Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has a plan for how the GOP can put an end to the raft of items on President Biden’s legislative agenda.
Refuse to raise the national debt ceiling.
In comments to NBC News, Scott said that he was pushing for spending cuts ahead of the July 31 deadline to raise the national debt ceiling.
“Our job is to be a fiduciary for the American taxpayer. That’s my job,” said Scott, after spending years voting to increase the debt limit as the deficit grew thanks to massive tax cuts passed by the Trump administration.
The comments come as Scott, who is in charge of campaigns for Senate Republicans in 2022, grasps for ways to undermine the Biden administration.
That’s been complicated by the relative popularity of bills that Biden has signed into law and proposed. After the American Rescue Plan was passed in March, for example, Scott demanded that red states reject the stimulus money.
The Florida senator’s own state disagreed with him, however, with its Republican governor and a key Republican legislator signaling that they’d gladly take the federal cash.
Scott went on to deadpan that “the American public is scared to death of all this debt and what’s happening with inflation.”
The remarks somewhat threaten a repeat of the 2011 and 2013 crises over the debt ceiling, in which House Republicans used their newfound majority to refuse to vote to raise the country’s borrowing limit. That move threatened default, though Republicans balked at following through.
Scott’s proposal would see the threat of default return as a political cudgel unless the Biden administration agrees to cut spending. It’s an echo of Republican tactics during the Obama years, though its unclear that Scott would be able to muster the 41 GOP-ers needed to block an increase of the debt ceiling.
“I’m working on it,” Scott told NBC regarding support for the proposal. “I think people agree with me. I think Republicans agree that we have too much debt and that we have to figure out how to live within our means.”
Since Biden came into office, observers have noted that Democrats have largely disregarded alarmism over the national debt for what it is: a tactic to limit progressive priorities.