Rick Scott On McConnell's Decision To Remove Him From Commerce Committee: 'That's Life'
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday removed Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) from the powerful Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, prompting a shrug from the Kentuckian’s onetime rival.
In an interview Thursday on “CNN This Morning,” Scott said he thought McConnell’s decision didn’t make sense, pointing to his experience as a business leader and the fact that his state is one of the country’s largest.
“I don’t know why he did it, but that’s life,” he said on the morning show.
Scott, who challenged McConnell for the chamber’s Republican leadership last year but failed to draw enough support, was ousted alongside Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.
The Floridian said he found out about the news through a text message, according to The Hill.
WATCH: @kaitlancollins presses @SenRickScott on budget negotiations following @POTUS meeting with @SpeakerMcCarthy on debt limit pic.twitter.com/iarTwfR3ZZ
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) February 2, 2023
McConnell was able to unilaterally make the decision because Commerce was the third “Class A” panel assignment for both senators.
Scott remains a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Armed Services panel, while Lee sits on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Judiciary panel.
McConnell has previously said he didn’t mind the challenge from Scott during the GOP Senate leadership race.
“Anybody who wants to run for it can feel free to do so,” he said following the vote in November. “So I’m not in any way offended by having an opponent or having a few votes in opposition.”
He added that he was “pretty proud of 37 to 10,” referring to the vote tallies.
But McConnell’s latest move could indicate otherwise.
Lee, the other senator booted from the panel, tweeted a link to the article from The Hill about their removal, writing, “Mitch happens.”
Mitch happens. 💅 https://t.co/fs3CVVgUmS
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) February 2, 2023
Lee was one of the 10 votes in support of Scott’s bid for GOP leader.
Scott, who led the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, had clashed with McConnell in the lead-up to last year’s midterms over the party’s electoral strategy. McConnell had suggested that the GOP had a problem with some of candidates it put forward.
Republicans failed to win back the Senate after all incumbent Democrats won their races and now-Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz, flipping a seat previously held by Republican Pat Toomey before his retirement.
Scott is reportedly running for reelection in 2024 and not pursuing a bid for the presidency, according to NBC News.