Florida Senator Rick Scott has declined his candidacy for the position of Senate Minority Leader | WNDB

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Chris Golon

Rick Scott, the younger of two US senators from Florida, has been denied an attempt to usurp the role of Senate Minority Leader from Mitch McConnell. Scott’s effort to replace McConnell went on for a long time, but it was called off only a day after it was announced.

The US Senate is currently pegged at 50-49 heading into 2023; Democrats sealed a majority with the election of Catherine Cortez-Masto in Nevada earlier this week. Even if the Republicans win the last remaining race (Democrat Raphael Warnock against Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia) to make it 50-50, the Democrats will hold the majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ deciding vote.

Scott’s first concrete act of opposition to McConnell was his “Rescue America” ​​plan, a 12-step policy proposal plan for Senate Republicans. The points were advanced without input from Minority Leader McConnell, sparking speculation that the two could inevitably clash. Rescue America has drawn controversy, particularly for a proposal to put federal programs up for a renewal vote after five years, potentially jeopardizing programs such as Social Security and Medicare. On the other hand, social conservatives have praised him for his stance on gender, race, and religious topics.

McConnell rejected Scott’s plan outright, saying Senate Republicans wouldn’t consider scrapping Social Security or Medicare, nor would they raise taxes on the middle class as he accused. to do.

Perhaps the final motivating factor leading to Scott’s challenge to McConnell was the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections. The Republicans did not capture the Senate as they had hoped and they took over the House of representatives with a particularly slim majority. Key races like the Pennsylvania Senate election and the Arizona Senate and gubernatorial races have been losses, and the Georgia Senate race is heading to a competitive runoff in December. Immediately, feelings of displeasure were expressed by key Republicans like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, paving the way for a possible leadership change.

Yet when the prospect of giving Scott the reins came to a vote, Senate Republicans stuck to what they knew. McConnell was reappointed Minority Leader by an overwhelming 37-10 majority. his side.

Scott’s decision was ambitious for a first-term senator; he was elected in 2018 after two terms as governor of Florida by 10,000 out of 8.1 million votes, overthrowing three-term incumbent Bill Nelson. McConnell, on the other hand, has served in the Senate since 1985. At 80, he is the seventh-oldest sitting senator and the third-longest serving.

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