Current Position: U.S. House of Representatives (1993- 2018) - Virginia 3rd District
From Government Site
Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott is currently serving his thirteenth term in Congress representing Virginia’s Third Congressional District. Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983 and in the Senate of Virginia from 1983 to 1993.
During his tenure in the Virginia General Assembly, Congressman Scott successfully sponsored laws critical to Virginians in education, employment, health care, social services, economic development, crime prevention and consumer protection. His legislative successes included laws that increased Virginia’s minimum wage, created the Governor’s Employment and Training Council and improved health care benefits for women, infants and children. He also sponsored the Neighborhood Assistance Act, which provides tax credits to businesses for donations made to approved social service and crime prevention programs.
Congressman Scott has the distinction of being the first African-American elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African-American elected to Congress in Virginia’s history. Having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry also gives him the distinction of being the first American with Filipino ancestry to serve as a voting member of Congress.
Congressman Scott currently serves as the Ranking Member on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, a committee he has served on since his arrival to Congress in 1993. In his capacity as the most senior Democrat on the Committee, he is leading the fight for access to quality early, secondary and higher education for all of America’s children with an emphasis on solving the growing problem of student debt, closing the achievement gap and dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline. In 2015, he was one of the four primary negotiators of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the first time in 13 years replacing the No Child Left Behind Act. Additionally, he is focused on ensuring that millions of Americans have the opportunity to go to work every day and know that they will be treated fairly, paid a decent and living wage, given a safe environment in which do their jobs and provided access to affordable health care.
From the beginning of his tenure in Congress, Congressman Scott has led efforts to pass comprehensive juvenile justice reform and crime prevention legislation. Towards that end, he has introduced the Youth PROMISE Act, which would provide resources to state and local governments for evidence-based strategies and programs to prevent juvenile crime.
As a part of his effort to provide universal health care for all, prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Congressman Scott sponsored the All Healthy Children Act, which sought to ensure that millions of uninsured children in the United States have access to a comprehensive set of health care services.
Congressman Scott is also a recognized champion of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and has fought to protect the rights and civil liberties of all Americans. In 1997, he protected the right of all children with disabilities to obtain a free and appropriate education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by leading a successful effort to defeat amendments aimed at curtailing that right for some children. Congressman Scott also actively opposed passage of the USA PATRIOT Act and has been a leading critic of both Republican and Democratic Administrations’ misuse of surveillance authorities. He is also a leading opponent of efforts to permit employment discrimination in federally funded programs.
As the former Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Scott is also a leading advocate for reforming our nation’s broken criminal justice system. Congressman Scott sponsored the Death in Custody Reporting Act, which was originally signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and its subsequent reauthorization was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014. The law requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report to the U.S. Department of Justice how many individuals die each year while in police custody or during the course of an arrest. In 2010, Congressman Scott successfully led efforts in the House to pass the Fair Sentencing Act, one of the first successful reductions in a mandatory minimum sentence in decades. The law reduced the unfair sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.
From 2013 to 2014, he co-chaired the House Judiciary Committee’s Over-Criminalization Task Force with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Based on the findings of their task force, Scott and Sensenbrenner co-authored the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act, which has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive criminal justice reform bills in a generation and has attracted significant support from across the political spectrum.
Having served for a total of six years on the House Budget Committee, Congressman Scott is also a leading voice on fiscal policy and reducing the deficit. He was an ardent opponent of the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts that were skewed towards the wealthiest Americans and contributed trillions to the national debt. He opposed the 2008 taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street and the 2013 Fiscal Cliff deal that permanently extended most of the Bush-era tax cuts. He is dedicated to restoring fiscal sanity to the federal budget process in order to balance the federal budget and has advocated for the return of statutory Pay-As-You-Go budget rules, which helped bring the federal budget from deficit to surplus in the 1990s.
Congressman Scott is also a strong supporter of our nation’s military readiness as well as our troops and their safety. He is a leading advocate for improving and increasing funding for veterans’ benefits and health care, especially mental health care, and was the lead sponsor in the House of Senator Jim Webb’s Post-9/11 G.I. Bill that was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008. Congressman Scott has routinely received an “A” from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for his service and commitment to our veterans.
In 2010, The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, recognized Congressman Scott as one of the 25 hardest working Members of Congress. The Hill later recognized him in 2012 as one of Capitol Hill’s 50 most beautiful people.
