Current Position: US Representative since 1993
Candidate: 2021 US Representative for US House District 3
Chair, Education and Labor Committee
During his tenure in the Virginia General Assembly, Congressman Bobby 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.
News & Events
Daily Press, – September 7, 2021 (Short)
As rumblings of unease over President Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill emerge from the Senate, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott says he’s gearing up to fight for its child care and workforce development programs — as well as a critical bricks-and-mortar need.
That bricks and mortar need is school buildings. And coming from a state where the median age of schools is 50 years, well above the national average, it’s a big concern for Scott, D-Newport News who chairs of the House Education and Labor Committee.
“If we had $100 billion, that might replace maybe 2% of the nation’s schools,” he said. “And I have to caution, I don’t think we can get that, but I’m working hard for this.”
Whether new builds or renovations, school construction is a classic kind of spending on public facilities, and like highways, bridges or airports, generates high-paying jobs, Scott said.
Source: Government page
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.
Boston College Law School
Membership & Affiliation
- St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church
1201 Longworth House Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-8351
Fax: (202) 225-8354
2600 Washington Ave.
Newport News, VA 23607
Phone: (757) 380-1000
Fax: (757) 928-6694 H
2018 US Representative
|Bobby Scott (D)||198,615||91.22%|
|Write In (Write-in)||19,107||8.78%|
2016 US Representative
|Bobby Scott (D)||208,337||66.7%|
|Martin L. Williams (R)||103,289||33.1%|
|Write In (Write-in)||745||0.2%|
2014 US Representative
|Bobby Scott (D)||139,197||94.4%|
|Write In (Write-in)||8,206||5.6%|
2012 US Representative
|Bobby Scott (D)||259,199||81.2%|
|Dean J. Longo (R)||58,931||18.5%|
|Write In (Write-in)||1,236||0.4%|
2010 US Representative
|Bobby Scott (D)||102,470||68.7%|
|C. L. Chuck Smith, Jr (R)||42,297||28.4%|
|James J. Quigley (L)||2,205||1.5%|
|John D. Kelly ()||1,927||1.3%|
|Write In (Write-in)||159||0.1%|
2008 US Representative
|Bobby Scott (D)||239,911||97.0%|
|Write In (Write-in)||7,377|
Source: Department of Elections
SCOTT, ROBERT C (BOBBY) has recently run in 5 congressional races, winning 5 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $2,795,421.
Source: Follow the Money
See: Vote Smart
Source: Congressional website
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.
Congressman Scott understands that deficit reduction requires making sometimes tough, unpopular choices. During his first year serving in Congress, Congressman Scott supported the 1993 Clinton budget, which narrowly passed the House and the Senate. The 1993 Clinton budget, also known as the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, helped put the nation on a strong fiscal path and turned federal budget deficits into federal budget surpluses. By 2001, the Congressional Budget Office projected a ten year surplus of $5.6 trillion. At the time, that would have been enough to completely eliminate the national debt held by the public by 2008, and we would owe nothing to China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
Citing likely fiscal disaster, Congressman Scott opposed President George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Congressman Scott correctly pointed out that these tax cuts were not paid for and would wreak havoc on the budget. Combined with the Bush Administration’s unpaid for Medicare prescription drug plan, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an economy deep in recession, and these tax cuts, by the end of the Bush Administration, the annual federal budget deficit had climbed to $1.4 trillion and instead of paying off the national debt held by the public, the total national debt ballooned from $5.7 trillion in 2001 to $10.7 trillion by the end of 2008.
In late 2010, when these Bush-era tax cuts were set to expire, Congressman Scott opposed the two year extension because the nation could not afford them and if they continued to be extended, it would likely force Congress to make deep cuts in vital government services, including Social Security and Medicare.
In 2011, Congressman Scott opposed the Budget Control Act, which conditioned an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling on Congress cutting approximately $2.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. $1.2 trillion of those $2.2 trillion in cuts was contingent on whether a Congressional deficit reduction committee, commonly referred to as the “Super Committee,” reported out a deficit reduction plan totaling $1.2 trillion by the end of 2011. If the Super Committee failed, which it did, the $1.2 trillion in cuts would be implemented through a draconian across-the-board budget cutting process known as “sequestration.” Congressman Scott voted against the Budget Control Act because Congress failed to address a driving factor of the nation’s budget deficit – the Bush-era tax cuts – and its failure to do so would set the stage for sequestration and cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
In early 2013, during the fiscal cliff debacle, Congress permanently extended a majority of the Bush-era tax cuts at a ten-year cost, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, of $3.9 trillion and failed to cancel the $1.2 trillion sequester. Congressman Scott opposed the so-called “Fiscal Cliff Deal” because it permanently extended these unaffordable tax cuts and did nothing to address sequestration, which would and has had a significant negative impact on the Commonwealth of Virginia and his constituents.
In order to responsibly reduce our deficit, Congressman Scott believes that it is imperative that Congress go back and review the Fiscal Cliff Deal and cancel some of the tax cuts that were permanently extended in order to cancel the sequester. He also believes that Congress should review our tax code and end the numerous special interest tax breaks that riddle our tax code.
- House Budget Committee: Majority Site | Minority Site
- Congressional Budget Office
- Office of Management and Budget – Executive Office of the President
- Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
- Urban Institute and Brookings Institution: Tax Policy Center
- Download Rep. Scott’s Budget Handout
- Chart on Fiscal Cliff Options
Budget News & Editorials
- Rep. Bobby Scott’s Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial: Fiscal Cliff Deal will have Devastating Impact on the Budget
- Rep. Bobby Scott’s Daily Press Editorial: Debt deal is a bad one
- New York Times Editorial: A Growing Gloom for States and Cities
MORE ON FEDERAL BUDGET
July 30, 2019 Press Release
July 25, 2019 Press Release
June 25, 2019 Press Release
March 11, 2019 Press Release
January 24, 2019 Press Release
January 11, 2019 Press Release
December 22, 2018 Press Release
August 30, 2018 Press Release
June 7, 2018 Floor Statements
April 12, 2018 Floor Statements
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. Examples of such actions include religious and racial profiling, xenophobic rhetoric in political discourse, expelling minorities from school in disproportionate rates, uneven application of justice, employment discrimination, restricting the right to vote, and pay inequality.
As one of the chief authors of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2015, Congressman Scott ensured the bill lived up to the promise of Brown v. Board of Education and the original Elmenatary and Secondary Education Act by guaranteeing the right to an equal educational opportunity for every child, regardless of race, income, language status, or disability. As Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor he has also authored the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act and the Strength in Diversity Act of 2019. These bills will help guarantee equity in educaiton and help address racial inequities in public schools.
Congressman Scott has is also one of the chief sponsors of the Do No Harm Act, a bill that ensures nobody can use religious freedom as an excuse to discriminate against another person. He has also co-sponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at correcting or preventing the furtherance of discriminatory acts, such as the Equality Act and the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013. He also supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the first bill passed by the House under his leadership as Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor was the Paycheck Fairness Act.
MORE ON CIVIL RIGHTS
July 30, 2019 Press Release
July 17, 2019 Floor Statements
July 9, 2019 In The News
June 20, 2019 Floor Statements
June 18, 2019 Press Release
May 21, 2019 Press Release
May 21, 2019 Press Release
May 20, 2019 Floor Statements
May 17, 2019 Press Release
May 17, 2019 Floor Statements
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:
No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.
Congressman Scott is an ardent supporter of the Voting Rights Act and was instrumental in the passage of the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, César Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, a ruling that significantly undermined the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, Congressman Scott joined a small group of his colleagues in Congress to delicately craft a bi-partisan legislative fix to appropriately address the Court’s concerns in Shelby County and ensure that the core protections of the Voting Rights Act are restored.
Congressman Scott is working tirelessly to ensure that this legislation passes Congress so that no one’s right to vote is infringed.
June 25, 2019 Press Release
March 8, 2019 Press Release
June 12, 2017 Press Release
September 4, 2016 In The News
July 23, 2016 Press Release
August 6, 2015 Press Release
October 7, 2014 Press Release
September 25, 2014 Press Release
August 6, 2014 Press Release
April 2, 2014 Press Release
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. A well-educated workforce is more important today than ever before. With the rapid development of this global marketplace, the United States is no longer the single dominant country in the world and American’s competitive advantage is a well educated workforce.
