Back in January 2022 NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell what his party's policy agenda would be if the GOP takes back control of Congress.
"That is a very good question," McConnell responded. "And I'll let you know when we take it back."
In contrast, Florida’s junior Senator Rick Scott, a former Governor of the Sunshine State and CEO of a successful healthcare company has released an 11-point agenda for the Republican midterms.
Senator Scott’s agenda, or what he calls “The Rescue America Plan,” is great stuff and probably polls at 90 percent or better among Republican voters and 70 percent or better among likely independent voters. The 11 points are:
Education - Our kids will say the pledge of allegiance, salute the Flag, learn that America is a great country, and choose the school that best fits them.
Color Blind Equality - Government will never again ask American citizens to disclose their race, ethnicity, or skin color on any government form.
Safety and Crime - The soft-on-crime days of coddling criminal behavior will end. We will re-fund and respect the police because, they, not the criminals, are the good guys.
Immigration - We will secure our border, finish building the wall, and name it after President Donald Trump.
Growth / Economy - We will grow America’s economy, starve Washington’s economy, and stop Socialism.
Government Reform and Debt - We will eliminate all federal programs that can be done locally, and enact term limits for federal bureaucrats and Congress.
Fair Fraud-Free Elections - We will protect the integrity of American Democracy and stop left-wing efforts to rig elections.
Family - We will protect, defend, and promote the American Family at all costs.
Gender, Life, Science - Men are men, women are women, and unborn babies are babies. We believe in science.
Religious Liberty and Big Tech - Americans will be free to welcome God into all aspects of our lives.
America First - We are Americans, not globalists.
We could quibble about how Sen. Scott divided the points up or what he chose to emphasize, but what’s the point – it’s all there.
Naturally, committing to anything beyond more spending prompted the Senate’s Republican establishment in the person of Mitch McConnell to flip out and trash his Republican colleague, who also runs the Senate GOP’s reelection committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Let’s assume for the moment that naming the Wall after Trump is not what caused Mitch McConnell to attack Sen. Scott and take McConnell at his word when he attacked his colleague. According to reporting by POLITICO McConnell specifically castigated two of Scott’s proposals.
“Let me tell you what will not be a part of our agenda: We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare after five years. That will not be part of the Republican Senate majority agenda,” McConnell said according to the POLITICO report.
And McConnell made clear he’s planning to be fully in charge in 2023: “If we’re fortunate enough to have the majority next year, I’ll be the majority leader. I’ll decide, in consultation with my members, what to put on the floor.” He didn’t offer specifics of what his agenda would be beyond topics like inflation, border security, crime and energy, reported POLITICO.
Reading through Senator Scott’s proposals it is easy to see that McConnell’s criticism about sunsetting Social Security is completely phony. What he fears is that committing to such a debate will open up discussion of how Congress has looted Social Security and turned the now non-existent Social Security Trust Fund into a hopper full of IOUs to be paid by our grandchildren.
McConnell’s complaint that Scott’s agenda includes a tax increase is also completely phony. There’s nothing in Scott’s agenda about raising taxes, but there is a commitment to address the debt crisis which is eating a larger and larger share of the federal budget every year Congress maintains its deficit spending habit.
Senator Scott for his part has said he doesn’t plan on challenging McConnell for the GOP leader’s post, and he has made it clear he is not speaking for the Senate Republican Conference or the NRSC, so what’s the big deal?
It really comes down to a difference in philosophy about how to campaign when you’re in the minority and the other party controls the White House: McConnell is all about playing defense and making the election a referendum on the policies of the Biden administration and Chuck Schumer’s Democrat majority, Senator Scott wants to offer a positive GOP agenda for the future.
If we hadn’t seen this same approach from Senate Republicans every election cycle for the past 30-years we might tend to agree with Mitch McConnell, but it has gradually dawned on conservative voters that when Republican leaders refuse to commit to a specific conservative agenda, what they are really planning to do when they get the majority is revert to being Democrats light, merely slowing the growth of government and the erosion of liberty, not rolling them back.
We think Senator Scott is on the right track and we urge Republican candidates for United States Senate to commit to as much of “The Rescue America Plan,” as they can honestly support should they be elected.
Senator Rick Scott
The Rescue America Plan