July 8, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today to congratulate Judge Roger L. Gregory on his ascension to the rank of Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Saturday, July 9, 2016. As the highest ranking judge of the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit, Judge Gregory will preside as ``first among equals'' over 15 active and two senior judges that are responsible for appellate cases rising from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina--a jurisdiction that includes almost 30 million people.
July 5, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4539. The 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act was introduced earlier in the Senate by Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and I was proud to introduce the House version with the support of Representatives Rigell, Butterfield, Forbes, Beyer, Wittman, Lewis, and many others. I would like to thank Chairman Chaffetz, Ranking Member Cummings, and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brendan F. Boyle) for their assistance in bringing the bill to the floor today.
May 16, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. I appreciate the gentleman from New York and certainly the gentlewoman from Ohio for organizing this Special Order to discuss the need for criminal justice reform. Mr. Speaker, we have serious, fundamental problems with our criminal justice system today. For too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics with crime policy by enacting so-called tough on crime slogans and sound bites, such as three strikes and you are out, mandatory minimum sentences, and--if you get it to rhyme, apparently, it is better--if you do the adult crime, you do the adult time. As appealing as these policies sound, their impacts range from a negligible reduction in crime to actually increasing the crime rate.
May 16, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3832, the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act of 2016, as amended. While I support the legislation's underlying goal of deterring and preventing tax-related identity theft and tax fraud, I strongly oppose the bill's expansion of mandatory minimum sentencing. Section 5 of the bill would expand the mandatory minimums found in Title 18 Section 1028A of the United States Code. This section of Title 18 imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for ``aggravated identity theft.'' Under section 5 of this bill, a violation of section 7206(b) of the Internal Revenue Code would require a judge to impose a two year mandatory minimum regardless of the circumstances of the case.
May 13, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I inadvertently voted NAY on passage of S. 524, as amended by the House. I strongly support S. 524, as amended by the House.
May 11, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4843, the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act. Mr. Speaker, one of our highest national priorities should be to ensure that children have early quality opportunities to remove barriers to success in future life. But children born dependent on addictive substances face severe obstacles to overcome, and we know that many of these obstacles can be removed.
May 10, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to S. 32, the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2015. While I support the underlying goal of combating drug trafficking, existing federal criminal laws already prohibit and punish this conduct. This bill however weakens existing mens rea standards, and therefore could lead to the application of mandatory minimums to action which the defendant did not know was illegal. This bill therefore is a perfect example of four of the most common problems in crime policy.
April 29, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4901, which would reauthorize the D.C. voucher program, known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, through 2021. We don't spend enough money on education, so it is hard to justify diverting scarce public resources in order to finance private school education for a handful of students at the expense of the vast majority who attend public schools. Instead, we should focus our limited public resources on initiatives that improve education for all of our children. This is the promise of a public school education in the United States, but the voucher programs undermine that promise while hiding behind the guise of school choice for students in need.
April 28, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 88. This Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval would undo the Department of Labor's final rule that simply ensures financial advisers act in the best interests of their clients with retirement funds. Now, this is a Department of Labor rule that only applies to workers' retirement funds. In times past, people would retire and receive a defined benefit. They would just retire and get their promised income. But now, we have what are called defined contribution plans, where the money is invested and, over the years, if someone, even a modest-income person, invests over his 40-year career, he could easily amass a fund of hundreds of thousands of dollars, even $1 million if they start early and invest consistently.
April 27, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, more than 60 years ago, Congress responded to the Defense Department's concern that so many children were malnourished, they would be unfit for military service, that they passed the National School Lunch Act as a measure of national security to safeguard the health and well-being of our Nation's children. Through the enactment of the first Federal child nutrition program, Congress recognized that feeding hungry children is not just a moral imperative, it is vital to the health and security of our Nation. Mr. Speaker, I serve as the ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Our committee is tasked with making sure that all children have an equal shot at success, so it is only fitting that child nutrition programs fall within our committee's jurisdiction.