McConnell clashes with Rick Scott over agenda

The trade between McConnell and his best campaign hand highlights a growing divide in the party as the GOP battles to take the House and Senate, despite their bright electoral prospects. While McConnell prefers to keep the pressure on Democrats and make the election a referendum on President Joe Biden, some in the party — not just Scott — think Republicans need a more assertive platform.

Scott ran an ad to promote his platform and did not repent for troubling his party with potentially polarizing proposals, such as the sunsetting of all federal laws after five years and the advice that “all Americans should pay income tax to be in the game”. Scott said in a brief interview that he “will never talk about private conversations, but I think it’s important to tell people what we’re going to do.”

“Republicans, and really all Americans outside of Washington, demand that we have a plan to transform our country,” Scott spokesman Chris Hartline said. “Sen. Scott isn’t afraid to start this conversation and will continue to talk about his plan to save America.

A spokesperson for McConnell declined to comment.

Some have speculated that Scott might be preparing to challenge McConnell or run for president, which he denied. And although Scott launched his program in a personal capacity, Republicans said the fact that Scott is the chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee made everything a little more complicated.

That’s what “makes it a little confusing,” Sen said. John Corny (R-Texas), two-time former NRSC president.

“This is not an approach taken by the entire Republican conference,” Cornyn added of Scott’s agenda. “We will continue to focus on inflation, crime, the border and Afghanistan. And some of these other things are things to think about…after the election is over.

McConnell wanted to avoid giving Democrats anything to criticize over the next eight months, hoping to keep his party on the offensive. He thinks focusing on Biden’s low approval ratings and portraying himself as a drag on the Democratic Party is the most effective mid-term strategy.

Scott has unquestionably disrupted that strategy, as Democrats embark on some aspects of his plan. Senate Majority Leader chuck schumer said Tuesday that Scott had “proposed everything from raising taxes on low-income Americans to appointing an unnecessary and ineffective border wall after Donald Trump.”

And former Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), who challenges the senator. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), clung to Scott’s endorsement of term limits, tweeting Tuesday that “even the @NRSC The president asks for term limits. He called senators like Chuck Grassley who served in DC for DECADES as part of the “ruling class of Washington.”

An attack like that “sort of validates the strategy that Senator McConnell is talking about,” the Senate Minority Whip said. John Thune (RS.D.), who is running for re-election. “You want to talk proactively about the things you would do. But I think most candidates will make those decisions [based] on their own situation.

Led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Republicans are expected to roll out their own agenda this summer or early fall. representing Don Bacon (R-Neb.) Said he agreed with McConnell that “Democrats are self-destructing,” but that McCarthy and House leaders “made the decision to put in place place a platform, and I’d rather participate than not”.

And it’s possible that McConnell and other Senate leaders will eventually outline their goals for the 2022 election. But right now, that’s not the party’s goal.

“We are wiser to ask each senator to promote his own point of view on the issues that interest him,” the senator said. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

Although Scott’s platform has upset some corners of the GOP, it also enjoys some support within the party. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) said he “agreed” with Scott’s plan and said Republicans need to think about “a universal plan that we have to sell to the American people.”

Scott’s plan is a mix of fiscal conservatism and the more confrontational style of politics pioneered by former President Donald Trump. Scott wants to treat socialism “like a foreign fighter out to destroy our prosperity and freedom” and says the party should “prohibit increases in the debt ceiling unless war is declared.”

He also wants to name the southern border wall after Trump, drawing mild rebuke from some of his colleagues.

“The completion of the border wall and the larger issue of border security are at the forefront of the American people’s minds,” the senator said. Thomas Tillis (RN.C.). “To me, what we name after is less relevant than fixing 2 million people crossing the border.”

Due to the changing Senate map, Scott’s plan will only affect a handful of Republicans seeking re-election. Only three GOP senators are running in states considered competitive: Grassley, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

When asked if Scott’s program made it harder for him to be re-elected, Grassley said “absolutely not.” But he also defended McConnell’s low-key approach.

“It’s just [Scott’s] own personal ideas, and just as Chuck Grassley can express my opinions, he can express his,” Grassley said. “In practice, you wouldn’t count your hens before the eggs were hatched…McConnell is trying hard to win because if we don’t win in November, there’s no Republican agenda. ”

Olivia Beavers contributed to this report.


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