January 11, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, this amendment to the Regulatory Accountability Act, H.R. 5, if adopted, would exempt regulations proposed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, MSHA and OSHA, which are needed to prevent or reduce the incidence of traumatic injury, cancer, or irreversible lung disease. I am deeply concerned that this legislation would impose layers of unnecessary procedures to the rulemaking process and provide incentives for frivolous litigation, while hindering workplace safety agencies trying to help keep workers safe. Current procedures that govern OSHA's rulemaking already involve an extensive review process and stakeholder engagement from small business review panels, risk assessments, economic feasibility determinations, public hearings, and multiple opportunities for public comment. According to the GAO, to meet these requirements, it takes OSHA 7 years to issue a new safety standard. In fact, it required 18 years for OSHA to update a rule that reduces exposure to beryllium, a metal that causes irreversible lung disease, even though there was broad agreement between employers and unions on the new standard.
January 11, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend for yielding. Mr. Chairman, over the past 2 weeks, the majority has considered three bills on the House floor designed to undermine the ability of the executive branch to implement essential economic and public health protections for the people we have the honor to represent: the so-called Midnight Rules Relief Act, which could retroactively disallow rules issued as far back as June of last year; the REINS Act, which requires a majority vote of both Houses of Congress before any major rule can go into effect; and today's Regulatory Accountability Act, which is an 82-page omnibus bill which would effectively tie the executive branch into so much red tape that environmental, workplace, and consumer protections might never see the light of day. By enacting these statutes, Congress would impair the constitutional duty of the executive branch to ``take care that laws be faithfully executed'' and replace them with a series of layers that can be applied by deep-pocketed special interests, including one provision that prevents some rules from going into effect that may affect public safety if somebody files a lawsuit.
January 9, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for organizing this Special Order. I will be brief. There are a lot of people who want to speak. I will just speak to the jurisdiction of the Education and the Workforce Committee, on which I have the honor of serving as the ranking member. Mr. Speaker, as we consider appointments to the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, we shouldn't just look at people's personalities, but at what the policy implications are of their appointments. The Senate must reject those nominees who will fail to stand up to the goals and aspirations of America's children and workers. The first nominee I will speak to is that of Secretary of Labor, Mr. Puzder, who was the CEO of CKE Restaurants. He has spoken out many times in opposition to an increase in the minimum wage. Many States have recognized that the minimum wage is so low that people who work full time fail to make a wage that exceeds the poverty level. What is his position going to be on increasing the minimum wage? With overtime, are people entitled to work overtime after 40 hours? The regulation is in place. Will he enforce that new regulation? Or will he try to overturn the regulation that recognizes and honors the 40-hour workweek, whereby those who work more than 40 hours will get time and a half? If you look at CKE's retirement plan, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of fees.
January 5, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would exempt from coverage under the REINS Act any rule which pertains to workplace health and safety made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, or the Mine Safety and Health Administration, MSHA, that is necessary to prevent or reduce the incidence of traumatic injury, cancer or irreversible lung disease. I am offering the amendment because we should not be creating obstacles to the protection of life and limb. We should be concerned about repealing such workplace rules. Actually, this concern is not theoretical. There was a report from the chairman of the Freedom Caucus that actually calls for the repeal of multiple safety and health rules.
January 4, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 21, the so-called Midnight Rules Relief Act, which amends the Congressional Review Act. The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to overrule regulations promulgated by the executive branch. That law expects a deliberative approach to considering each and every rule. H.R. 21 would allow Congress to consider a joint resolution to simultaneously disapprove of multiple regulations all at once when such rules are issued in the last 60 legislative days of a session of Congress during the final year of a President's term. In this case, the 60 legislative days reach-back would apply to rules issued as far back as June of last year, almost 7 months before the end of the President's term. To call rules issued that long ago a midnight rule is a particular misnomer.
January 3, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H. Res. 5. This rules package contains a special provision exempting the Affordable Care Act from normal budget rules, giving the Republicans an easier path to repealing the Affordable Care Act without an alternative. The reason this exception is needed is because the regular budget process in the rule provides that, when legislation is passed which increases spending, it must be paid for to avoid increasing the deficit. ObamaCare actually saves money. Under the normal rule, repealing it would have to be paid for. The exception in the rule will allow for the repeal without offsetting the cost of that repeal, costing billions, possibly hundreds of billions to the deficit. And what do we get with a repeal?
December 2, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. Before addressing matters of concern to the Education and the Workforce Committee, I want to underscore my strong support for the shipbuilding and ship maintenance provisions. I have the honor of representing Hampton Roads, Virginia, the heart of our nation's shipbuilding industrial base. I strongly support the conference report's shipbuilding and ship maintenance provisions, specifically language urging the Secretary of the Navy to speed up the procurement schedule for aircraft carriers to ensure that our carrier fleet is not again reduced to 10 carriers. These provisions in the conference report will not only significantly benefit my region, but will be critical for our nation's security. I'd like to commend Congressman FORBES and Congressman COURTNEY for their efforts on this area.
December 1, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mourn the loss of one of our nation's finest public servants, Dr. Debra Saunders-White. She was a good friend and a tireless advocate for increasing access to higher education for all students. This past Saturday, Debra Saunders-White passed away, and I would like to take a brief moment to celebrate her life and legacy. For many years, Debra Saunders-White was a leading voice in education as she fought to strengthen historical black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. As a first generation college graduate, Debra understood both the opportunities afforded by higher education and the many challenges that accompany students as they attempt to access and afford a higher education.
November 30, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia for yielding and for organizing tonight's Special Order. Tonight, we honor three retiring members from the Virginia delegation to Congress: Congressmen Randy Forbes, Robert Hurt, and Scott Rigell. Despite our differences from time to time on national policy, the Virginia delegation has a long history of being able to constructively work together on issues of importance to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Former-Senator John Warner, the longtime dean of our delegation, embodied this bipartisan work ethic, and we have already heard it referred to as the Virginia way of doing things. During their service in Congress, RANDY, ROBERT, and SCOTT have each put their mark on this institution and on national policy.
November 30, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. 1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015. Filipino Americans have contributed to American life and culture in countless ways, and one of the most noble is through military service. Over 200,000 Filipino soldiers and guerrilla fighters served with the United States Armed Forces during World War II. Their invaluable service helped provide the necessary support to defeat the Japanese in the Pacific.