Congressman Scott was born on April 30, 1947 in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School. After graduating law school, he returned home to Newport News and practiced law from 1973 to 1991. He received an honorable discharge for his service in the Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.
Congressman Scott is a member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Newport News and is a member of many professional, community, and civic boards and organizations.
From Government website
Congressman Scott currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. In his capacity as the senior Democrat on the Committee, he is leading the fight for access to quality early, secondary and higher education for all of America’s children with an emphasis on solving the growing problem of student debt, closing the achievement gap and dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Additionally, he is focused on ensuring that millions of Americans have the opportunity to go to work every day and know that they will be treated fairly, paid a decent and living wage, given a safe environment in which do their jobs and provided access to affordable health care.
The Committee on Education and the Workforce’s purpose is to ensure that Americans’ needs are addressed so that students and workers may move forward in a changing school system and a competitive global economy. The Committee oversees education and workforce programs that affect all Americans, from early learning through secondary education, from job training through retirement. The Committee on Education and the Workforce has jurisidiction over a wide range of legislation, including the Workforce Investment Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Congressman Scott has served on the Committee since 1993, but took a leave of absence during the 108th Congress (2003-2004) to serve on the House Budget Committee.
As Ranking Member of the full committee, Rep. Scott has the ability to serve on any subcommittee ex officio.
On February, 23, 2018, Congressman Scott was appointed to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans. Established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the Joint Select Committee is responsible for putting forward solutions to Congress before the end of 2018 to significantly improve the solvency of multiemployer pension plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
Previous Committee Assignments:
- Committee on the Judiciary (1993-2014)
- Subcommittee on the Constitution, Ranking Member (1997-1998)
- Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Chairman (2007-2010), Ranking Member (1999-2006, 2011-2014)
- Committee on the Budget (2003-2004, 2007-2010)
- Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (1993-1994)
Scott was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates as a Democrat in 1977 and he was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 1982, after a census-based reapportionment changed district numbers (thus, his nominal predecessors were in fact representatives from Northern Virginia). While in the Virginia legislature, Scott worked to allow the poor and children greater access to health care, as well as to increase the minimum wage, and increase job training. Scott also authored legislation providing tax credits to business that provide donations to serving local communities in preventing crime or improving social service delivery.
U.S. House of Representatives Elections
Scott first ran for Congress in 1986 in the 1st district, which included his home in Newport News. He lost to Republican incumbent U.S. Congressman Herb Bateman 56%-44%.
In 1992, the Department of Justice directed the Virginia legislature to draw a black-majority district after the 1990 census. The legislature responded by shifting most of the black residents of Hampton Roads and Richmond into a newly created 3rd District. Scott won a three-way Democratic primary with 67% of the vote, which was tantamount to election in this heavily Democratic district. In the general election, he defeated Republican Dan Jenkins 79%-21%.
During this time period, he won re-election every two years with at least 76% of the vote, except in 2004. That year, he was challenged by Republican Winsome Sears, a former State Delegate. He won with 69% of the vote, the lowest winning percentage of his career. In 1994, Scott won 79.44% of the vote, defeating Republican Thomas E. Ward. In 1996, he won 82.12% of the vote, defeating Republican Eisle G. Holland. in 1998, he won 75.97% of the vote, defeating Independent Robert S. Barnett. He ran unopposed in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2008.
Scott was challenged by Republican Chuck Smith, a former JAG. Scott defeated him 70%-27%, the second worst performance of his career.
After redistricting, Scott’s district was made even more safe. In 2008, President Barack Obama had carried the district with 76% of the vote; he won the new district with 78%. Scott faced Air Force officer Dean Longo. He easily won an 11th term with 81.26% of the vote.
Scott joined President Obama in kicking off his campaign at Virginia Commonwealth University. The focus of the rally was largely on Obama’s timeline for leaving the Middle East.
Scott is the first African American Representative from Virginia since Reconstruction. Also, having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry gives Scott the distinction of being the first American of Filipino descent to serve as a voting member of Congress. Scott’s congressional district is the only one with a majority black population in Virginia. The district was created in 1992 and has remained the most Democratic district in Virginia.
Scott’s annual Labor Day picnic, generally held at his mother’s residence in Newport News, is a major campaign stop for statewide and federal candidates in Virginia.
On November 7, 2009, Scott voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962).
