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Congressman Bobby Scott

Representing the 3rd District of Virginia

Floor Statements

September 26, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3537, the so-called Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2016. The legislation would add 22 synthetic drugs to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. While some of these drugs may be indeed dangerous to the public, we know very little about many of them and adding them to Schedule I would seriously hinder research. Furthermore, by adding these synthetic drugs to Schedule I, the legislation would significantly expand the mandatory minimum found in title 21, section 841(b)(1)(C) of the U.S. Code. If an individual is convicted of selling, distributing, or making one of these drugs, he would be subject to a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence if someone is seriously injured or dies from using these drugs.
September 20, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Chairman Kline, Subcommittee Chair ROKITA, and the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Curbelo) for their work, and also, on our side, Representatives DAVIS of California, ADAMS, and WILSON of Florida for their work on this legislation. Mr. Speaker, juvenile courts were established by States over 100 years ago on the emerging legal theory that children should not be held fully responsible for their actions, a theory proven by scientific research into impulse control and brain development. The capacity to rehabilitate children became the focus of the system rather than punishment of offenders. Congress first articulated national standards of juvenile justice in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974.
September 13, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5587, the Strengthening CTE for the 21st Century Act, which would reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education program. The research is clear: the United States workforce is suffering from a skills gap. According to one study, 65 percent of all jobs in the United States in the near future will require at least some education or training past the high school level--not necessarily a 4-year degree, but some education and training past the high school level. In Virginia alone, we have thousands of jobs in the tech sector that go unfilled because of the lack of qualified applicants. Some of those jobs have salaries of $88,000. Today's CTE program is not the vocational education of the past, where students pursued a career rather than academic studies. Now the current programs integrate the academic curriculum which will assist in preparing participants for postsecondary education and credentials.
July 11, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Con. Res. 138, a resolution designating the George C. Marshall Museum and the George C. Marshall Research Library in Lexington as the National George C. Marshall Museum and Library. This concurrent resolution was introduced by my friend and colleague, Bob Goodlatte, and is cosponsored by the entire Virginia delegation. General George C. Marshall is a national hero and a distinguished public servant. The George C. Marshall Museum and Library is located in Lexington, Virginia, on the post of the Virginia Military Institute, the alma matter of General Marshall.
July 11, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5528, the Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act, and I encourage my fellow Members to support it as well. Under this bill, students and parents will be able to apply for financial aid when filling out college applications and will no longer have to wait until they have filed the current year's tax returns in order to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form. Prior to this change, some families could not fill out the FAFSA form until they had filled out their taxes in April--or even later, with an extension--and, therefore, many students could not receive financial aid in a timely manner.
July 11, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill, and I would like to say a few brief words about the package of higher education bills being considered today. These bills will simplify the financial aid application process; they will help students make well-informed decisions when selecting a college and determining how to finance the education; and they will financially strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This bill expands access for high school students to dual and concurrent enrollment programs at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Taken together, this package represents a step in the right direction for students and families.
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.