Large and targeted investments in workforce development are long overdue and it is time that they are addressed in Washington. Congress recently seized upon the opportunity to do this through reuathoization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which expired in 2003. WIA is the main federal legislation that coordinates federal workforce development programs. Congressman Scott supported the reauthorization of WIA through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which included an enhanced definition of “individuals with barriers to employment” that explicitly includes older workers over the age of 55 as well the long-term unemployed. This explicit inclusion means that state and local workforce plans must include goals and strategies for serving these and other disenfranchised groups. Additionally, the new law requires that 75% of youth funding in the bill support out-of-school youth, sometimes referred to as “opportunity youth” for the opportunites they represent for their communities. When kids drop out of school they are much more likely to get into trouble and commit crimes. And once a juvenile falls off of the right track, he or she will face a range of problems and taxpayers will be on the hook for the cost of incarcerating these individuals. By investing in opportunity youth, Congressman Scott believes that we are investing money on the front end so we don’t end up footing the bill later on.
Many believe that during these tough fiscal times we cannot afford to invest in job creation. But Congressman Scott believes that the choice is clear – we must invest in education and job training so that we have a strong workforce and strong nation for future generations. We can choose to put funding towards direct job creation programs, such as transportation and infrastructure projects. This will help accelerate our recovery, putting millions back to work, and gradually return our budget to balance over the next decade, all without jeopardizing Social Security or Medicare or other important social safety net programs. As Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott is the lead sponsor in the House of Representatives of the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. This bill would be good for workers, business and the economy.
MORE ON ECONOMY AND JOBS
August 2, 2019 Press Release
July 30, 2019 Press Release
July 18, 2019 Press Release
July 18, 2019 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, the idea behind the Federal minimum wage is simple: Hardworking Americans should be paid at least enough to provide for themselves and their families.
After more than a decade with no increase in the minimum wage, the longest stretch since the minimum wage was established in 1938, it is no longer serving that purpose.
Today, the Federal minimum wage is a poverty wage in every region of our Nation. Our Nation’s workers deserve better.
July 17, 2019 In The News
July 15, 2019 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, we are considering the Raise the Wage Act later this week. That proposal will gradually increase the Federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, and after that, adjust for inflation.
I thank the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Horsford) for convening this Special Order to discuss the minimum wage on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, because this gives us an opportunity to explore the historic and continuing intersection between race and the Federal minimum wage.
July 11, 2019 Floor Statements
July 8, 2019 Press Release
July 5, 2019 Press Release
June 26, 2019 Press Release
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.
Congressman Scott understands that shipbuilding and our shipbuilders are the backbone of America’s Navy and vital to our national security. In Congress, one of Congressman Scott’s top priorities is ensuring that the shipbuilding industry has the necessary funding and support to continue building and maintaining the most advanced ships in the world. Congressman Scott opposed the Budget Control Act, in part, because he was concerned about its impact on our national security and our ability to build and maintain America’s naval fleet. If sequestration is not cancelled, shipbuilding and ship maintenance will take a significant hit, which will impact shipbuilders and their families across Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District.
May 16, 2019 Floor Statements
January 31, 2019 Press Release
September 27, 2018 Press Release
January 18, 2018 Press Release
December 20, 2017 Press Release
April 28, 2017 Press Release
March 2, 2017 Press Release
December 8, 2016 Press Release
October 24, 2016 Press Release
June 5, 2015 Press Release
June 18, 2015 Press Release
June 12, 2015 Press Release
June 8, 2015
As the debate about Fast Track trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continues, we write to address the frequently repeated assertion that the TPP will have the strongest labor and environmental standards ever. To assess whether the TPP is setting a high watermark, we should look to past agreements to see if we are progressing or simply remaking mistakes of the past.
Supporting the Path to College and Career
As the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, 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.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Congressman Scott is a strong supporter of early childhood education. Research shows that early childhood education during a child’s early, formative years is critical to a child’s brain development. Early education can help a child succeed academically as well as develop soft skills, such as curiosity and a motivation to learn. Studies have also shown that children who participate in a high quality early childhood education program are less likely to become involved in the criminal justice system, or be involved in violence or illegal drugs in later life. That is why he is the lead sponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act, a comprehensive early learning and child care bill to ensure affordable, high-quality child care for working middle class families and those living paycheck to paycheck.
Congressman Scott is also a strong supporter of Head Start. 25 million pre-school aged children have benefited from Head Start programs nationwide. Head Start provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Congressman Scott opposed the Budget Control Act of 2011 because he understood that sequestration’s automatic, across-the-board cuts would slash Head Start, forcing children out of the program and onto a waiting list.