Scott has voted progressively in the House of Representatives. He has supported increases in the minimum wage and has worked to eliminate anti-gay bias in the workplace. In 2010, Scott co-sponsored the “Lee-Scott bill” with Barbara Lee to make it easier on individuals who had been on unemployment for 99 weeks without finding work. In regards to the bill, Lee said that “it is important that we put in place a safety net for those still looking for work. We cannot and will not allow our fellow Americans to fall by the wayside. Congressman Scott and I plan to continue to push for passage of this legislation because it is simply the right thing to do.”
Scott was an outspoken opponent of the Bush administration. He opposed the Patriot Act explaining that officials may abuse the power by promoting anti-terrorist security and develop unfair “racial profiling”. In 2002 Scott voted nay on the Iraq war resolution and did not support any of the Bush Doctrine in reference to the Iraq war.
Scott introduced the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 (H.R. 1447; 113th Congress) on April 9, 2013. The bill would require the United States Department of Justice to collect data from U.S. states and territories about the deaths of prisoners in their custody. States and territories would face monetary penalties for noncompliance. The bill would also require federal agencies to report on the deaths of prionsers in their custody.
Possible U.S. Senate appointment
On July 22, 2016, then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced that she had chosen Tim Kaine, a U.S. Senator from Virginia, as her running mate. Had the Clinton-Kaine ticket won the general election, Kaine would have resigned his Senate seat, and Democratic Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe would have been able to appoint a replacement to serve until a 2017 special election. In August 2016, former Democratic governor Douglas Wilder stated that he would want McAuliffe to appoint Scott to the seat, stating that it “would be good for the commonwealth, good for the Democratic Party, of which Bobby has been most supportive, and great for our nation.” On November 8, however, Clinton and Kaine lost the presidency to Donald Trump and Mike Pence, so Kaine remained in his Senate seat and an appointment was not necessary.
Sexual Harassment Allegation
On December 15, 2017, Marsheri Everson (also known as M. Reese Everson), a former congressional fellow who had worked in Scott’s office, alleged that Scott had sexually harassed her in 2013 by making inappropriate comments and touching her on the knee and back on separate occasions. Scott dismissed Everson’s accusation as a “false allegation.” Everson provided details of her claim at a news conference in Arlington, in which she appeared with attorney Jack Burkman, best known for his involvement in the conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of Seth Rich.
A December 22, 2017 story in the Richmond Free Press questioned Everson’s allegations. “Since 2015, Ms. Everson has told at least three different versions of events… In Facebook posts and in comments to the Free Press and other media outlets, scores of people have expressed certainty that Ms. Everson is more a fabricator than a truth teller.” Among the details that suggested conflicting accounts by Everson was that on November 19, 2010, the Inspector General’s Office for the city of Chicago placed Everson on the city’s “do not hire” list indefinitely (a permanent ban) after she was fired from their office. In response, in 2011, Everson sued, accusing her former supervisor of sexual harassment; she dropped the suit after going to work at the U.S. House of Representatives. In October 2013, Everson was dismissed from her fellowship with the House Financial Services Committee. She had begun work for the committee after leaving Scott’s office. Before leaving Scott’s office, she had a going away party with members of his staff; after leaving, she contacted Scott to thank him for the opportunity. In neither case did she mention inappropriate conduct by Scott. Further detracting from Everson’s account of her interactions with Scott was a December 31, 2017 New York Times story that included Burkman in its discussion of politically motivated sexual harassment claims.
