Rick Scott: Next Round of Coronavirus Aid Needs to Crack Down on Fraud and Waste, Hold China Accountable

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., released his list of priorities to be addressed in any potential Phase 4 coronavirus aid agreement, which include much-needed fiscal reforms and efforts to hold China accountable.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., released his list of priorities to be addressed in any potential Phase 4 coronavirus aid agreement, which include much-needed fiscal reforms and efforts to hold China accountable.

“As Congress begins discussions on the next phase of coronavirus relief, I have two main priorities,” Scott said. “First, we must hold China accountable for hiding information and lying about the coronavirus that originated in its country. Second, we have to ensure we are protecting the poorest families in our country by stopping any fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer funding in previous coronavirus response packages.

“My focus has always been on helping those small businesses and individuals that are suffering because of the coronavirus. If someone can show me additional ways to get help to them – great. But it is not government’s job to bail out the wealthy and big businesses. We also shouldn’t be giving money to states for anything other than expenses directly related to coronavirus response. Our nation is $24 trillion in debt – the worst fiscal position we’ve ever been in. We have to be smart about how we’re spending our money and make sure it is truly going directly to the people in need. As Congress begins to discuss whether a Phase 4 is necessary, I urge my colleagues to consider priorities that focus on national security, fixing waste and continuing to protect public health,” Scott added.

Scott’s office released the following guidelines for what the Phase 4 coronavirus aid agreement must include:

Senator Scott’s American-Made Protection for Healthcare Workers and First Responders Act:

  • Addresses the current PPE shortage and builds the national stockpile of goods from American-based producers to eliminate our dependence on foreign adversaries’ supply chains during a crisis.
    • Helps remove Communist China from the U.S. supply chain.
  • Measures to hold Communist China Accountable for its role in lying about the coronavirus and enabling global spread. Senator Scott is focused on ending the reliance on Communist China in the U.S. government procurement process and supply chain.
    • Federal agencies should be prohibited from entering into contracts with companies that have investments from entities headquartered or affiliated with Communist China.
    • Defunding the World Health Organization (WHO)
      • The WHO helped Communist China cover up information regarding the threat of the coronavirus, which cost thousands of lives around the world.
      • Under no circumstance should the U.S. taxpayers continue to fund an organization that puts its allegiance to Communist China above global health.
      • Congress should zero out all future appropriations to the WHO.
  • Improving and Building on the CARES Act
    • Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
      • PPP loans should only be available to businesses that show a “substantial reduction in revenue” due to the coronavirus. Taxpayer money shouldn’t be going to businesses that haven’t been harmed by this crisis.
      • Banks should not and cannot set requirements that actively withhold help from those in need. Instead, they must process applications on a first come, first served basis.
    • Coronavirus Relief Fund for State and Local Governments
      • The existing CARES Act restrictions must be maintained so that federal dollars cannot be used to balance state budgets.
      • Americans expect that their tax dollars will be used for coronavirus response, not to backfill decades of bad fiscal policy in certain states.
    • Federal Deficit Reduction
      • The growing annual deficits and national debt must be addressed. This year’s federal budget deficit will be the largest in the history of the nation, in excess of the cumulative deficits for the first 200 years of the country’s existence. The year will end with an excess of $25 trillion in federal debt.
      • Any Phase 4 agreement needs to take concrete steps to bring spending under control.
    • Increased Health Screening Measures at Airports
      • All passengers should have to go through certain health screening measures, including temperature checks, prior to entering the airport terminal.
      • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Transportation (DOT) must create guidelines to ensure temperature check technology is available at all domestic airports.
      • Rapid COVID-19 testing technology and health screening, including temperature checks, must be provided to inbound international passengers at all major U.S. airports.



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