McConnell Forced To Strongly Contradict Rick Scott’s Wacky GOP Agenda Amid Criticisms

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) listens to Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) aggressively countered Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) 11-point plan Tuesday as Democrats continue to hammer the party for its tax proposal. 

“Senator Scott is behind me, and he can address the issue of his particular measure,” McConnell began. 

The comment prompted scattered giggles, as Scott had just seconds before left the conference early, escorted by an aide. The timing may have been incidental; Scott started walking away just before McConnell was asked about his plan, and spoke from the Senate floor shortly after on Ukraine.

His office directed TPM to a tweet from Communications Director McKinley Lewis.

“Sen. Rick Scott had to get to the floor for a UC on Russian sanctions,” he wrote.

While in the chamber, Scott missed some biting criticism from McConnell.

“If we are fortunate enough to have the majority next year, I’ll be the majority leader. I’ll decide in consultation with my members what to put on the floor,” McConnell said. “And let me tell you what would not be a part of our agenda: We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half of the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years. That will not be part of the Republican Senate majority agenda.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), also a member of leadership, was milder in his rebuke after the press conference, though seemed to take a shot at Scott’s known ambitions for higher office. 

“I think Republican senators would hope that Rick Scott would stay focused right now on the job of being the chairman of the Senate election committee,” he told reporters. 

Scott is the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), in charge of getting Republican senators elected and reelected. His plan includes plentiful culture war red meat, but has drawn the most Democratic fire over its tax provisions. 

“All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount,” the plan reads. “Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.”

“We’re making sure voters know the facts about Senate Republicans’ agenda: a tax hike on millions of seniors and over half of all Americans,” countered the NRSC’s Democratic counterpart. The DSCC launched an immediate ad campaign centered on the talking point. 

The plan also calls for all federal legislation to sunset in five years, which would continually threaten programs like Social Security and Medicare with potential extinction. 

“If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again,” the plan reads. 

The plan is also heavy on mentions of Scott himself and light on references to senators actually up for reelection in 2022. 

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: