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Tag: rick scott

GOP Attacks Democrats For Voting To Preserve Nation’s Credit

Republican campaigns will harshly criticize Democratic lawmakers who vote to raise the debt ceiling in the 2022 midterm elections, the leader of the GOP's Senate campaign arm said.

"They're going to get held accountable for it," Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who leads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NBC News' Sahil Kapur in an interview on Thursday.


When asked if the debt ceiling issue will be a subject of Republican campaign ads attacking Democrats, Scott responded, "Oh, you better believe it." He added that Republicans also plan to criticize Democrats if they succeed in passing the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill that's currently making its way through Congress.

Members of both political parties have voted to raise the debt ceiling in past years. Republicans in Congress voted to increase the debt limit three times during former President Donald Trump's tenure.

During Trump's time in office, the United States added $7.8 trillion to the national debt. The GOP's 2017 tax cuts, which largely benefited the wealthiest Americans, will add roughly $1.9 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Since President Joe Biden assumed office, however, Republicans lawmakers have started using what was once a routine procedural vote as a cudgel to hold the U.S. economy hostage for their short-term political gains.

The federal government will hit its so-called "debt ceiling" sometime in October. If Congress doesn't act to raise the debt ceiling, funding for U.S. government agencies, programs and services will lapse. Further, the Treasury Department would default on the United States' debt, sending the country into an immediate recession that could wipe out 6 million American jobs and trillions of dollars in household wealth.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who voted to raise the debt ceiling just two years ago — has said Republicans won't vote to continue funding the government this time around.

But when Trump was president, McConnell argued that not raising the debt ceiling would be catastrophic for the country.

"I certainly don't think any Senators are rooting for a debt limit crisis that could put our full faith and credit at risk," McConnell said in 2019. "That means every one of our colleagues should actually vote for it."

McConnell is now going so far as to block the debt ceiling bill from an up-or-down vote and has vowed to filibuster the vote. He also wants Democrats to use a more complicated Senate procedure called budget reconciliation to raise the borrowing limit just with Democratic votes.

This decision has little to do with actual governance, and everything to do with scoring political points against Democrats — no matter the cost to Americans. Scott himself said this will be the GOP's playbook ahead of 2022: to hammer Democrats in ads for increasing the debt.

Still, it's unclear how effective Scott's strategy will be.

Polls have shown that 52 percent of Americans support Democrats' wide-ranging spending plan, which would make child care more affordable; give American workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave; lower the eligibility age for Medicare recipients; and add dental, vision, and hearing benefits to existing Medicare plans.

The debt limit, by contrast, is not a top concern among American voters.

An Axios/Ipsos poll from August found that "government budget and debt" ranked sixth among the most important issues for voters, behind the COVID-19 pandemic, political extremism, climate change, crime, and health care.

And a Gallup poll from August found just two percent of Americans saying that the "federal budget deficit/federal debt" is the "most important problem facing the country today."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Rick Scott Gives GOP ‘Freedom’ Award To Raving Racist

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The Republican Party's Senate campaign arm has given an award to a conservative activist who complained in 2012 that "racial hypocrisy" had increased in America under President Barack Obama and that "the heat has really been turned up by the Blacks in this country."

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) on August 17 announced that the National Republican Senatorial Committee's "Champion of Freedom" award had been given to Colorado-based activist Maria Weese. Scott is chair of the committee.

In a remote broadcast on earlier in August from his office, Scott described Weese as someone who "has promoted the ideas that have made this country prosperous, a country which she became a citizen of at age 21. People like Maria make our country so great."

Weese has in the past made racist comments about Blacks in America, President Barack Obama, and South African President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela.

In a July 1, 2012, post to her Facebook account, Weese wrote, "Every excuse is being made to create the impression that the Whites in America are still persecuting and suppressing the Blacks in America. ... It must be an election year and you can see the wagons circling around Obama led by the Blacks, the far left liberalists, the unions, environmental activists, the members of the American communist party, the minorities getting government checks in the mail, the fat cats in the entertainment industry, and the rest of the uninformed and naive liberals in this country."

