The chairman of Senate Republicans’ campaign operation on Tuesday unveiled his vision for the future of the GOP, which was quickly met with a retort from the White House.
“I’ll warn you; this plan is not for the faint of heart,” Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, writes in the introduction to his 11-point plan, which he said he hoped would “strike fear in the heart of some Republicans.”
Among the most attention-grabbing of his proposals in the memo, which says it was paid for by his campaign and not the NRSC, is completing Donald Trump’s border wall and naming it after the former President, as well as calling for all Americans to pay an income tax “even if a small amount.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki seized on the latter proposal, tweeting Tuesday that Scott and “Senate Republicans just released an economic plan that doesn’t include a single proposal to lower prices for the middle class,” and claiming “he wants to raise taxes” on Americans, “including on seniors and working families.”
In the plan, Scott leans into the so-called parental rights messaging that the GOP has adopted in the wake of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia last year that had successfully seized on parents’ frustrations with pandemic-related school disruptions. Scott, for example, calls for closing the Department of Education, eliminating teacher tenure at public schools and having all children say the Pledge of Allegiance and stand for the National Anthem.
“Public schools will teach our children to love America because, while not perfect, it is exceptional, it is good, and it is a beacon of freedom in an often-dark world,” the plans states, while repeatedly trying to craft a contrast to what Scott calls “the woke left” and “wokeness.”
The GOP senator, a former governor who could harbor higher political ambitions, also calls for eliminating what he labeled “racial politics” throughout the rest of the country, saying that under GOP leadership, Americans would not be asked to disclose their race, ethnicity or skin color on government forms.
Republicans have repeatedly used rising crime to attack Democrats, often misleadingly tying candidates to the “defund the police” movement. Scott strikes a similar chord, calling for full funding for police and increasing penalties for theft and violent crime.
As the GOP did throughout the 2020 cycle, Scott takes aim at socialism, writing that it “will be treated as a foreign combatant which aims to destroy our prosperity and freedom.” He ties that message into a call for shrinking the federal government, including by reducing the government work force by 25% in five years and selling off government buildings and assets.
His call to clean house in Washington, DC, extends to Congress, which he wants to have 12-year limits for lawmakers. He’d like “government bureaucrats” to have the same limits. And despite his call for more Americans to pay an income tax, Scott wants to “immediately cut the IRS funding and workforce by 50%.”
Trump’s misinformation about mail-in ballots and his lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him have inspired a raft of efforts in GOP-led states around the country to restrict the right to vote. Scott adopts similar rhetoric about Democrats trying to “rig elections,” without providing any evidence, and calls for the end of same-day voter registration and unmanned ballot drop boxes in public areas, as well as for ballot counting to be done “in full public view.”
Scott connects his message about parental rights in schools to a familiar broader social message from Republicans about opposing abortion rights, supporting “the nuclear family” and prohibiting transgender women and girls from competing on sports teams consistent with their gender, which an increasing number of GOP-led states have tried to codify at the state level.
“We will reject both the roots and the adherents of cancel culture in America,” Scott writes, echoing language that Trump often uses, including calling for social media platforms that regulate content “to be treated like publishers and subject to legal action.”
Scott’s last point – “We are Americans, not globalists” – comes as the Biden administration on Tuesday imposed new sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in eastern Ukraine.