After several calls in the GOP to offer more financial support to states, GOP Senator Rick Scott blocked an attempt to do the same.
The former governor of Florida had earlier warned against handing financial packages to blue states. This time, Senator Scott blocked his fellow GOP lawmaker Kennedy’s bill to give states and local governments more financial flexibility.
Kennedy’s bill would allow states to use the $150B given through the CARES Act passed in March as revenue money. Many states have had their revenue streams decimated because of the pandemic. The bill would have made budget deficits and shortfalls easier to fill.
On the floor of the Senate, Kennedy explained his bill wouldn’t allocate any new money. Instead, it would only give states greater flexibility to use money given previously as an aid to fight the pandemic.
Why Did Rick Scott Block Kennedy’s Bill?
Senator Scott said that he could understand the positive motive behind the bill, but did not want to remove important ‘limitations’ attached to the state aid allocated. He went on to add that this move could take away funds from fighting the coronavirus response efforts.
Republicans are struggling to deal with the situation of failing state economies. While they were earlier happy with the financial aid given in the CARES Act alone, a growing faction of GOP senators wants more financial relief for states. Senators Kennedy, Romney, Collins, Cassidy, and others are part of this group.
In a letter to the NYT, Senator Scott made no bones about his disapproval of handing blue states financial aid. According to him, fiscally responsible states shouldn’t have to bail out blue states with profligate spending habits.
While Rick Scott is against big financial aid to blue states, the situation in red states is getting worse. This is a major reason why Republicans suddenly want more financial aid given to states and local governments.
(Image Credit – Gage Skidmore)