"Washington is broken": Sen. Rick Scott defends decision to vote against COVID-19 relief package

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Posted at 9:06 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 11:55:15-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Sen. Rick Scott was one of just six senators to vote against the newest COVID-19 stimulus bill, calling the $900 billion bill a "massive omnibus spending bill that mortgages our kids & grandkid’s futures."

Both chambers of Congress voted on Monday on a long-awaited COVID-19 relief package.

The vote passed the House by a 359-53 margin. Several hours later, the measure was approved by the US Senate by a 91-6 margin. The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his approval.

Prior to the Senate voting on the bill, Sen. Scott took to Twitter to denounce it as "wasteful."

"I've repeatedly voted against enormous and wasteful spending bills," Scott wrote in a statement. "The easy route is to simply go along as Congress continues to do harm to future generations of Americans, but I will not be a part of it."

Scott also contended that it was irresponsible to vote on a 5,593-page bill without being given a chance to fully read it.

"Early this afternoon, we were finally provided the text of the combined $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and $900 billion COVID relief bill," Scott wrote. "It is almost 5,600 pages long and we’re expected to vote on it tonight. Who in their right mind thinks that this is a responsible way of governing?"

The other five senators who opposed the bill were Rand Paul, R-Ky, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

The 5,593-page legislation is by far the longest bill ever, according to The Associated Press.

The bill included $300-a-week in supplemental jobless benefits, direct payments of $600 for individuals, more than $300 billion in small business loans and more than $80 billion for schools, as well as billions for help with vaccine distribution.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering