Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell booted two Republican lawmakers from a powerful Senate committee on Wednesday after an unsuccessful attempt last year to oust him from his leadership position.
Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are no longer members of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees issues related to interstate commerce, science and technology policy, and transportation, and according to Scott, it’s personal.
“This is what happens when you challenge leadership,” Scott said in a statement to The Post on Wednesday.
“It was McConnell’s decision to remove someone who has actually run businesses and ran the third largest state from a committee I’ve served on for four years. You’ll have to ask him why,” he added.
Scott’s effort to oust McConnell, who has been the GOP leader in the Senate since 2007, was strongly backed by Lee, who gave one of the nominating speeches for Scott’s takeover bid.
McConnell, 80, ably fended off the challenge with the support of 37 senators, while Scott got 10 votes and one senator voted “present.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” McConnell told reporters after emerging from the closed-door vote and giving a thumbs-up.
The GOP leader insisted last year that there were no hard feelings about the challenge.
“I’m not in any way offended by having an opponent or having a few votes in opposition,” he said after his re-election. “I’m pretty proud of 37 to 10.”
Scott and McConnell traded what colleagues said were “candid” and “lively” barbs during a lengthy private GOP senators lunch in November that lasted several hours. They sparred over the midterms and the quality of the GOP candidates who ran and their differences over fundraising, according to reports.
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