Tag: rick scott
Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz And Rick Scott Back House Extremists On Government Shutdown

Much of the federal government could shut down on October 1, with far-right members of the House Republican majority unable to come to an agreement on federal funding for the upcoming fiscal year. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rick Scott (R-FL) have been cheering those extremists on.

The House has approved just one of the 12 must-pass appropriations bills needed to keep the government operational each year. Although President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reached an agreement in May, members of the archconservative House Freedom Caucus have refused to allow votes on legislation to fund the government at those levels or on a short-term extension of last year’s spending levels.

After narrowly winning their 2018 reelection races, Cruz and Scott are the most vulnerable Republican Senate incumbents on the ballot in 2024, according to the Cook Political Report. Both sided with the far-right House GOP faction against a bipartisan spending deal.

“Thank God for the @freedomcaucus and all they are doing to ensure Washington does its job and reins in Democrats’ reckless spending,” Scott tweeted on Sept. 12. “Since 2019, the population is up 1.8%, but budgets have grown by 55%. It makes no sense, drives inflation & must be stopped.”

During an appearance at a Freedom Caucus press conference on the same day, he said: “I thank God for what the Freedom Caucus is doing in the House. If they don’t stand up, nobody’s standing up. They stood up on the debt ceiling, and they fought for a great bill. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up that way, but they fought for a great bill. We’ve got to stop this insanity.”

Cruz praised Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy, the Freedom Caucus policy chair and Cruz’s own former chief of staff, for fighting against a compromise.

He told Spectrum News on Monday:

“What Chip is arguing for is that Republicans, who were just given a majority in the House, ought to stand up and fight for the priorities that the people elected them to fight for. I think that’s exactly right.”

“Washington often presents a false choice that either … you have to completely concede to the massive spending, the unprecedented debt that is fueling inflation that is hurting Texans across the state, you either have to completely roll over to the Democrats, or the alternative is a shutdown,” Cruz said, according to Spectrum News. “I don’t think we should have a shutdown.”

While a shutdown would not stop the federal government from carrying out some essential functions, it would have to cease most operations, and federal workers would not get paid.

This would mean older Americans would be unable to file new Social Security claims, that lower-income citizens would be unable to access food aid through the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, veterans would not be able to get services, and food safety inspections would grind to a halt. Recent shutdowns have reduced the nation’s gross domestic product by billions of dollars.

While the House Republicans have been unable to agree on a path forward, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have joined together to offer bipartisan appropriations bills.

On September 14, the Senate voted 91-7 to begin debate on a three bill “minibus” package to fund the Departments of Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Food and Drug Administration and military construction, for the next fiscal year. Cruz and Scott both voted against the proposal.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Rick Scott

Rubio, Scott And DeSantis Want Disaster Aid They Voted Against For Other States

As their state prepared for Hurricane Idalia this week, Florida Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott called for immediate disaster relief and an $11.5 billion increase in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Both have previously voted against FEMA funding after emergencies in other states.

At the request of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Rubio, and Scott, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state on August 28. “Florida has my full support as they prepare for Idalia and its aftermath,” the president tweeted.

But with FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund about to run out of funding, Biden asked Congress on August 10 to approve $12 billion in additional disaster relief, $3.9 billion to address immigration, and $24 billion to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion.

Scott and Rubio opposed the idea of considering the requests together and demanded the FEMA aid funds be passed separately.

Scott said in a press release on Monday:

Unfortunately, while I’ve spent the months leading up to this storm fighting to make sure the federal government shows up, President Biden and politicians in Washington have been playing games with FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund and insisting that this critical domestic aid be tied to foreign aid for Ukraine. We’ve had enough with Washington playing politics and demand that Congress does what’s right for American families, starting with ensuring our federal government has all the resources it needs to show up after disasters, now and in the future.

Scott’s call for billions in new spending comes just months after he proposed massive across-the-board government spending cuts. “It’s simple: If we went back to 2019 spending levels, we’d have a balanced budget,” he tweeted on June 5. “Instead, @JoeBiden and Democrats insist on spending more and more money every year.”

Less than a year ago, Scott asked his colleagues to approve a special disaster relief package after Hurricane Ian caused significant damage to Florida and other southeastern states. USA Today noted in October 2022 that Scott had been one of just 25 senators who had voted just days before against a continuing resolution to avert a federal government shutdown and to provide $18.8 billion to keep FEMA running. Rubio also voted no.

“This CR failed to fund the federal government until the new Congress begins in 2023, and that is why I could not support it,” Scott explained at the time, noting that he had unsuccessfully sought a stand-alone vote on the FEMA money only.

In January 2013, Rubio voted against a $50.5 billion disaster relief package in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which did an estimated $80 billion worth of damage to New York and other mid-Atlantic states.

Rubio called for a much smaller package, misleadingly claiming, “In sum, the current spending bill goes far beyond emergency relief and all efforts to strip the bill of unrelated pork are being blocked.”

DeSantis, then a U.S. representative, also voted against the 2013 Sandy relief package. “I sympathize with the victims of Hurricane Sandy and believe that those who purchased flood insurance should have their claims paid,” he said after the vote. “At the same time, allowing the program to increase its debt by another $9.7 billion with no plan to offset the spending with cuts elsewhere is not fiscally responsible.”

