McConnell rebukes Scott over his 11-point plan that includes a tax hike on the poorest families: 'That will not be a part of the Republican Senate agenda'
- Mitch McConnell rebuked Scott for proposing a Republican agenda that would increase taxes.
- Scott's plan includes a tax-hike on low-income Americans.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the head of his own party's Senate campaign arm, for proposing an 11-point "Rescue America" plan that would hike taxes on millions of Americans.
McConnell was asked about Scott's plan at his weekly press conference outside the Senate chamber. "Well, Senator Scott is behind me and he can address the issue of his particular measure," began McConnell, not realizing that Scott had just walked away from the podium.
"If we're fortunate enough to have the majority next year, I'll be the majority leader, I'll decide in consultation with my members what to put on the floor," said McConnell. "And let me tell you what would not be part of our agenda. We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people, and sunsets social security and Medicare within five years."
"That will not be part of a Republican Senate majority agenda," he continued. "We will focus instead on what the American people are concerned about: inflation, energy, defense, the border, and crime."
—CSPAN (@cspan) March 1, 2022
It amounts to a remarkable public rupture between a pair of Senate Republicans at the helm of the GOP. Scott introduced his plan earlier last week in an effort to give conservatives something to campaign on for the midterms. The Florida Republican has previously said he was acting in his capacity as a GOP senator and not the chief of their campaign fundraising.
A spokesperson for Scott's Senate office declined to comment.
McConnell has adopted the opposite approach. He has declined to outline Republicans' plans if they regain control of the Senate as he tries to refocus the midterm elections as a referendum on President Joe Biden's performance.
The Scott agenda immediately became fodder for Democrats. They trained their attacks on Scott's call for all Americans to pay an income tax so they have "skin in the game." Some in the party described it as a "godsend" ahead of the upcoming elections.
Implementing a version of the Scott plan would mean that 57% of Americans who didn't pay federal income taxes in 2021, per the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, would be compelled to pay up. Many Americans don't pay income tax because they either earn too little or access refundable tax credits to zero out what they owe the federal government.
The Scott plan also included a litany of other conservative measures like a proposal to finish a wall on the southern US border and name it after former President Donald Trump. It would also mandate Congress to re-approve every federal law after five years.
Other Republicans kept their distance from the Scott plan. "As Republicans we know, the principles that will help working Americans is to lower taxes," Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means panel, told Insider. "Let them keep more of what they earn."
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