Congressman Scott understands that Congress must work together to ensure that our elementary and secondary schools are places where children can thrive and grow. All children, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, language, country of origin, or disability, need to start off on an equal playing field with the best education available. The U.S. currently struggles with an “achievement gap,” certain groups of students – mainly minorities – fall far behind their higher-achieving peers. As long as the achievement gap exists, our children will be unable to reach their full potential. Congressman Scott was one of the chief architects of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed into law by President Obama in 2015. ESSA is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and a replacement to the No Child Left Behind Act.
ESSA lives up to the promises of Brown v. Board of Education and the intent of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by building on past reauthorizations of the law. ESSA puts in place assessment, accountability, and improvement systems that will close achievement gaps with evidence-based strategies that meet the unique needs of students and schools. Additionally the law requires meaningful state and local action in every school where students – or any subgroup of students – aren’t learning. It requires that any action taken to support school improvement is driven by student outcomes – and that poverty can’t be used as an excuse for not stepping up to better serve students, while also supporting teachers and school leaders with resources and professional development opportunities that will prepare today’s learners for tomorrow’s workforce. As Chairman on the Education and Labor Committee, Congressman Scott is conducting rigorous oversight on the Department of Education ensuring they are properly implementing the law.
COLLEGE AND CAREER
A strong investment in education is one of the most important ways in which we can help keep America’s workforce and economy strong for future generations. A good education can be the difference between the minimum wage job that barely keeps a person afloat and a job with a living wage and full benefits. In addition to increased earnings, individuals with higher levels of education are less likely to be unemployed, receive public assistance, work in unskilled jobs with little upward mobility, and become involved in the criminal justice system. For these reasons, an education past the high school level – whether community college, a four year college, vocational training or a trade or apprentice program – is important not only for earnings, but also for landing a good job that can support a worker and their family.
But the truth is that a high school degree alone just does not get you as far as it used to. In order to succeed today, both individually and as a nation, we need to be making greater investments in education. For many, the problem is still access to quality education. In a weak economy, it is particularly difficult for students to find ways to pay tuition. Many students apply for Financial Aid, which often consists of scholarships, loans and grants, including the well known Pell Grant. Unfortunately, for many students, the Pell Grant does not cover the full cost of tuition.
Congressman Scott is focussed on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and is determined to put forth bold policy solutions to make higher education work for all, focusing on three main areas: access, affordability, and completion. Attending a higher education institution should be fully accessible regardless of a student’s race, socioeconomic status, disability, or family circumstance. With higher education still out of reach for too many Americans, Committee Democrats are working to lift the burden of student loan debt, and are focused on solutions that help all students complete their degree or credential on time. Congressman Scott was the lead sponsor of the Aim Higher Act, a bill which ensures every student has a path to a debt-free degree or credential that leads to a rewarding career.
In the wake of the tragic Newtown and Parkland mass shootings, Congressman Scott welcomes the national discussion about how to keep our schools and children safe. However, we must choose evidence-based solutions that have been been shown by research to improve school climate, reduce bullying and conflict, and foster student achievement.
Congressman Scott opposes the proposal to put armed guards and other law enforcement officers, such as school resource officers, in schools. Reports show that law enforcement officers frequently respond to student misbehavior by arresting the student and putting him or her in the juvenile justice system. Those reports also show that the children are less likely to be victims of crime if the school had hired more school counselors, instead of school resource officers (SROs). Research indicates that students who have contact with the criminal justice system are less likely to graduate and more likely to commit crimes as adults than students who are given in-school punishments, like detention. We must ensure that we are putting our nation’s children on a school-to-college-and-career pipeline, not a school-to-prison pipeline.
MORE ON EDUCATION
July 28, 2019 Press Release
July 23, 2019 Press Release
July 9, 2019 In The News
June 24, 2019 Floor Statements
June 18, 2019 Press Release
May 8, 2019 Floor Statements
April 24, 2019 Press Release
February 26, 2019 Press Release
February 21, 2019 Press Release
February 6, 2019 Press Release
As a co-chair of the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, 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. During his time in the Virginia House of Delegates, Congressman Scott was a member of the joint Virginia-Maryland legislative task force that first recommended creation of a multi-state commission to address Bay issues. This recommendation led to the creation of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, which brings together federal agencies and local governments to find the most effective ways to protect and preserve the Bay.