According to The Hill, New Jersey Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo scolded opponents of Sandy funding during the floor debate, warning:

Florida, good luck with no more hurricanes. California, congratulations, did you get rid of the Andreas Fault? The Mississippi’s in a drought. Do you think you’re not going to have a flood again? Who are you going to come to when you have these things? We need this, we need it now. Do the right thing, as we have always done for you.

Experts agree that climate change is causing flooding from storms like Idalia to be more severe and damaging. Scott, Rubio, and DeSantis all have long records of opposing efforts to address global warming.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Donald Trump

Unanimous Jury Verdict Against Trump In Carroll Lawsuit Enrages Republicans

On Tuesday, a jury of his peers found Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and awarded E. Jean Carroll $5 million for physical and verbal attacks, along with the smears he made against her after she spoke up. This is the “grab ‘em by the pussy” Trump we all knew about in 2016. It’s the same Trump who put every House and Senate member in physical danger when he unleashed a violent mob on the Capitol on January 6. And the Republicans he endangered just can’t quit him.

After the historic verdict was announced, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) slammed the jury. “The jury’s a joke. The whole case is a joke,” he told reporters. “If someone accuses me of raping them and I didn’t do it, and you’re innocent, of course you’re going to say something about it … it was a joke.”

This is the same guy who blasted Trump as “a man who in rallies has told his supporters to basically beat up the people who are in the crowd and he'll pay their legal fees, someone who has encouraged people in the audience to rough up anyone who stands up and says something he doesn't like” after losing to Trump in the 2016 primary. But sure, that guy wouldn’t assault a woman in a department store dressing room.

Then there’s the walking GOP zeitgeist who is Sen. Tommy Tuberville, from Alabama. “It makes me want to vote for him twice.” Which is an okay thing to do, if you’re a Republican. “They’re going to do anything they can to keep him from winning. It ain’t gonna work ... people are gonna see through the lines; a New York jury, he had no chance.”

Hating on New York is their theme. “I don’t know the facts,” the other Florida Man, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), said before assuming that of course Trump didn’t do it. “It’s a New York jury, too,” he added. Trump caddy Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina added: “When it comes to Donald Trump, the New York legal system is off the rails.”

No Republican said they wouldn’t support Trump in 2024. Even the ones who don’t like him. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney wouldn’t say it directly. “I hope the jury of the American people reach the same conclusion: we need a different nominee to be the nominee for president,” Romney said. “He is in no position to be the president of the United States.”

There was a lot of that passive voice among the Republicans who don’t want to be associated with Trump but are too scared to say so. “I would have a difficult time” voting for him, Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said. Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said the whole thing “creates concern.” (There was no immediate word on Maine Sen. Susan Collins’ level of concern.)

“People who love him will still support him and people who don’t, won’t,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told reporters, adding it’s “too early to tell” what it will mean for 2024. (That’s a dodge.)

Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dodged the question too, using the excuse of having been too busy with their debt ceiling meeting with President Joe Biden to have any opinion. They will undoubtedly remain too busy. So much for leadership.

Even former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a 2024 contender for the presidential nomination against Trump, says she sees "no need" to respond to the verdict against Trump. "That’s something for Trump to respond to," she told Hugh Hewitt. "I think the focus has to be not to be distracted. That’s why we’ve got to leave the baggage and the negativity behind … it’s not my case. It’s his case."

Trump wasn’t wrong back in 2016: "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?" he told a group of supporters. He wouldn’t lose the support of Republicans in Congress, either. "It's, like, incredible." That’s true, too. Not in a good way.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Rick Scott

Senate Republicans Smear Fauci With Old And Misleading Video Clip

On March 16, the PBS program American Masters posted an excerpt from its March 21 episode showing footage of Dr. Anthony Fauci in June 2021 encouraging citizens to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) shared a part of the video on Monday, misleadingly claiming it contradicted Biden’s September 2022 observation that the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

The video shows Fauci, then the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, going door to door in Washington, D.C., with Mayor Muriel Bowser. At the time, the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines had proven to be at least 90 percent effective at preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Weeks after the footage was taped, it became apparent that the growth of the delta variant had rendered the inoculations less capable of preventing the disease, though they remained safe and effective tools to reduce the severity of illness.

After right-wing talk show host Clay Travis tweeted an excerpt of the footage on Monday showing Bowser and Fauci trying to explain the science and process behind the creation of the vaccines, Scott shared it without mentioning that the video was nearly two years old.

“What happened to Biden stating COVID was over when he opened our borders?” he asked. “Government once again attempting to use fear to control our lives. Great to see Americans sticking up for themselves.”

Missouri Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt also shared part of the clip, attacking Fauci and accusing him of changing his positions on the use of masks to curb the spread of the virus.

“Fauci is a fraud,” Schmitt wrote. “This is the man who funded Gain of Function research then lied about it. He privately told friends masks were ineffective then wanted masks imposed on everyone else Fauci should be held accountable.”

While Fauci urged people in the early days of the pandemic to save the limited supply of personal protective equipment for health care workers, he later urged widespread mask usage after it became apparent that they helped curb the spread from asymptomatic people infected with the virus.

Other Republican lawmakers also shared a segment of the American Masters video that showed a citizen questioning the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Anthony Fauci isn’t just content to be the most destructive bureaucrat in American history, he also wants to be the most dangerous door-to-door salesman in American history,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley wrote, “The new season of American Horror Story … Fauci at the Door.”

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.