‘I’m Tired of Caving’ – Rick Scott Pressures McConnell to Reject Biden Debt Deal
Senator Rick Scott is “tired of caving” on the debt limit and is reportedly pressuring Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to reject a last-minute deal with Joe Biden. With the U.S. at its debt limit, congress is in open warfare, with many republicans refusing to raise the debt ceiling without implementing spending reforms. Scott has distinguished himself as one of the most vocal opponents of a so-called “clean” debt-limit increase.
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According to a report by The Hill, Scott is working behind closed doors to prevent McConnell from potentially sabotaging the Republican charge for spending reform. The battle continues a longstanding feud between the two senators, which has recently kicked into overdrive.
After failing to unseat McConnell as Minority Leader last November, Scott launched a 7-figure ad campaign hammering the Kentucky Senator and calling for new Republican leadership. Last week, McConnell seemed to punch back, removing Scott and his close ally Sen. Mike Lee from the Senate Commerce Committee.
‘Payback? Mitch McConnell Ousts Rick Scott from the Senate Commerce Committee’
Scott has criticized McConnell previously for failing to secure a senate majority in 2022 and for working with Democrats to pass the recent $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package.
Now, Scott says he is trying to keep McConnell from betraying the party yet again.
“I’m not going to back down,” Scott said last week after being forced off the Commerce Committee.
According to The Hill, Scott has been gearing up for this fight since April 2021. At the time, Scott had advocated for an amendment to the conference rules stipulating that “any increase in the debt ceiling must be accompanied by cuts in federal spending of an equal or greater amount as the debt ceiling increase, or meaningful structural reform.” Scott says the amendment received the support of the GOP, but McConnell turned his back on it, instead working with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass a clean debt-limit increase.
“I took an amendment vote [in] April to the conference, we adopted it and then… the leader caved… he came out and said in July that we would not participate in raising the debt ceiling and then… he organized 11 people to say we’ll allow the Democrats to do it on our own. We didn’t follow conference rules. I’m tired of caving.”
Scott and 24 other senate republican colleagues recently signed a letter to Joe Biden making clear their “outright opposition to a debt-ceiling hike without real structural spending reform that reduces deficit spending.” McConnell, notably, was not among those colleagues.
“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” McConnell said, dismissing republicans’ concerns. “There are letters floating around in our conference all the time. Most of the time, I don’t sign them.”
House Republicans have also made it clear that they want spending reforms before raising the debt ceiling. Kevin McCarthy has reportedly met with Joe Biden to negotiate terms but has yet to strike a deal. If the two fail to agree, the battlefield will shift to the Senate floor.
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“Eventually Schumer’s going to bring up a bill to increase the debt ceiling, a clean debt-ceiling increase, and we’re going to have to vote on it,” Senator Lindsey Graham told The Hill. “I’m not going to vote for a clean debt-ceiling increase. I want Mitch to know that. I want Schumer to know that. I think it would be impossible to get 60 votes for a clean debt-ceiling increase.”
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