McConnell rejects GOP Senator Rick Scott’s plan to suspend federal programs amid rights wrangling

WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday slammed one of his own Republican members, Sen. Rick Scott, over the Florida senator’s proposal to lapse all federal legislation in five years – a issue that President Joe Biden skewered the GOP in his State of the Union address.

“This is not a Republican plan. That was Rick Scott’s plan,” McConnell said in an interview with host Terry Meiners on a Kentucky radio station.

McConnell reiterated the point he made last year: “There were no plans to raise taxes on half of the American people or to bring down Medicare or Social Security.”

The Senate GOP leader also said that both he and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Social Security and health care “must not be touched.”

“I think we’re in a more authoritative position to state what the party’s position is than any individual senator,” McConnell continued. “It’s just a bad idea. I think it will be a challenge for him [Scott] to meet this in his re-election in Florida, a state with more seniors than any other state in America.”

The escalation of the feud between the two GOP senators came after Biden challenged Republicans to oppose cuts to entitlement programs during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. He called out GOP lawmakers, including Scott, who previously expressed support for such plans on Wednesday in Wisconsin and Thursday in Florida.

The 12-point plan he presented last year as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee says: “All federal laws go down every five years. If a law is worth observing, Congress can pass it again.”

Scott, who is running for re-election next year, said Biden is misinterpreting his proposal. During an event Friday with community leaders and elders in Sun City Center, Florida, Scott accused McConnell of “supporting Biden.”

“Well, you know, he always supported Biden,” Scott said of McConnell at the event that focused on preserving and protecting Social Security and health care. “So, that’s what he’s doing. He’s backing Biden again. He doesn’t think we should have a plan.”

Later Friday, Scott announced legislation aimed at preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare, while insisting that he had never supported cuts to either program. Scott said his bill would cancel funding for the IRS to hire about 87,000 people over the next decade and redirect that money to Medicare and Social Security.

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