|Bobby Scott (Virginia) Campaign Contribution History|
|2016||U.S. House, Virginia District 3||$764,730|
|2014||U.S. House (Virginia, District 3)||$511,673|
|2012||U.S. House (Virginia, District 3)||$2,397,768|
|2010||U.S. House (Virginia, District 3)||$4,510,947|
|Grand Total Raised||$8,185,118|
|1992||Bobby Scott||132,432||79%||Daniel Jenkins||35,780||21%||Write-ins||261|
|1994||Bobby Scott||108,532||79%||Thomas E. Ward||28,080||21%||Write-ins||8|
|1996||Bobby Scott||118,603||82%||Elsie Goodwyn Holland||25,781||18%||Write-ins||34|
|1998||Bobby Scott||48,129||76%||(no candidate)||Robert S. Barnett||Independent||14,453||23%||*|
|2000||Bobby Scott||137,527||98%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||3,226||2%|
|2002||Bobby Scott||87,521||96%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||3,552||4%|
|2004||Bobby Scott||159,373||69%||Winsome Sears||70,194||31%||Write-ins||325|
|2006||Bobby Scott||133,546||96%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||5,448||4%|
|2008||Bobby Scott||230,911||97%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||7,377||3%|
|2010||Bobby Scott||114,656||70%||Chuck Smith||44,488||27%||James Quigley||Libertarian||2,383||2%||*|
|2012||Bobby Scott||259,199||81.27%||Dean J. Longo||58,931||18.48%||*||Write-ins||806||0.25%|
|2014||Bobby Scott||139,197||94.43%||(no candidate)||Write-ins||8,205||5.57%|
|2016||Bobby Scott||208,337||66.70%||Marty Williams||103,289||33.07%||Write-ins||714||0.23%|
Congressman Scott is an ardent defender of civil rights. Although America has made great strides in civil rights in the past few decades, current events have shown that we still have a long way to go. The current threats to civil rights are not the explicit actions our predecessors may have seen and experienced. Instead, they are subtle actions that, if allowed to continue, could threaten our rights and lives in the future. Civil Rights
Faith-Based Initiative Religious organizations have long been recepients of federal funds. However, since the advent of the Faith-Based Initiative, the responsibilities of faith-based organizations to adhere to basic civil rights policies has been eroded. The Faith-Based Initiative has allowed organizations to cirumvent existing law and discriminate in their hiring practices, on the basis of religion.
Gun Safety Congressman Scott is a vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which was convened by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in response to the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
Defense & Security
Congressman Scott believes that voting is the very foundation of our democracy. To underscore his belief, he often quotes the Supreme Court’s decision in Wesberry v. Sanders (1964), where the Court states: Voting Rights
Economy & Jobs
We all know that the current economic climate has taken a toll on many families across the nation and that the economy has been slow to recover from the deep recession. Congressman Scott believes the best long-term way we can create jobs and get people back to work is investing in education and training, beginning with early education and continuing through college or vocational education, as well as adult education and training. Economy and Jobs
Congressman Scott supports reducing our budget deficit and balancing the federal budget, but not at the expense of cutting vital government functions, such as defense, education, transportation, Social Security and Medicare. Federal Budget
The 3rd Congressional District is home to Newport News Shipbuilding, the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and many small and medium sized ship repair yards. Congressman Scott is honored to represent thousands of the nation’s best shipbuilders. In Congress, Congressman Scott is a proud and active member of the bipartisan Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus. He has worked with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support shipbuilding and our nation’s shipbuilders in Congress. Shipbuilding
Link has statements Congressman Scott has released on Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans Pacific Partnership. Trade
As the Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congressman Scott believes that if we are going to properly prepare our country’s youth for their future, we must ensure that we are giving them the fundamental tools necessary to grow into skillful and productive members of the workforce, starting from the beginning of childhood. Education
Energy & Environment
Protecting and conserving our environment is one of Congressman Scott’s top priorities. Throughout his time in public office, Congressman Scott has consistently received high marks and awards from national environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the National Parks Conservation Association. Energy & Environment
As a co-chair of the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, Congressman Scott believes the Chesapeake Bay is one America’s greatest treasures and that it is vital that we protect and preserve the Bay for future generations. Chesapeake Bay
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. While a strong supporter of a single-payer health care system, Congressman Scott tirelessly worked with his colleagues in Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act. Four years later, the law’s provisions are improving the lives of millions of people in the Commonwealth of Virginia and across the United States. Health Care
Congressman Scott supports fair and humane immigration policies that will keep our borders secure and our citizens safe, assure that those who are fleeing violence and oppression are not thrust back into danger, prevent families from being ripped apart, promote a flourishing economy, and treat all individuals who attempt to enter into our country with respect and dignity. Immigration
Social Security is one of the most successful and important government programs ever enacted. For well over 75 years, Social Security has been giving seniors and their families peace of mind and economic stability. Congressman Scott is adamantly opposed to cutting Social Security to balance the budget or offset the cost of tax cuts. Social Security
Latest News & Events
Virginia U.S. Representative Bobby Scott Speech on the Need for Criminal Justice Reform
Published: Feb. 18, 2014 By The Leadership Conference
VA 3rd Congressional District Town Hall
Published: Feb. 19, 2018 By Portsmouth City Watch
U. S. Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott presents highlights of the 2017 federal tax legislation and responds to citizen questions and comments at I. C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, VA.