Rick Scott jumps into Senate GOP leader race to replace Mitch McConnell

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., officially announced his bid for Republican leader in the next Senate on Wednesday, setting the stage for a crowded race. “I have decided to run for Senate Republican leader because I believe now is a moment we need dramatic change,” he wrote in a letter to fellow Senate Republicans. The Florida Republican joins both Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, in the race, both of whom have already announced their own candidacy for outgoing Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s role. ‘WORSE THAN DOING NOTHING’: GOP RIPS INTO SCHUMER-BACKED BORDER BILLScott stressed the need for transparency among conference members in his appeal, claiming, “There have been far too many backroom deals cut in secret.” News of his campaign for leader was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.He criticized the failure of legislation to move through the committee process and the normalization of trillion-dollar spending bills voted on without consideration for amendments. “We are routinely surprised with legislation and asked to vote on it without having had any input or even time to review it,” Scott continued. BIDEN BORDER CHIEF MAYORKAS IN HOT SEAT OVER JORDANIAN NATIONALS WHO TRIED TO BREACH QUANTICOThe Florida senator additionally lamented that the upper chamber GOP rarely works “in concert with Republicans in the House.” According to Scott, the body “far too often passes legislation that is supported by 100% of the Democrats, and only a quarter of our Republican Conference.” He claimed this has served to unite Democrats, while simultaneously dividing the Republican senators. MCCONNELL-ALIGNED GROUP SHREDS SEN BROWN’S ‘HANDOUTS FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS’ IN OHIO SPOTNotably, McConnell has served as the Republican leader since 2007, only announcing in February his plan to step down. In 2022, Scott challenged the reigning leader during his re-election bid for the position. He cited frustration with the “status quo” in his reasoning, urging his colleagues to vote for change. He was able to garner 10 votes to McConnell’s 37 at the time. “We had a double-digit vote against the current leader, and that’s never happened in the time I’ve been here,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had remarked. Following McConnell’s surprise announcement, Scott said in a statement, “I have been very clear and have long believed that we need new leadership in the Senate that represents our voters and the issues we were sent here to fight for. As everyone knows, I challenged Leader McConnell in 2022. This is an opportunity to refocus our efforts on solving the significant challenges facing our country and actually reflect the aspirations of voters.”UNUSED COVID-19 FUNDS WOULD BUILD BORDER WALL UNDER NEW SENATE BILLHowever, he didn’t reveal his intentions at the time. The November match-up for Republican leader presents the winner with an opportunity to shape the Republican Party’s priorities in the Senate, especially if they snag the majority in the 2024 elections. 
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