National Security

Jeb Bush deflects DWS attack at economic policy hearing

Jeb: 'I'm glad you voted for it. You weren't against it before you were for it. You were for it before you were against it.'

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Given our students graduate unprepared for college-level work, tens of thousands of children languish on a waiting list for affordable childcare, how could you justify giving away $600 million in public funding with no accountability to a private company?

REP PAUL RYAN: Again, welcome to the budget committee, governor bush. You have nine seconds to respond. We'll let you go over your time.

GOV. JEB BUSH: The Scripps research institute is not a corporation. It's not a for-profit company. It is a premier not-for-profit research institute that does world-class research. The accountable that you voted for, I'm glad that you voted for it. You weren't against it before you were for it. You were for it before you were against it. I'm happy we had your vote. The money would go out based on the 575 jobs that are in the process or probably already have been completed. So this is an idea to spur innovation, to spur additional activity. It gets hit by the downturn in the economy, but there has been significantly higher numbers of jobs, spin-off jobs or jobs created because of Scripps and Burnham and Torrey Pines and other institutes. And we've increased, at least during my tenure — I haven't followed the budget of the state since I left — but we increased funding for research for our universities as well. In the life science sector, Florida has gone from being in the back of the pack to aspiring to top-tier status. I would say we're probably in terms of research spending probably number five or number four. And 10 years ago, we were probably 25 or even higher than that. So I think from that perspective, it ought to be reviewed. I completely agree with that. There ought to be analysis done. But I think for something that's a work in progress I would say it's been a success. And I would add that had we not spent these one-time money on these long-term things, the money would have been spent, and it would have been spent creating huge recurring gaps that many other states have had to deal with that would have ended up creating higher taxes for Floridians. It would have hurt our economy and made our business climate worse.