WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), rejected the Senate's proposed agenda. In rare disunity among Republican leaders, Rick Scott (R-Fla.) was elected the chair of the party's campaign commission.
McConnell criticized a key provision that would have raised income taxes for lower-income Americans when he was asked Tuesday about the 11 point plan Scott published as a blueprint of how Republicans would govern.
McConnell stated to reporters that if the GOP wins control of the Senate in the next year, he will be the majority leader. I will consult with my members about what to place on the floor.
He said, "Let's me tell you what wouldn't be part of our agenda." "We wouldn't have on our agenda a bill which raises taxes on half of the American population and ends Social Security and Medicare in five years." This will not be part the Republican Senate Majority Agenda.
Scott's blueprint contained the following section: "All Americans should pay income tax to keep their skin in this game, even if it is a small amount." Over half of Americans currently pay no income tax. The other part said: "All federal legislation expires in five years. Congress can pass a law again if it is worthy of being kept.
The White House, Democratic National Committee, and various party campaign arms pointed out the ideas as examples of why voters shouldn’t elect the GOP to power. This was an unusual move by a campaign chief creating tension among associates of Scott, McConnell. Some Republicans worry that it will harm the party's candidates for this year.
McConnell stated that a GOP-led Senate would be focused on "inflation and energy, defense, border, and crime," but didn't give any specific policy recommendations.
Scott was present at McConnell's weekly news conference, but he left shortly before McConnell spoke about his 2022 agenda.
Scott is the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and top McConnell deputies supported him.
"I think Republican senators wish that Rick Scott would remain focused right now on his job as chairman of the Senate electoral committee," stated Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri, who is retiring from the GOP leadership team. "I don't support increasing anyone's income tax, no matter how much or little they pay."
Senator Minority Whip John Thune (Republican-State of Dakota), who is up for re-election in this year's election, stated that all candidates will present their agendas.
He said that "every senator who's up for re-election in this year's election is going to have his own agenda and decide what it's they want to make the campaigns about." Before he doubted that Scott's tax proposal would be supported by any GOP member. "I don’t know of any who would include that."
Scott's plan is in direct contradiction to McConnell's strategy of making the election a referendum against President Joe Biden. This would also avoid drawing attention on the policy proposals the GOP will advance if they win. An aide to the GOP speculated that Scott has been pressured by donors to put forward an agenda if Republicans are elected.
Scott responded to McConnell's criticism and said that he stood by his plan. He also stated that people should know what he plans to do if a majority is achieved. Scott said he would continue to support McConnell's caucus leader.
Curt Anderson is a Republican strategist and advisor to Scott. He said that Scott has a track record of being "a tax cutter" and defended his decision not to release the agenda. He said that the income tax proposal was just one of many statements Scott made about the "kinds" of things Republicans should pursue in order to save the country from the devastation caused by Biden's wake agenda.
Anderson stated in an email that Anderson is flexible about his ideas and accepts that not everyone will agree with him on all points.