Rather than have an accurate count of everyone that lives in his state, which is the whole point of a census, junior Sen. Rick Scott is now arguing that the Trump Administration’s controversial citizenship question should be included in the next census, a move that just about every expert says would result in less congressional representation and less federal funding to Florida.
The former Florida governor made this unfathomably dumb remark while speaking to Fox News host Dana Perino, when he was asked to respond to a recent op-ed by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Sen. René García. In the op-ed, the two former Republicans lawmakers argue that Trump’s plan to include the citizenship question would undoubtedly result in undocumented immigrants not participating in the 2020 national census, which of course, would then cost Florida congressional seats and a massive loss of funding for programs like Medicare and food stamps.
“‘The state of Florida stands to lose out on millions of dollars in federal funding and as many as two additional congressional seats if the census question on citizenship moves forward and depresses response rates,'” said host Dana Perino, quoting from the op-ed. “Even an additional 1% undercount could greatly jeopardize the purse strings and power of the nation’s third most populous state.”
Scott responds by saying he’s totally fine with that.
“That’s how we ought to be deciding how many additional congressmen and women Florida gets, it ought to be based on citizenship,” said Scott. “I understand their issue, we lose out some federal funding, but the truth is we should allocate the dollars based on citizenship. We should allocate congressmen and women based on citizenship, so it ought to be on the [census].”
Florida is expected to have 21.6 million residents counted on the 2020 census. However, right now it’s estimated that 900,000 of those residents are currently undocumented immigrants, and as many experts have pointed out, if they don’t participate in the census, the state will lose at least one congressional seat.
Rep. Val Demings, a Democrat from Orlando, recently told the Orlando Sentinel that this is the whole point.
“The administration is trying to suppress the power, funding, and political representation of states like Florida and transfer that power and money to more Republican areas in the center of the country,” said Demings. “An unbiased Supreme Court would reject it.”
A legal challenge to the citizenship question is currently awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.