There was minimal opposition when the U.S. Senate passed a $900 billion economic relief package Monday night, but one of six senators to vote against the spending bill was Florida Sen. Rick Scott.
The economic relief bill, which includes $600 stimulus payments for most Americans among other funding for those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, was attached to a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that will keep the federal government funded through September.
While the measure easily cleared the House and Senate, on votes of 359-53 and 92-6 respectively, some lawmakers objected to the nearly 5,600-page piece of legislation. Scott, who said he supports efforts to support small businesses and workers ravaged by the pandemic, was among those who voted against it.
“I supported and fought for many of the Covid provisions in last night’s bill,” Scott tweeted Tuesday. “Unfortunately they were attached to an omnibus spending bill that was thousands of pages long and chock full of handouts to special interests and wasteful spending. I couldn’t support it.”
I supported and fought for many of the Covid provisions in last night’s bill.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) December 22, 2020
Unfortunately they were attached to an omnibus spending bill that was thousands of pages long and chock full of handouts to special interests and wasteful spending. I couldn’t support it. pic.twitter.com/7nsFYMj6M8
The tweet followed a statement Monday, in which Scott criticized the size of the legislation, noting the length of the bill and the amount of time lawmakers had to review it before voting on it. “Who in their right mind thinks that this is a responsible way of governing?” he said.
Scott expressed support for provisions intended to help buoy small businesses, ward off layoffs and give more help to the unemployed. He also praised the lack of “state bailouts” and the inclusion of “reforms to the Federal Reserve.” But he railed against the cost of the measure.
“But, in classic Washington style, vital programs are being attached to an omnibus spending bill that mortgages our children and grandchildren’s futures without even giving members a chance to read it,” he said in part. “We are not spending money we have in the bank or anticipate we will collect in taxes. Washington doesn’t seem to understand that new spending today will be paid for by increased federal debt and result in a tax increase on families down the road.”
Having cleared Congress, the bill has been sent to the desk of President Donald Trump, who’s expected to sign it soon.