In 2013, according to the website Colorado Pols, Weese wrote on Facebook after the death of South African President Nelson Mandela:

Call it for what it is ,
Mandela was a Communist and and Obama is too….
Mandela won an election based on his race Obama won an election based on his race…
Mandela was made famous world wide by media for his Marxist ideology, Obama was made famous world wide for the media hiding his Marxist ideology…
Mandela endured prison Obama endured Michelle….

While the "Champion of Freedom" award is new in 2021, Weese is not the first person to receive it, nor the first with a history of racist comments.

The first person given the award was former President Donald Trump, who received it in April despite his own legacy of racist remarks.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Why Senate Republicans Have A Raging DeSantis Problem

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The politics of Florida's raging COVID-19 outbreak under the bankrupt stewardship of GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis are proving to be particularly challenging for Senate Republicans.

Not only has DeSantis become the poster boy for dooming his constituents in service of political gain, but the southern swing state is also home to a dissonant mix of political interests as next year's midterms approach.

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GOP Senate Campaign Chair Blasts 17 Colleagues Who Support Infrastructure Deal

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) scolded 17 of his Republican colleagues on Thursday for helping Democrats pass "reckless spending." But as chair of the party's campaign arm, it's his job to get them re-elected.

Scott appeared on an online series posted by Americans for Prosperity, an anti-government dark money group created by petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch.

In the interview, he complained that 67 of his Senate colleagues — 50 Democrats in addition to the 17 Republicans ‚ voted on Wednesday to begin consideration of a bipartisan infrastructure agreement.

"I think you should be pretty disappointed first off. So last night we took a vote to proceed on a bill that we've never seen the text on. Just think about that: we had all these senators vote for a bill they've never seen," Scott said.

He objected to the package, which he said was $1.2 trillion, lamenting, "We don't know how it's gonna get paid for." And he said backing that package was "just part of helping the Democrats get the $5.5 trillion bill done," referring to a proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package also expected to be considered in the upcoming weeks.

"If you think about everything they're doing: It's reckless spending," Scott charged, before blasting his colleagues for even voting to debate the proposal:

Should politicians be voting for bills they've never read? I don't think they should. Should they be voting for bills that they don't know how they're gonna get paid for? They shouldn't. Should they be honest with you as a taxpayer of what's gonna happen to your taxes? They should. Should we create a bunch of new social programs and all this liberal wish list? I don't believe that's where the American public is.

The vote in question was on a motion to proceed to consideration of H.R. 3684, a vehicle to allow debate on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted in favor.

"I'm glad to see these discussions making progress and I was happy to vote to begin moving the Senate toward what ought to be a robust, bipartisan floor process for legislation of this magnitude," the Kentucky Republican said Thursday.

The bipartisan plan will invest $550 billion in new transportation, broadband, electric vehicle, and water system infrastructure. It will be paid for by repurposing unspent funds, corporate fees, and expanded cryptocurrency tax enforcement, among other things.

Contrary to Scott's accusation, no one was voting for a bill they had not read. The motion merely allowed the beginning of the debate and amendment process. Passage of the bill will only come after its text is finalized and agreed upon by at least 60 senators.

In January, Scott became chair of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign. In that position, he is tasked with re-electing GOP Senate incumbents and trying to win back the majority in the 2022 elections.

"I look forward to working with Leader McConnell and all of our incumbents while recruiting strong challengers across the country," he vowed at the time. "Our Party is unified and united. We are focused on the future and we will win."

But five of the GOP incumbents up for re-election next year were among the people Scott just denounced: Idaho's Mike Crapo, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, North Dakota's John Hoeven, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, and Indiana's Todd Young.

Polling also suggests Scott is very wrong about what the public wants. A Navigator Research poll last week found 66 percent of registered voters — and even a 46 percent plurality of Republicans — back the bipartisan infrastructure framework.

Other polls have also shown broad support for the priorities likely to be included in the Democratic reconciliation package.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republicans Warn That Opposing Racism Is A ‘Communist’ Plot

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) claimed on Tuesday that advocating for dismantling systemic racism is propaganda in service to the Communist Party of China.

