January 13, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, spoke on the House Floor today against the Republican budget resolution, which would begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Below is a transcript of his remarks as delivered: “Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this budget resolution and its intent to compromise the health insurance for all Americans. “Republicans continue to pursue the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, root and branch, despite the fact that there is no credible plan to deal with the chaos that this repeal will create.
January 13, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on his No vote on S. 84, a bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces. Specifically, the legislation would allow Ret. Gen. James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense if confirmed by the United States Senate. “General Mattis has a distinguished military record and is certainly qualified to serve as Secretary of Defense. However, I voted against the waiver to allow General Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense if confirmed by the Senate for several reasons. “Civilian control of our military has been a fundamental principal of our constitutional republic. Unfortunately, President-elect Trump’s transition staff cancelled General Mattis’ testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.
January 13, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this budget resolution and its intent to compromise the health insurance of all Americans. Republicans continue to pursue the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, root and branch, despite the fact that there is no credible plan to deal with the chaos that this repeal will create. Thirty million Americans will lose their insurance, the vast majority being working families. There is no plan to protect the other Americans who have enjoyed improved consumer protections and benefits. Although the rates have gone up, they have gone up at half the rate that they had been going up before ObamaCare, and most of those in the marketplace don't even have to pay those increased prices because of increased tax credits.
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 6, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the final rule updating the levels of permissible beryllium exposure to workers. The nearly 70-year-old old standard for workers exposed to beryllium has failed to protect workers from contracting chronic beryllium disease and cancer. “OSHA’s beryllium rule, which took 18 years to develop, reduces permissible exposure levels by 90 percent, and is estimated to prevent 900 premature deaths due to the ravages of chronic beryllium disease and cancer over the next 10 years,” said Ranking Member Scott. "I also applaud OSHA for listening to the pleas of shipyard workers and the Steelworkers Union at the Newport News Shipyard by expanding the rule to cover shipyards. The protective health standard was also supported by the Newport News Shipyard and Shipbuilders Council of America, demonstrating their concern for improved workplace safety."
January 6, 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 156,000 jobs in December, with the unemployment rate at 4.7 percent. “When President Obama took office eight years ago, 3.6 million jobs had already been lost due to the recession. Today’s December 2016 jobs report demonstrates that our economy is undoubtedly stronger, and since early 2010, the economy has added a total of 15.8 million private sector jobs. This progress is largely due to the actions taken by the Obama Administration to bring our economy out of recession. I commend the Obama Administration for all it has done to level the playing field for our nation’s working people and those struggling to find work.
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.