U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said on Sunday that he plans to vote against the budget deal crafted by the Trump administration and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Last week, the U.S. House voted to suspend the debt limit for two years and passed a $1.37 trillion budget with $738 billion going to defense. The budget proposal passed on a 284-189 vote. Most of the Democratic majority–219 members–voted to back it while 16 opposed it. Most of the Republican caucus–132 members–voted against it while 65 supported it. Party lines mostly held in the Florida delegation. U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., was the sole Democrat from the Sunshine State to vote against the proposal. Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn and John Rutherford voted for the proposal.
Scott said he could not support the deal that the White House, the GOP leadership in the Senate and Pelosi and her team reached.
“I appreciate the work done by President Trump, Secretary Mnuchin, Leader McConnell and Senator Shelby,” Scott said. “These are complicated deals to negotiate in divided government and I want to thank them for their hard work. This bill allows for significant investment in our military and doesn’t include the liberal poison bills that House Democrats usually try to insert into important legislation. That’s the good.
“Unfortunately, this bill allows for trillions of dollars to be added to our national debt, includes huge increases in nondefense discretionary spending, and doesn’t even try to pay for it by cutting wasteful spending. I’m worried about the staggering debt we’re leaving for our children and grandchildren. Too often in Washington, compromise means both sides get everything they want so that no one has to make a tough choice. I can’t support that,” Scott added.
Scott looked to Tallahassee, where he served eight years as governor, for a better way of governing.
“As governor of Florida, I turned a $4 billion deficit into $3 billion annual surpluses and was the first governor in 20 years to pay down state debt,” Scott said. “We paid down $10 billion in state debt – almost one-third of total debt. It can be done, but you have to be willing to make tough choices.
“I will vote ‘no’ on this budget deal. As long as I am a member of the United States Senate, I will fight to rein in the out of control spending that is putting our economy at risk,” Scott added.
While he has not come out definitively on how he will vote on the budget, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has expressed reservations about the spending included in the deal.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.