WASHINGTON (WFLA) – Florida’s junior U.S. Senator and former governor Rick Scott responded on Wednesday to a report released by the White House that graded the Sunshine State’s infrastructure at a “C” as it works to prepare legislation aimed at improving infrastructure and creating jobs through the American Jobs Plan.
In an interview with WFLA’s Washington correspondent Kellie Meyer, Sen. Scott said during his time as governor of Florida, funding for roads, bridges and ports was “dramatically increased.” He said there were also significant investments made for solving water issues and improving the drinking water quality in Florida.
Scott called President Joe Biden’s plan an infrastructure plan that doesn’t focus on infrastructure.
“He says he has an infrastructure bill but it doesn’t have, doesn’t have hardly anything to do with infrastructure. I mean, when I think of infrastructure, I wanna build roads, I wanna build bridges, I want to continue to grow our ports,” Scott said.
The claims by Republican lawmakers that Biden’s infrastructure plan has little to do with infrastructure has seen pushback by several publications. The Poynter Institute’s Politifact, a website that evaluates claims by elected officials and rates them for how truthful they are describes the criticism as “Pants on Fire,” or that the statements are “not accurate and make[s] a ridiculous claim.”
The senator said the bill has little to do with Florida’s 15 seaports or its roads and bridges, but it does have tax increases, which he says will hurt workers. According to Scott, the American Rescue Plan that was recently passed hurt gig workers, such as Uber and Door Dash workers.
Scott also accused the proposed legislation of going against Biden’s promise to not raise taxes on anybody making less than $400,000 a year.
In terms of raising taxes on those making less than $400,000 per year, the president’s goals for tax policy have been repeatedly covered since taking office, including in his April 2 remarks about the March 2021 job numbers and the American Jobs Plan’s potential impact.
“This an economic opportunity for those who’ve helped build the country and have been ignored or neglected for much too long by our government. It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in our economic future — a chance to win the future — paid for by asking big corporations, many of which do not pay any taxes at all, just to begin to pay their fair share. And it won’t raise a penny tax on a family making less than $400,000 a year — no federal tax, no addition.”President Joe Biden, Remarks by President Biden on the March Jobs Numbers, April 2, 2021.
Scott thinks the AJP is just going to hurt the economy and hurt the ability of Americans to find jobs. He didn’t mince words in his response, calling the American Jobs Plan just “a radical left agenda,” that will only increase the national debt.
“I grew up in a family that’s struggled for work, so the most important thing for me is – let’s create an economy where everybody can get a job. So I think this is just, a – you know, a radical left agenda,” Scott said. “Let’s also remember with the last bill the Democrats passed, we’re going to be at $33 trillion worth of debt, so this is going to take us to 32, 33, 34 trillion.”
The senator is worried about more than just debt. The rate of inflation is already a concern this soon in the administration’s time in office, with gasoline and food prices rising by 23% and 3.6%, respectively. Scott doesn’t think Biden or other economic leaders have a plan to handle the rising costs as they promote their next proposed legislation.
“I’ve asked the Biden administration what’s their plan to deal with inflation, I’ve asked the chairman of the Federal Reserve what’s his plan to deal with inflation and, as far as I can tell, neither of them have a plan right now to deal with the inflation that’s coming,” said Scott.