On Tuesday afternoon, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan wrote, "On the anniversary of George Floyd's murder, we reflect on the fact that dismantling systemic racism is also a national security priority. The fight for racial justice at home and abroad is foundational to our future & to how the world sees us."

"This tweet is approved by the Communist Party of China," Cotton tweeted in response just minutes later.

Republicans in Congress largely ignored the anniversary of George Floyd's murder. But they have been more vocal about the supposed communist threat of anti-racist policy and education.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Wednesday argued that "social justice" is "often code for social Marxism." Rep. Matt Gaetz said just days ago that "the real threat to our nation is the Marxism and Critical Race Theory that they [the Biden administration] embraces." And Rep. Mo Brooks wrote earlier in May that "Marxism stokes division by fanning the flames of class, race, and gender resentment."

Cotton has repeatedly lashed out at efforts to address systemic racism in America.

In February, he characterized efforts by the Biden administration to address racism as "anti-American" and racist itself.

A month later, Cotton said that acknowledging the existence of racial bias in the country was "slander" against America.

Other Republicans have similarly attacked the concept of systemic racism.

Thirty Republicans in the House banded together this month to push legislation that would prevent the government from addressing racism. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), has argued that "systemic socialism" is more of a "real" problem than racism.

International rivals of the United States have tried to exploit the racial animosity in the country to their own advantage. Citing campaigns by the Russian and Chinese governments to highlight and exploit America's racial divisions, the Center for a Just Security recently noted, "America's competitors view its social division, history of racism, and domestic anti-democratic movements as a vulnerability for the country."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Corporate PACs Resume Giving To GOP Insurrectionists

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who voted to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election, is in charge of his party's effort to regain a majority in the Senate. Despite his attempts to throw out President Joe Biden's electors, several corporate PACs gave tens of thousands last quarter to his group — including some PACs that pledged not to.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which Scott chairs, disclosed its finances on Tuesday for the first three months of 2021 to the Federal Election Commission. It reported receiving more than $750,000 in contributions from political action committees associated with corporations and trade associations.

According to research by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, several of those PACs had been critical of Scott and other Republican lawmakers who voted against accepting Biden's victory on January 6. Some companies had promised to pause their PAC giving; others explicitly vowed to stop funding those legislators:

CVS

CVS Health said in January its future PAC donations were "under review based on the events of the past few weeks." It gave $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee on March 30.

Home Depot

Home Depot released a Jan. 27 statement that it was "pausing to take time to carefully review and reevaluate each of the members who voted to object to the election results before considering further contributions to them." On March 31, it sent $15,000.

Intel

Intel's PAC gave the party committee $15,000 on March 2. According to Popular Information, the tech giant said in January that its political action committee "continuously reevaluates its contributions to candidates to ensure that they align with our values, policies and priorities," and that "we will not contribute to members of Congress who voted against certification of the Electoral College results as we feel that action was counter to our company's values."

Oracle

National Republican Senatorial Committee received $3,750 from Oracle PAC on March 25. On January 17, the company promised it would "pause contributions to anyone who voted against certifying the November 2020 election results."

PG&E

Pacific Gas & Electric released a January statement, saying, "The lawlessness and mob violence we all witnessed last week is completely unacceptable," and that it planned listening sessions "to better understand our common positions and determine the best path forward." Its PAC donated $15,000 to NRSC on March 9.

Pfizer

"Pfizer PAC will not contribute to any of the 147 Members of Congress who voted against certifying the Electoral College results after the violence we all witnessed," the company reportedly said in a January internal email. "After six months, we will review our decision." The PAC gave $15,000 on March 2, less than two months later.

PNC Financial Services

PNC Financial Services Group sent $15,000 on March 24. They claimed in January that they had "suspended contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the certification of the nation's valid Electoral College votes."

Sanofi

Chemical & Engineering News reported in January that Sanofi and other pharmaceutical firms were cutting off donations to those who objected to the Electoral College count. The company PAC gave $15,000 on March 17.

After his actions in January, Scott faced calls to resign from his National Republican Senatorial Committee post. The editorial board of the Orlando Sentinel blasted him as "unfit for office" and one of "Florida's enemies of democracy."

