DeSantis pushes back against Rick Scott's call for Florida to reject stimulus money from Biden administration
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is pushing back against Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), rejecting his call for the state return COVID-19 stimulus funding from the Biden administration.
On Tuesday, March 16, DeSantis offered a breakdown of how $4 billion of the state's $10 billion could be spent as part of the Biden administration's "American Rescue Plan."
According to Politico, DeSantis was asked about Scott's recommendation and made it clear that he flatly disagrees with the Republican lawmaker. He also explained why it does not make sense to return the funds as he noted that it would likely be redirected to another state.
"It doesn't make any sense," DeSantis said. "If Florida were to send the money back, [Treasury Secretary Janet] Yellen is going to send it to Illinois, California, New York or New Jersey. I don't think that would make sense for Floridians — for us to be giving even more money to the blue states that already getting such a big windfall in this bill."
On Monday, Scott—a billionaire and former health care executive who voted against the Democrat-backed $1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 stimulus relief package—has described it as a "wasteful" piece of legislation.
The Republican lawmaker also insisted that "anyone in state and local government who calls themselves a fiscal conservative should know that the funding in the Democrats' massive spending bill is not free money. This money belongs to the taxpayers and lawmakers have a responsibility to spend it wisely."
Scott also accused state and local government officials and lawmakers of using the stimulus package as a "slush fund." The contention between DeSantis and Scott, also the former governor of Florida, is only the latest development in a long and strained political relationship. Last year, DeSantis called for an investigation into the state's unemployment portal amid the pandemic. The $77 million dollar portal crashed repeatedly and left many struggling Americans in dire financial straits for several weeks.
The inspector general who worked the investigation placed blame on the Scott administration and the web companies responsible for developing the website.
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