Hillsborough County

Sen. Rick Scott supports national emergency for border wall if necessary

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Sen. Rick Scott made his first trip to Tampa Monday since becoming a U.S senator earlier this year.

The former Florida governor had a lot to talk about during a one-on-one interview with News Channel 8 at La Teresita restaurant.

He heard from Venezuelan leaders in the community about turmoil in that country, along with the partial government shutdown that could affect families living in a Tampa Bay. 

Scott took part in a round table discussion about the struggle for power in Venezuela causing major concern as leaders there refuse humanitarian aid that would help families. 

“We’ve got to get Maduro out of there. We’ve got to get him to step aside and it's best if we can get him to do it peacefully,” Scott said. 

Scott praised President Donald Trump for cutting off money coming into Venezuela for its huge oil supply. 

“This is when we got to put the pressure on. We've got to get Maduro to step aside and then we've got to get free and fair elections called as quickly as possible,” Scott said. 

The threat of another partial government shutdown is also something Scott is trying to make go away. He made a recent visit to the border to get an idea of current operations and needs. 

“We have to have border security,” Scott said. 

Scott said he’d like to see a combination of a wall and virtual technology along the Mexican border. 

He also said he supports President Trump's idea of declaring a national emergency to fund a wall if needed. 

“This is his responsibility to keep people safe, so if Congress is not going to act, he ought to use every power he's got to keep Americans safe,” Scott said. 

Scott is set to head back to Capitol Hill this week.

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