first m0nth. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less.

    This is what I do………> careersrevenue41.blogspot.com

  • David Pickering

    February 6, 2024 at 11:43 pm

    Such a small man

  • Sally B

    February 7, 2024 at 12:17 am

    Under existing federal law, President Biden already has the authority to secure the border and our national sovereignty. The proposed legislation was nothing more than a power grab for the executive branch.

    • LadyLiberty

      February 7, 2024 at 10:01 pm

      Exactly -thank you for taking the time to post the truth.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 10, 2024 at 10:52 am

      Well, Sally B, if it was a power grab for the executive, currently Joe Biden, why did the GOP write the bill and present the bill
      before deciding they were against the bill?

      And if existing federal law already gives Biden the authority to secure the border and sovereignty, what powers would the GOP’s bill have grabbed for him?

      Please try harder. Two sentences and you self contradicted. If I were the one paying you to write internet comments for the GOP side, you’d be fired. You are not good at it.

  • Lex

    February 7, 2024 at 7:52 am

    There is an enormous divide between the traditional leadership of both parties on border security and everyone else in the country. The problem has gotten so large that most normal people now see the ineptitude of traditional Republican and Democrat leadership.

  • Larry Burton

    February 7, 2024 at 7:19 pm

    I cannot believe the “Liberal B/S”
    associated with this article! 🫣🤮🥶 Whether you lean liberal or conservative, NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND can deny where we have ended up under Biden. It’s time for a conservative leaning individual to assume leadership in our great country! 🫣🤮😬💩👍🇺🇸…#TermLimitsNow

    • rick whitaker

      February 7, 2024 at 8:49 pm

      larry burton, i am in my right mind and i think biden is and has been a great president. anybody in their right mind can see that. i judge from your comment that you are a maga cultist, am i right? i can not believe the maga b/s

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 10, 2024 at 10:54 am

      Where we ended up is the GOP refusing their own immigration bill that gave them everything they said they wanted.

      What does that tell you?

      It tells you the GOP’s claims about what they want re the border are a bunch of lies.

      The Democrats just called the GOP’s border bluffing. And the GOP fell for it.

Comments are closed.


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