Rick Scott Asks Red State Govs to “Reject and Return” COVID19 Relief Aid

File another one under “Because Florida”, but where it’s a cross-section with “Because Republicans”.

Florida Senator Rick Scott, who is set to meet with Donald Trump this week at Mar-a-Lago, is beseeching states and cities across America to refuse federal aid and put politics over policy. In a letter sent to governors and mayors in Red states just after the bill was approved on Wednesday, Scott called the widely praised piece of legislation as “massive, wasteful and non-targeted.” He encouraged state and local leaders, by way of sending back the aid, to demand that Congress “quit recklessly spending other people’s money.”

Florida Republican begs red state governors to 'reject and return' COVID relief funds

Some might point at Texas and their similar take just before a winter storm devastated the state and left millions without water and power, with a death toll in the double digits. But not Scott, who’s still taking orders from Trump despite the immense popularity of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.


But Scott still tried it, though it was a transparent and weak attempt to push a Trumpian narrative during a Biden victory. “By rejecting and returning any unneeded funds, as well as funds unrelated to COVID-19,” his letter read, “you would be taking responsible action to avoid wasting scarce tax dollars. After all, every dollar in this package is borrowed.”

It’s not the first time Scott has rebuffed federal aid. As the governor of Florida, Scott categorically rejected federal funds designed to expand Medicaid under Obamacare back in 2015. Conversely, Florida’s present governor, Ron DeSantis, has repeatedly argued that the state isn’t getting enough money on a per capita basis. DeSantis specifically took issue with the fact that relief funds under the American Rescue Act would be doled out according to unemployment rates as opposed to overall populations, a distinction which he alleged will direct money away from Florida because it has a stronger economy than many states.

But Scott won’t budge. Although he rejected the bill on principle, he still denied its value on account of it providing disproportionately low relief to Florida in comparison to other states –– an objection which falls in line with DeSantis’. “This bill is bad for Florida,” Scott wrote, “Not only does it commit Florida taxpayers to unnecessary and wasteful bailouts of poorly-run liberal states, it also unfairly punishes our state with less federal support for keeping unemployment below the unimaginable levels we’ve seen in Democrat-run states.”

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