Senate Republican leaders did not plan on releasing a platform or agenda outlining their priorities as they tried to win back the majority in the midterms, but unfortunately for them, Florida’s junior Senator and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott (R-FL) got in front of them and released his own plan.
It’s not good.
Lowlights include the new GOP plan to raise taxes on the working poor and seniors which Sen. Scott would achieve by rolling back part of the massive 2017 Trump tax cuts but keeping all of the corporate welfare benefits and giveaways to the top 1% income earners in America.
In typical Republican fashion (pre-Trump) they’d rather not make promises that they have absolutely no plans to deliver on. For a long time, Republicans have been a party of obstruction and no ideas. It was GOP Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who famously said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Former Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) also said in 2009 that regarding any of Obama’s priorities, “If he was for it, we had to be against it.”
Retired Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), the former Republican Speaker of the House, said about Obama’s agenda: “We’re going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” More recently, a Senate Republican leader John Barasso (R-WY) said that his goal is to make President Joe Biden a “half-term president.”
When it comes to delivering anything to the American people, Republicans are pretty much always comfortable being the party of no. Even when Donald Trump was elected president, and they had control of both chambers of Congress, they failed to institute any major legislative accomplishments aside from giving a massive tax cut to the wealthiest individuals and corporations in this country. The party is an empty shell in which any articulations of ideology are theater for its actual purposes, robbing the poor to give it to the very wealthy.
Before we continue, it’s worth reminding folks that Rick Scott invoked the Fifth Amendment seventy-five times when being deposed after committing the largest case of Medicare fraud in United States history.
With that out of the way, let’s delve into Senator Rick Scott’s brilliant proposals.
There’s not much in terms of actually addressing regular people’s material needs or improving their lives.
For someone who is constantly complaining about inflation (which Scott earned a “Mostly False” rating for attacking Joe Biden over from Politifact), he doesn’t have a plan on how to lower costs for consumer goods, and there is nothing addressing higher wages for workers.
Instead of actual solutions for the needs of working-class people, Scott pitched a lot of idiotic red meat for Trump’s MAGA base. There are more empty promises of finishing Trump’s dumb, useless, and expensive border wall. He included some obviously bigoted attacks on trans individuals and threats to further restrict women’s reproductive rights. There’s also a proposed ban on critical race theory in schools, which is obviously meant to rile up racial animosity among Republican voters because schools don’t teach CRT in classrooms anyway.
It even includes Trump’s signature unfounded accusations of rigged elections alongside further calls for Republican Senators to suppress voting rights after they’ve spent the last year voting against the House Democrats’ John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Senate’s Freedom to Vote Act sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Rick Scott’s proposals are so out of touch that he even supports raising taxes on retirees whose only source of income is Social Security. This is coming from a man who supported massive tax cuts for billionaires.
Looking at the Florida Senator’s proposed platform, it’s easy to see why Senate Republicans have steered away from putting any sort of agenda forward.
What Scott has unveiled for the American public is so distasteful, unpopular, and devoid of any substance that Republicans are better off doing what they usually do and not campaigning on anything at all.
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. Follow him on Twitter: @tomaskenn.
is a former reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a fomer Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.