But rather than hold him accountable as they promised, these eight corporations combined to give him at least $108,750 to support his efforts to elect a GOP Senate in 2022.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Self-Proclaimed White Nationalist Parties With Republicans At Trump Resort

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who has said she is "pro-white nationalism," was in attendance at an official Republican Party fundraiser held at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday.

Loomer is running for the seat in Florida's 21st Congressional District currently held by Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, a rematch of the race in the 2020 election cycle that Loomer lost to Frankel by 20 points, despite the support of Lara Trump, the wife of Donald Trump's son Eric.

Mar-a-Lago, where the elder Trump is currently living, is within the 21st Congressional District.

Trump was one of the speakers at the Republican Party of Palm Beach County's "Lincoln Day" dinner.

Also featured were Florida's Republican Sen. Rick Scott and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis; DeSantis received an award as the "Republican Party of Palm Beach County's Statesman of the Year" at the fundraiser.

Loomer posted a photo from the event on the conservative social media network Telegram showing her alongside former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "Great meeting Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo," reads the caption. The picture is marked with the logo of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County.

In another posting, Loomer uploaded a photo of herself with the caption, "At Mar a Lago tonight for the Palm Beach County Lincoln Day Dinner!"

This week, Loomer continued to make the sort of bigoted remarks she has made in the past.

On Monday, she said in reaction to a hearing of the Florida Senate on social media content, "It's incredible to see how so many Senators have no idea that there is NO SUCH THING AS HATE SPEECH."

In an audio recording released in March, Loomer expressed her support for white nationalism.

"I totally support ethnonationalism. Someone asked me 'Are you pro-white nationalism?' Yes. I'm pro-white nationalism," she said.

Loomer has also previously expressed Islamophobic beliefs, tweeting in 2017, " I never want another Muslim entering this country EVER AGAIN!"

She has been banned from Twitter and from the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft.

Loomer's current campaign has been endorsed by two members of Congress who share her tendency to make bigoted comments: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ).

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Desperate Republicans Plead With Trump To ‘Play Team Ball’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Remember what a fricking mess of contradictions Republican messaging was in the Georgia runoffs? Senate Republicans have apparently decided they want to rerun that losing strategy in 2022.

On Friday, yet another picture of a GOP seditionist and congressional campaign chief kissing Donald Trump's ring at Mar-a-Lago made the rounds on social media. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy may have beaten him to it, but Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was still brimming with enthusiasm.

Yet another installment in the GOP chronicles of, "Can't live with him, don't have the mettle to give him the heave-ho."

So while Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are still trading jabs over who doomed their Senate majority, Trump bootlickers are begging him to be a team player in 2022 rather than settle personal scores.

"Endorse as many incumbents that you can. Come out for the folks that you can come out for," Sen. Lindsey Graham told Trump Monday, according to Politico. "Play team ball to the extent it's possible."

Because appealing to the King of Reason is definitely a recipe for success. I mean, what could possibly be more team-y than sending a cease and desist letter to all the GOP campaign committees using your likeness to fundraise?

But Republicans—who are simply too dim to find new ways to appeal to voters themselves—are stuck clinging to a loser. Sure, that loser might try to take a pick axe to the reelection bids of GOP incumbent senators like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Thune of South Dakota, but he's got that irresistible charisma.

"He brought a bunch of new voters into the party that we want to keep," said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who's up for reelection next year and has been keeping Trump close.

Never mind the 80 million people Trump mobilized to come out and vote against him, which proved particularly devastating in former GOP strongholds such as Georgia and Arizona.

Meanwhile, Trump could easily doom Republicans again in 2022 by endorsing radicals for the GOP's open Senate seats, particularly in states like North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. One retiring GOP senator already seems resigned to Trump's kiss of death.

"I don't have the ability to keep someone from winning the primary. That's something that Pennsylvania Republican voters are going to decide," Sen. Pat Toomey said.

In the meantime, Republicans are hoping against hope they won't also be forced to defend open seats in two more states: Iowa and Wisconsin. So far, things are really coming together nicely for their big midterm comeback.