The Chesapeake Bay is a commercial and recreational resource for millions of Virginians, as well as visitors and tourists and is a significant economic driver in the region. Many generations of Virginians have used the Bay generations for recreation, agriculture, industry and navigation, and Congressman Scott is committed to preserving and protecting the Bay to keep it available for generations to come.
In order to accomplish to protect and preserve the Bay, Congressman Scott supports strong funding for programs such as the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative, put in place by the 2008 Farm Bill to provide targeted assistance to States and producers needed to meet water quality goals, while maintaining accountability on these programs to taxpayers.
Congressman Scott also opposes drilling off Virginia’s coast because of its potential harmful environmental impact to our coastline and the Bay. He believes that offshore drilling will put at risk all the gains we have made in conserving and restoring the Bay.
MORE ON CHESAPEAKE BAY
July 6, 2019 Press Release
June 26, 2019 Press Release
May 23, 2019 Floor Statements
March 7, 2019 Press Release
December 11, 2018 Press Release
January 4, 2018 Press Release
November 16, 2017 Press Release
September 7, 2017 Floor Statements
August 6, 2017 In The News
May 22, 2017 Press Release
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.
Congressman Scott believes that human activity has contributed to climate change and has been a consistent advocate of efforts to mitigate global warming. Scott has co-sponsored legislation in the House of Representatives that would promote investment in renewable energy, and is a supporter of the Green New Deal.
While recognizing the need to keep gasoline and energy affordable, in order to protect the Chesapeake Bay and the tourism industry in Virginia, Scott has opposed opening up new areas to offshore oil and gas development off Virginia’s coast and elsewhere.
July 10, 2019 In The News
July 6, 2019 Press Release
May 22, 2019 Press Release
May 2, 2019 Press Release
November 2, 2018 Press Release
January 12, 2018 Press Release
January 4, 2018 Press Release
December 14, 2017 Press Release
September 28, 2017 Floor Statements
September 27, 2017 Press Release
Affordable Care Act
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 (ACA). 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. No one can ever again be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. No one ever again has to worry that one major illness will mean bankruptcy for his or her family. No senior citizen will ever again have to pay a co-pay for key preventive services, such as cancer screenings. While he is not opposed to improving the law as implementation continues, Congressman Scott is opposed to attempts to weaken or repeal Obamacare. As Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott is on the frontlines of defending the ACA from the constant sabotage attempts from the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans. Congressman Scott is a lead sponsor of the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019 and is a a co-sponsor of the Medicare for All Act of 2019.
Medicare and Medicaid
Congressman Scott is also a strong supporter of Medicare and Medicaid and has strongly opposed repeated attempts to weaken or dismantle these critical health care programs. Together, these programs insure almost 40% of Americans providing a critical safety net for those who are elderly, low-income, or disabled. Congressman Scott does not support taking away these key health benefits for American families. He has consistently opposed the Republican Budget, which has proposed to block grant Medicaid and end the Medicare guarantee by converting it into a voucher program. Congressman Scott strongly supports maintaining and strengthening these programs to make sure that those who need them most can continue to rely on them.
Learn More About Your Health Care Options
- Healthcare.gov – information on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how to access coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace
- Kaiser Family Foundation Affordable Care Act Subsidy Calculator – find out the amount of subsidy that you or your family is eligible for to defray the cost of private insurance
- Medicare – information for seniors and those with Medicare
- Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (for Medicaid and SCHIP) – information on Virginia’s Medicaid program and the FAMIS program
- TRICARE – information for military personell, military retirees, and their dependents who have TRICARE health coverage.
July 30, 2019 Press Release
July 25, 2019 Press Release
July 24, 2019 Press Release
July 23, 2019 Press Release
July 9, 2019 Press Release
June 13, 2019 Press Release
June 12, 2019 Floor Statements
May 16, 2019 Press Release
May 16, 2019 Floor Statements
May 9, 2019 Press Release
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.
Congressman Scott also believes that Congress must work together to build a fair, effective and commonsense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws as well as a nation of immigrants. He co-sponsored and voted for the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. Congressman Scott stands ready to work with his colleagues on comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system in a fair and humane way.
