On Friday, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) amended his proposal to ‘switch off’ federal laws every five years after Democrats and Republicans repeatedly pointed out that doing so could jeopardize popular programs like Social Security and health insurance.
Scott’s “Rescue America” Plan say now that all federal laws would expire every five years “with specific exceptions for Social Security, Medicare, National Security, Veterans Benefits, and other essential services.” It previously did not include any such exception.
“The very idea that the senator from Florida wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years, I find somewhat outrageous,” President Joe Biden said in Florida last week, continuing months of relentless criticism of Scott’s proposal.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also tore up Scott’s plan, calling it “bad idea” which was not supported by other Republicans. The GOP leader suggested that could cause Scott trouble with his own re-election campaign in Florida, a state with many retirees who rely on Social Security and Medicare.
The document now includes a note to Biden and McConnell saying they should have known somehow that the original proposal “was never intended to apply to Social Security, Medicare, or the United States Navy”.
Republicans had hinted they would seek to change popular retirement benefits during their federal budget showdown with Biden this year, but incoming House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other lawmakers of the GOP have since declared that they would not touch the programs. .
Scott rolled out its plan a year ago this month — not as a legislative proposal, but as an apparent campaign document amid speculation that he could launch a 2024 presidential bid. He was at the time chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, but has pointed out that the plan did not reflect the position of anyone other than himself.
The Florida Republican has since resigned from the campaign committee post. He was also removed from the Senate Commerce Committee after an unsuccessful attempt to replace McConnell as Senate Minority Leader.
This week’s review isn’t the first time Scott has edited his “Rescue America” document, which when it first came out was an 11-point plan. It is now a 12 point plan.
One of the initial points said that all Americans “should pay income tax.” Since half of American households don’t make enough money to owe federal taxes, Scott was essentially calling for higher taxes on tens of millions of poor and low-income working families.
Scott scrapped the bad tax plan within months, replacing it with a call for all able-bodied adults to work and not get welfare. As it has done now with social security and health insurance, it insisted all along that the tax plan did not say what it said.
Scott announced in January that he was up for re-election in Florida and had no plans to run for the White House in 2024.
The Huffington Gt