WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, S. 1127, in the U.S. Senate. Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) are reintroducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges and maximum sentences in their cases, returning to stricter enforcement of mandatory minimum sentences. The Justice Safety Valve Act would give federal judges the ability to impose sentences below mandatory minimums in appropriate cases based on mitigating factors.
May 12, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ memorandum to all federal prosecutors establishing new policies for charging criminal offenses and seeking sentences when convictions are obtained: "Today, the Department of Justice announced the issuance of a memorandum from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to all federal prosecutors establishing new policies for charging and sentencing in criminal cases.
May 11, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – On Monday, May 15, 2017 at 10:30 a.m., Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) will kick off the beginning of Infrastructure Week 2017 by touring the Salters Creek watershed at Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park in the southeast community of Newport News to highlight the need for critical infrastructure investments. “The American Society of Civil Engineers has given our nation’s infrastructure a grade of D+,” stated Rep. Scott. “Our failure to make the necessary investments in our infrastructure costs American families $3,400 each year in disposable income and will jeopardize 2.5 million jobs between now and 2025.”
May 11, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – On Friday, May 12, 2017, Congressman Bobby Scott will tour the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia in Norfolk, Virginia. During the tour, Congressman Scott will view the weekly food distribution for programs such as Helping Hands. Congressman Scott will also meet with staff to discuss the importance of child nutrition programs, including after-school meal programs. For millions of students, after-school and weekend meal programs fill the hunger gap that may exist for low-income students and these programs are essential to their healthy growth and development.
May 10, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey: “The President’s firing of FBI Director Comey is alarming; especially in light of the Bureau’s ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. The Department of Justice must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to ensure an independent and thorough investigation of these allegations. Additionally, Congress must establish a non-partisan commission to further investigate Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election. These actions will safeguard any investigation from political interference by either the President or Congress.”
May 8, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after President Trump suggested financing for Historically Black Colleges and Universities may be unconstitutional: “The President issued a signing statement calling into question the constitutional status of federally-designated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the programs that serve them. While he has since issued another statement attempting to clarify his support for HBCUs, there has been no revision to clarify that HBCUs are in fact constitutional. HBCUs are on a solid legal footing, as the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) spelled out in their response to the President attached here. I hope the President revises his statement and leaves no doubt that he believes that HBCUs are constitutional.”
May 5, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added a total of 211,000 jobs in April, with the unemployment rate at 4.4 percent. “Today’s jobs report shows that President Trump continues to inherit a growing economy from President Obama. Unfortunately, President Trump's plans to significantly cut programs that support our nation's long-term economic prosperity will only jeopardize the economic gains we have made after the 2008 recession. And Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that will cause 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance will only exacerbate the economic harm that will be inflicted on working families.
May 4, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Committee on Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers (MI-13) issued the following statement after President Trump signed an executive order on the National Day of Prayer, that allegedly promotes “religious liberty”: “Religious liberty is a fundamental American value. However, the executive order signed today by the Trump Administration would permit individuals to use their 'conscience-based objections' to override civil rights protections. The principle that individuals can use their 'conscience-based objections' to undermine generally applicable civil rights laws sets a dangerous precedent.
May 4, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I remind my colleague that her vote for this bill could increase premiums for people with breast cancer in Tennessee by over $38,000. Mr. Speaker, let's begin with a few facts: Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, costs have gone up at the lowest rate in 50 years; Those with preexisting conditions get insurance at the standard rate; Instead of millions of people losing their insurance every year, 20 million more people have insurance; Personal bankruptcies are down 50 percent.
May 3, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the passage (309-118) of fiscal year 2017 omnibus legislation, H.R. 244 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017: “Budgeting requires making tough choices, and a budget is a reflection of priorities. Today’s spending agreement prevents the government from shutting down and limits harmful efforts to balance the budget on the backs of students, working families, and vulnerable communities across the nation. As legislators, we decide what our priorities are and how to best invest in our country. The spending agreement funds vital programs at the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Agriculture, and independent agencies, which support education, job training, and workplace safety and protections.
In The News
April 16, 2017 In The News
This weekend, our nation marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific mass shooting that occurred at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. That tragedy claimed the lives of 32 people and left 17 others wounded. The effects still resonate, in our commonwealth and the nation. As we take time to remember, mourn and celebrate the lives of the students and faculty members who died, members of Congress must come together to address the epidemic of gun violence so as to make sure tragedies such as the one at Virginia Tech and so many others never happen again.