August 12, 2019 Press Release
February 26, 2019 Press Release
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September 25, 2018 Press Release
June 26, 2018 Press Release
June 22, 2018 Press Release
September 5, 2017 Press Release
August 2, 2017 Press Release
June 26, 2017 Press Release
January 30, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Scott is a vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which was convened by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in response to the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. The purpose of the Task Force is to find comprehensive, commonsense solutions to the problem of gun violence in America that also respect law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
The Task Force solicited the input and testimony of victims of gun violence and gun safety advocates; gun owners, hunters, and outdoor sportsmen; federal, state, and local law enforcement; educators and community workers; mental health experts and physicians; criminology and public health researchers; representatives of the motion picture, television, music, and video game industries; faith community leaders; and representatives of gun manufacturers and retailers. Based upon the feedback of these groups, the Task Force urges Congress to:
- Support the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.
- Support citizens’ rights to possess firearms for hunting, shooting sports, defense, and other lawful and legitimate purposes.
- Reinstate and strengthen a prospective federal ban on assault weapons.
- Reinstate a prospective federal ban on assault magazines.
- Strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database.
- Prosecute those prohibited buyers who attempt to purchase firearms and others who violate federal firearm laws.
- Pass legislation aimed specifically at cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw-purchasing.
- Restore funding for public safety and law enforcement initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence.
- Support initiatives that prevent problems before they start, especially by enacting comprehensive, violence prevention and intervention legislation like the Youth PROMISE Act.
- Close the holes in our mental-health system and make sure that care is available for those who need it.
- Help our communities get unwanted and illegal guns out of the hands of those who don’t want them or shouldn’t have them.
- Support responsible gun ownership.
- Take steps to enhance school safety through evidence-based strategies and positive behavioral interventions.
- Address our culture’s glorification of violence seen and heard though our movie screens, television shows, music and video games.
July 30, 2019 Press Release
July 9, 2019 Page
ON MONDAY, July 8th, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) hosted a roundtable to discuss the epidemic of gun violence. Mass shootings have taken place in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Buckroe Beach this summer. Congressman Scott convened elected officials, gun violence experts, and other community stakeholders. This roundtable was in advance of the special session of the General Assembly that Governor Northam has called to discuss evidence-based solutions to stemming gun violence. The roundtable explored what experts have recommended, what the U.S.
July 3, 2019 Press Release
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December 18, 2018 Press Release
May 21, 2018 Floor Statements
May 15, 2018 Floor Statements
May 9, 2018 Page
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. Congressman Scott knows that Social Security does not add a single penny to our nation’s budget deficit and believes that any discussion to reform Social Security should be for the benefit of Social Security alone, not to offset the costs of unaffordable tax cuts or to reduce the budget deficit. In Congress, Congressman Scott has opposed efforts to change the cost-of-living-adjustment formula from the current formula to a “chained-CPI” formula. Congressman Scott has also cosponsored legislation that would phase out the Social Security payroll tax cap, currently at $113,000 for 2013, to ensure that wealthy Americans contribute more to the program to extend its solvency. More importantly, Congressman Scott supports legislation that would improve Social Security benefits by using a cost-of-living-adjustment formula that actually keeps pace with the costs of consumer goods that seniors use more regularly than other Americans – the cost of health care.
Important Social Security Information
October 20, 2016 Press Release
October 19, 2011 Press Release
March 5, 2019 Floor Statements
May 16, 2018 Press Release
April 25, 2018 Press Release
August 17, 2017 Press Release
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November 30, 2016 Floor Statements
September 14, 2016 Press Release
December 10, 2015 Press Release
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. Congressman Scott believes that this is a dangerous precedent. He believes that the policy of no discrimination in federal programs is a fundamental element of our civil rights strategy – if we fail to enforce civil rights in federal programs, we lose our moral authority to impose those laws on private employers who may be devoutly religious. With the troublesome Bush policies still intact, employment discrimination will continue. Because religious discrimination is explicitly allowed under the Faith-Based Initiative, there are other implications for discrimination that also take place under the guise of religious discrimination. Many churches and faith-based institutions are ethnically and racially homogeneous. Where religious discrimination is allowed, it is difficult to ensure that racial discrimination is not also occurring. In addition, religious discrimination can also lead to discrimination based on sex.
In August of 1963, thousands of people gathered to march on Washington to urge the adoption of federal civil rights protections. Among their demands were an end to discrimination in the workplace and that federal funds be withheld from any agency which practices discrimination with those funds. The march laid the groundwork for monumental civil rights legislation, such as the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
When Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed the following year, it became the most comprehensive legislation to achieve equal rights and protect citizens from discrimination.Section 703 (a) of the Act made it unlawful for an employer to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges or employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Title VII however, makes exemptions for church groups and faith-based organizations, allowing them to discriminate in hiring practices in order to maintain their organization’s integrity. This had traditionally referred to the actions of the organization while using its own money.
