The “militant left” has gained control of virtually every one of the nation’s institutions, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said Thursday, arguing that Republicans have to be more than a “speed bump on the road to America’s socialism and collapse.”

“I’m a business guy,” Scott said in outlining an 11-point plan for conservative governance during a speech at The Heritage Foundation, parent organization of The Daily Signal. 

“If you want to turn something around,” he said, “you make a plan, you make big changes, and you don’t do it in five years. You do it today, so you can go rescue America.”

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts also introduced the conservative think tank’s own agenda for 2023, titled “Fighting for America’s Future.” The Heritage plan focuses on expanding school choice, securing the border and reducing crime, ensuring free and fair elections, reversing the growth of government spending and inflation, countering China, holding Big Tech accountable, and protecting the unborn.

“A vast majority of Americans know that if you want to get something done, you need to have a plan,” Roberts said, adding: “The reason we’re doing this event is to celebrate any member of the United States Congress who wants to put out a plan, as Sen. Scott has done.”

Scott’s address at Heritage came amid a reported rift among Senate Republicans regarding strategy as the nation faces problems such as surging inflation, continuing underemployment, an unsustainable national debt, and Russia’s war on Ukraine. 

The Florida Republican, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is calling for an affirmative strategy with specifics. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., contends that Republicans primarily should oppose the Biden administration and Democrats’ majorities in the House and Senate. 

In March, OnMessage surveyed 1,500 Republican primary voters across the nation and found that 68% said they want the GOP to have a plan, 9% said the party should just run against President Joe Biden, and 23% said they either didn’t know or had no opinion. 

“Whether it’s on Big Tech, whether it’s on China, whether it is on the worst form of taxation, which is the rate of spending that’s happening in the city, conservatives are expecting change,” Roberts said.

Scott’s 11 points in his “Rescue America” plan are broad but include 120 specific policy proposals, which he summarized in his remarks at Heritage’s Capitol Hill headquarters. 

Scott’s plan calls for every child in every school to say the Pledge of Allegiance. He also said he wants to do away with pushing what he called racial politics.

“The plan calls for a complete end to racial politics. The government shouldn’t be asking us what our skin color is, or race, on any government form,” Scott said. “We’re all made in the image of God. To judge a person on the color of their skin is absolutely immoral.”

Scott said his plan also includes extracting the United States from economic dependence on China

“It will take a while, but just because something will take awhile doesn’t mean we don’t get started,” Scott told The Daily Signal during a press conference after the speech, adding:

We watched what happened with Ukraine. Right? Americans expected, and American businesses acted and they walked away from doing business with Russia. That’s easier than it would be in China. So I think what we have to say to ourselves is … that we should expect we’re going to have to do the same thing with China.

Scott said that just as Russia was clear that it intended to invade Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping has signaled that he would invade Taiwan. 

“We have to start today and work every day to make ourselves less dependent [on China],” Scott said. 

He said American corporations and citizens can’t simply rely on the U.S. government regarding China.

“Stop buying anything made in Communist China,” Scott said. “I’m not against the people of China. I’m against the government of Communist China. We buy their stuff, we help their government.”

Scott’s plan also calls for election reform measures such as voter ID requirements and a ban on the practice of ballot harvesting to combat Democrat proposals such as the legislation known as HR 1. That House-passed bill, stalled in the Senate, would ban state voter ID laws across the nation, expand ballot harvesting, mandate mail-in voting, and require that local governments provide Election Day voter registration. 

Scott told The Daily Signal that he wants to protect state election reforms from Democrats’ national legislation to quash them, saying:

I think we ought to have voter ID. I think we ought to make sure that ballot harvesting is outlawed. It shouldn’t happen. We got rid of it, I think, in 2011 in Florida. Most of these things for election integrity are going to be done at the local level. 

Here, right now, what we’re doing is preventing the Democrats from trying to rig the election by saying you can’t have an ID, you can’t ask for an ID, you have to have ballot harvesting. So I think probably most of it will be at the state level.

After reporters questioned whether his plan would mean imposing taxes on low-income earners, Scott said it’s about having skin in the game. 

“All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount,” he told reporters, adding:

Currently, over half of Americans pay no income tax. So this is exactly why I put that in there. I am a tax cutter, but I believe that we all have to be part of what we’re doing. … My focus is on people that either take advantage of a system that are billionaires that can hire lobbyists and figure out all the loopholes or the person that could go to work, decides not to, and they want to live off the government.

Scott’s plan also calls for term limits for members of Congress and for unelected federal bureaucrats. 

“We’re going to eliminate the permanent ruling class of Washington that thinks that our government belongs to them,” Scott said during his speech.

He added: “The plan makes some kind of terribly controversial point, such as men are men, women are women. There are two genders, and science confirms that unborn babies are human beings.”

Scott’s plan also supports fully funding police agencies and securing the southern border, in part by completing a wall. 

“We’re going to name it after Donald J. Trump,” he said. 

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