U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott met with Peninsula health care providers Monday and said they voiced concerns over losing Medicaid funding under a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Last week, the GOP-led Congress released a copy of a bill to replace the ACA called the American Health Care Act. Provisions in the bill call for eliminating the individual mandate and penalties for not having insurance, and using refundable tax credits to help participants pay for care. It also calls for changes to how Medicaid payments for care for low-income, elderly and uninsured people are paid. Scott held two meetings in Hampton Roads Monday, one at Chesapeake Regional HealthCare in Chesapeake and one at Southeastern Virginia Health System's Physicians Community Health Center in Newport News. The meetings were closed to the media, but in a phone interview after the meetings, Scott said they were productive and gave him good insight to take back to Washington.
January 7, 2017 In The News
FOR DECADES, the nation’s leaders were at a stalemate, unable to enact real reform, even though we knew that our health care system was not working for too many Americans. Before reform, millions lost their health insurance every year. Often, individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, were unable to afford insurance, if they could obtain it at all. The critically ill hit the lifetime limit of what their insurance policy would cover, forcing them to pay out of pocket for the rest of their care. Families were declaring bankruptcy because of unpaid medical bills. Young adults were getting kicked off their parents’ insurance when they graduated college.
November 15, 2016 In The News
U.S. Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, D-Newport News, has championed the ACA. In a statement, Scott said when Republicans talk about repealing the law, people have to remember how broken the American health care system was before the ACA, with millions of people losing health care coverage, those with pre-existing conditions unable to get coverage, and people going bankrupt trying to pay high medical bills. "The Affordable Care Act solved many of these issues. Americans can no longer be denied access to health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Young adults can now stay on their parents' health insurance until their 26th birthday. The Medicare trust fund is solvent well into the next decade," Scott said. Scott acknowledged that the ACA hasn't fixed all problems with the health care system, but urges Republicans to build on what's in place, not tear it down.
September 4, 2016 In The News
IN THE 1964 LANDMARK decision Wesberry v. Sanders, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “[n]o 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.” Sadly, many state and local governments responded to this assessment by continuing their sordid history of blocking access to the ballot box. To ensure that American citizens were not stripped of this precious constitutional right, Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
March 11, 2016 In The News
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – School nutrition was the topic of discussion at a Norfolk elementary school Friday morning. Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) talked to students at Richard Bowling Elementary School on East Princess Anne Road. Representative Scott is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which is tasked with making sure all children have an equal shot at success.
February 9, 2016 In The News
After months of hype about the historic bipartisan consensus that we must make the American criminal justice system less harsh, President Obama finally signed a justice reform bill into law Monday. There’s only one problem: Instead of making the justice system more fair and less punitive, the new law will make it more vindictive and petty. Specifically, it will require people who have been convicted of sex crimes against minors to carry special passports in which their status as registered sex offenders will be marked with conspicuous identifying marks. The point of International Megan’s Law,in the words of its House sponsor Chris Smith of New Jersey, is to prevent “sex tourism” by making it harder for people to “hop on planes and go to places for a week or two and abuse little children.” In addition to the passport stamp, this goal is supposed to be achieved through the formation of a new federal unit inside of Immigration and Customs Enforcement called the “Angel Watch Center,” which will inform foreign governments when American sex offenders have made plans to visit their countries.
September 20, 2015 In The News
Bipartisanship is elusive in Washington, especially with an upcoming presidential election. But the widespread consensus behind efforts to fix our nation's broken and costly criminal justice system proves that common ground does exist. Republicans and Democrats can agree that the driving force behind fixing our criminal justice system should be an approach that delivers the most public safety at the lowest taxpayer cost. Along with many of our colleagues, we have been working to pass the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective Justice Act. The SAFE Justice Act would implement targeted reforms to the federal sentencing and corrections system, drawing on research and empirical evidence about what truly works to change criminal behavior, protect public safety and control costs.
September 6, 2015 In The News
For far too long, politicians across the nation have chosen to play politics with crime policy by enacting so-called “tough on crime” slogans such as “three strikes and you’re out” or rhymes like “you do the adult crime, you do the adult time.” As appealing as these soundbites may be, they have done nothing to reduce crime — but they have overloaded our prisons. Research by The Pew Charitable Trusts shows that between 1980 and 2013 our federal prison population skyrocketed from 24,000 to 215,000. The United States now has around 5 percent of the world’s population, yet 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. It has gotten to the point that some recent studies have concluded that our level of over-incarceration is actually counterproductive, meaning that it destroys so many families, creates so many people with felony records and wastes so much taxpayer money that it generates more crime than it stops.
March 22, 2015 In The News
HAMPTON — Monday marks five years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, was signed into law. The legislation has provided low-cost medical coverage to thousands of Virginians, and millions of Americans. It's meant to lower the cost of health care, while increasing the number of people covered by insurance. Gaylene Kanoyton, president of the Hampton-based Celebrate Healthcare advocacy group, held a party Sunday at Peninsula Soul Food Restaurant, which opened Friday at the former Captain George's Seafood location on Mercury Boulevard, to acknowledge the anniversary and one of the act's "champions" Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Newport News.