Both before and after the Civil Rights Act, Presidents throughout the past 60 years have used Executive Orders to strengthen federal anti-discrimination policy. On June 25, 1941, President Roosevelt signed an Executive Order that banned discrimination by defense contractors based on race, religion, color or national origin. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802 was the first to prohibit employment discrimination and marked the beginning of fair employment practices in the United States. These protections against employment discrimination were expanded by subsequent Presidents. Executive Order 11246, signed by President Johnson in 1965, expanded the prohibitions against employment discrimination to all government contractors, not just defense contractors. Every President of the United States since 1965 has enforced these Executive Orders. Over time, various civil rights laws were passed that contained similar prohibitions against discrimination and employment based on race, religion, color, national origin or sex. None of these Executive Orders affected the religious exemption set forth in Title VII, but they drew the separation between Church and State so that federal taxpayer money was not used to fund religious activity and discrimination based on religion was not permitted while using taxpayer dollars.
In the 1990s, then-Senator John Ashcroft created the concept known as ‘Charitable Choice’ during the drafting of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. The concept altered existing law to permit taxpayer-financed social service funding of houses of worship in a few welfare programs.
This approach represented a radical change. In the past, government sometimes contracted with organizations such as Catholic Charities or United Jewish Communities to provide services, but safeguards were kept in place to protect the integrity of the groups and the interests of taxpayers. Houses of worship did not contract directly with the government; rather, religious institutions created separate entities (usually 501(c)(3)s) to handle public funds and did not incorporate religion into the publicly funded program. Further, Johnson’s Executive Order had maintained safeguards against employment discrimination in these programs receiving taxpayer dollars.
President Clinton signed these Charitable Choice provisions into law but issued signing statements indicating that his Administration would not “permit governmental funding of religious organizations that do not or cannot separate their religious activities from [federally-funded program] activities” because such funding would violate the Constitution. In short, the Clinton Administration interpreted the provisions as being constrained by the constitutional mandates that prohibit the direct funding of houses of worship and government-funded employment discrimination. No federal money went to organizations that were pervasively sectarian, no money went to any organization with the Title VII exemption, and therefore no one could exercise discrimination using these funds while Clinton was President.
Under the Bush Administration, Charitable Choice was vastly expanded through a series of Executive Orders. In 2001, Executive Orders 13198 and 13199 created and set out organizational guidelines for a White House Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives.Executive Orders 13280 (2002), 13342 (2004), and 13397 (2006) mandated that the departments of Justice, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Commerce, Veteran Affairs, and Homeland Security, the Agency for International Development and the Small Business Administration all establish a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In 2002, the most controversial Executive Order was issued – Executive Order 13279 – which made it easier for churches and other faith-based organizations to receive federal money by letting them circumvent certain anti-discrimination laws. Under the umbrella of the Faith-Based Initiative, the Bush administration began allowing discrimination with federal money for the first time since the 1960s.
For decades, religious organizations have been providing social services, including in some cases with the use of government funds, without the Faith-Based Initiative. The fundamental differences between the Faith-Based Initiative and the long-standing legal provisions regarding faith-based organizations’ participation are: (1) allowing proselytization during a secular, government-funded program; and (2) permitting employment discrimination with federal funds. Any program that could be federally funded under the Faith-Based Initiative could have been funded before it if the sponsoring organization agreed not to discriminate in employment and not to proselytize. Moreover, no religious organization has stated to Congress that it needs to be able to proselytize or discriminate in order to run a successful program. There has been a general consensus that proselytization with federal funds violates the First Amendment to the Constitution, but the issue of whether discrimination with federal funds should be permitted remains hotly debated.
During the 2008 campaign, President Obama said that he would not allow discrimination with federal money, unlike the Bush Administration. However, on February 5th 2009, when the Obama Administration unveiled its new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, reversals of Bush’s controversial policies were notably absent. Joshua DuBois, who was originally appointed to lead the Office, stated that claims of discrimination would be investigated “on a case-by-case basis.” Since then, no other action has been taken to address this issue.
