'I can't support this bill': Florida Sen. Rick Scott votes against coronavirus relief package
WASHINGTON - Six senators voted against the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package just before midnight Monday, and one of the congressmen was Florida U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who said: "Washington is Broken."
Before the Senate roll call, Scott released a statement, explaining his opposition and describing the bill as expensive.
"Early this afternoon, we were finally provided the text of the combined $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and $900 billion COVID relief bill. It is almost 5,600 pages long and we’re expected to vote on it tonight. Who in their right mind thinks that this is a responsible way of governing?’’ the statement read.
He said he supports boosting small businesses and preventing further layoffs. Scott also added that he was "glad" the package didn't include state bailouts.
His statement read in part:
"But, in classic Washington style, vital programs are being attached to an omnibus spending bill that mortgages our children and grandchildren's futures without even giving members a chance to read it.
We are not spending money we have in the bank or anticipate we will collect in taxes. Washington doesn’t seem to understand that new spending today will be paid for by increased federal debt and result in a tax increase on families down the road.
We have to stop operating this way; there is no excuse for the way Washington treats the American taxpayers. I've repeatedly voted against enormous and wasteful spending bills. The easy route is simply to go along as Congress continues to do harm to future generations of Americans, but I will not be a part of it."
Members of the House of Representatives, then the Senate, passed the deal before midnight, which includes a $600 stimulus check for most Americans, as well as an extra $300 a week for those receiving unemployment.
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The massive package cleared the Senate in a 92-6 vote. Marsha Blackburn, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz also voted against approving the bill.
Florida's other senator, Marco Rubio, also a Republican, voted in favor of passing the relief package.
The package also sets aside more than $300 billion for small business relief, along with money for schools, healthcare providers, vaccine distribution, and renters facing eviction. The deal came after months of battling and posturing on Capitol Hill.
The 5,593-page legislation is by far the longest bill ever, according to The Associated Press.