GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had his own petty vengeance moment this week as he went after his fellow Republicans who came for his job last month and failed.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pulled Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who tried to oust him as the Senate’s top Republican in a bruising leadership race, off the powerful Commerce Committee.
McConnell also removed Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who supported Scott’s bid to replace McConnell as leader, from the Commerce panel, which has broad jurisdiction over a swath of federal agencies.
The GOP leader insisted last year that he didn’t take the attempt to end his leadership reign personally, but the latest move sends a clear message to conservatives that challenging McConnell’s leadership carries a cost.
“McConnell got to pick. He kicked me off; he kicked Lee off,” Scott confirmed in an interview.
Scott acknowledged that running against McConnell was the likely reason he was booted from the panel despite his relative seniority on the committee and experience running a major company.
“I probably ran the biggest company almost any senator in the history of the country has ever run. I was governor of the third-biggest economy in the United States, Florida. I’ve got a business background,” Scott said, ticking off his credentials.
But Scott and Lee have teamed up to challenge McConnell’s leadership of the GOP conference on fiscal and spending decisions, and Lee gave one of the nominating speeches for Scott’s bid to take over as GOP leader.
Scott said he learned of the decision in a text message.
One personal familiar with the episode described the Florida senator as “furious.”
Other conservatives agree the leadership fight was a major factor in the decision to remove Scott and Lee from Commerce.
While I'm always glad to see Batboy end up in the "and find out" stage of the proceedings, this little tiff doesn't address the problems with Scott's mismanagement of the NRSC, and how he's almost certainly guilty of campaign finance shenanigans that would make "George Santos" blush.
Mitch won't address that, of course. But cutting Scott off from his main source of corporate lobbyist grifting is a calculated move, and both men know it.
We'll see if Scott responds in the future.
It's such a commentary on our times that Scott can shamelessly refer to his "biggest company" and the Hill reporter doesn't note that he also holds the record for the biggest Medicare fraud settlement in history.
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