- 06.20.14 | The Washington Post |Growing coalition presses Obama to end policy on religious discrimination in hiring
- 05.01.14 | Americans United | Settlement Brings An End To A Long-Running Lawsuit Over Religious Discrimination In Tax-Funded ‘Faith-Based’ Programs
- 08.01.12 | American Civil Liberties Union | Obama Promised to Stop Government-Funded Discrimination. Has He?
- 05.04.12 | Salon | Obama’s Faith Based Failure
- 07.26.11 | Equality Matters Blog | Losing Faith In Obama’s Pledge to End Taxpayer-Funded Employment Discrimination
- 11.18.10 | ABC News | Faith-Based Debate: Obama Signs Order on Funds for Churches
- 03.29.10 | Chicago Tribune | Help wanted, but only Christians need apply
- 02.04.10 | | The Wall Street Journal | Faith Policies Part of Political Calculus
- 02.03.10 | The Washington Post | Religious leaders worry that Obama’s faith council is for show
- 01.28.10 | The Washington Times | Op-Ed: Obama’s Faith-Based Boondoggle
- 01.11.10 | Global Post | Non-Christians Need Not Apply
- 10.03.09 | LA Times | Op-Ed: Faith-Based Hiring
- 09.15.09 | The Washington Post | Obama Cautious on Faith-Based Initiatives
- 09.10.09 | USA Today | Obama’s Faith-Based Panel: Talk, not Substance?
- 03.01.09 | The New York Times | Op-Ed: Keeping the Faith, Ignoring the History
- 02.06.09 | Virginian Pilot | Plan to fund faith-based programs stirs backlash
- 02.06.09 | Los Angeles Times | Obama upholds Bush faith policy
- 02.06.09 | The New York Times | White House Office to Expand
- 02.05.09 | The Wall Street Journal | Faith-Based Program Gets Wider Focus
- 02.04.09 | NPR | Faith Initiative Caught Between Church, State
- Representatives Bobby Scott, Chet Edwards, Barney Frank, Jerrold Nadler, Melvin Watt, Lynn Woolsey, Carolyn McCarthy and Chris Van Hollen Letter to Chairman Henry Waxman: urging nondiscrimination standards in upcoming Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reauthorization [March 13, 2009]
- Anti-Defamation League Letter to President Obama: expressing that federal funding of faith organizations should include essential constitutional safeguards for protecting religious organizations, beneficiaries, and the government [February 19, 2009]
- Representatives Bobby Scott and Carolyn McCarthy Letter to Attorney General Mukasey: soliciting information regarding a 2007 Department of Justice Ruling that World Vision could discriminate on the basis of religion and maintain a federal grant under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act [February 29, 2008]
- Representative Bobby Scott Letter to the Former President Clinton: urging the Former President to speak out against Charitable Choice by reaffirming the Presidential signing statements [September 5, 2007]
- Representative Scott’s Testimony before the House Rules Committee: urging the acceptance of a non-discrimination provision in the text of HR 1, a multi-billion dollar recovery and reinvestment plan [January 27, 2009]
- Representative Scott’s Floor Statement during consideration of HR 1429 in the 110th Congress: speaking against an Amendment to allow employment discrimination in the Head Start program [May 2, 2007]
- Representative Scott’s Floor Statement during consideration of HR 27 in the 109th Congress: speaking in favor of an Amendment to prohibit discrimination in job training programs [March 2, 2005]
- Attorney General Eric Holder, Before the House Judiciary Committee [June 7, 2014] –VIDEO (1:11:20)
- Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department Thomas Perez, Before the House Judiciary Committee [July 26, 2012] – VIDEO (44:06)
- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Before the House Education and the Workforce Committee [March 28, 2012] – VIDEO (2:13:00)
- Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department Thomas Perez, Before the House Judiciary Committee [June 1, 2011] – TRANSCRIPT (pp. 47-49)
- Secretary of Health and Human Servies Kathleen Sebelius, Before the House Education and the Workforce Committee [May 5, 2011] – VIDEO (1:46:00)
- Attorney General Eric Holder, Before the House Judiciary Committee [May 3, 2011] – VIDEO (00:58:18)
- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Before the House Education and the Workforce Committee [March 9, 2011] – VIDEO (02:17:22)
- Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department Thomas Perez, Before the House Judiciary Committee [December 3, 2009] – TRANSCRIPT
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February 13, 2013 Floor Statements