Economy and Jobs

We all know that the current economic climate has taken a toll on many families across the nation and that the economy has been slow to recover from the deep recession. Congressman Scott believes the best long-term way we can create jobs and get people back to work is investing in education and training, beginning with early education and continuing through college or vocational education, as well as adult education and training.  A well-educated workforce is more important today than ever before. With the rapid development of this global marketplace, the United States is no longer the single dominant country in the world and American's competitive advantage is a well educated workforce.

Large and targeted investments in workforce development are long overdue and it is time that they are addressed in Washington. Congress recently seized upon the opportunity to do this through reuathoization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which expired in 2003. WIA is the main federal legislation that coordinates federal workforce development programs. Congressman Scott supported the reauthorization of WIA through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which included an enhanced definition of “individuals with barriers to employment” that explicitly includes older workers over the age of 55 as well the long-term unemployed.  This explicit inclusion means that state and local workforce plans must include goals and strategies for serving these and other disenfranchised groups.  Additionally, the new law requires that 75% of youth funding in the bill support out-of-school youth, sometimes referred to as "opportunity youth" for the opportunites they represent for their communities.  When kids drop out of school they are much more likely to get into trouble and commit crimes.  And once a juvenile falls off of the right track, he or she will face a range of problems and taxpayers will be on the hook for the cost of incarcerating these individuals.   By investing in opportunity youth, Congressman Scott believes that we are investing money on the front end so we don't end up footing the bill later on.  

Many believe that during these tough fiscal times we cannot afford to invest in job creation. But Congressman Scott believes that the choice is clear - we must invest in education and job training so that we have a strong workforce and strong nation for future generations. We can choose to put funding towards direct job creation programs, such as transportation and infrastructure projects. This will help accelerate our recovery, putting millions back to work, and gradually return our budget to balance over the next decade, all without jeopardizing Social Security or Medicare or other important social safety net programs. As Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott is the lead sponsor in the House of Representatives of the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. This bill would be good for workers, business and the economy. 

More on Economy and Jobs

June 17, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement commemorating a shameful milestone for American workers. As of Sunday, June 16, this is the longest period of time without an increase in the federal minimum wage since it was created in 1938. “We are now experiencing the longest period of time without an increase in the federal minimum wage since it was created in 1938. For low-wage workers, this milestone is not merely symbolic. While workers earning the federal minimum wage are better educated and more productive than ever, they have suffered a more than 15 percent pay cut, accounting for inflation, since the last minimum wage increase in 2009. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is no place in America where a full-time worker making the $7.25 federal minimum wage can afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.
June 11, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Committee on Education and Labor, and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Committee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions introduced legislation to make millions of American workers newly eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week, providing economic security to millions of working families. The Restoring Overtime Pay Act would increase the overtime salary level from $23,660 per year to nearly $51,000 per year, making roughly 4.6 million workers newly eligible for overtime pay. “Restoring overtime protections for workers reflects our commitment to creating an economy that works for everyone,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. “Unfortunately, rather than supporting the strong protections included in the Obama-era overtime rule, the Trump administration issued a new proposal that would leave 8.2 million workers behind, depriving them of a combined $1.6 billion in lost wages in the next year alone. The Restoring Overtime Pay Act would codify the salary level set in the 2016 Obama overtime rule and guarantee that more salaried workers get the overtime pay they deserve.”
June 7, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 75,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate held at 3.6 percent. “Today’s jobs report suggests that American workers are being put at risk by the president’s erratic economic policies. The report also shows that workers’ wages are still not keeping pace with the rising cost of living. Congress must take action to ensure that all Americans can enjoy the benefits of economic growth. “Raising the minimum wage is a proven tool to give workers a raise. But this month will mark the longest period without an increase in the federal minimum wage since it was established in 1938. The purchasing power of the minimum wage has declined by more than 15 percent due to inflation since the last federal minimum wage increase in 2009.
May 13, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott and Elaine Luria applauded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s announcement of $60,000,000 in federal funding through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Implementation program to support the revitalization of struggling housing projects in Newport News and Norfolk. These two Virginia cities were among just four localities nationwide chosen to receive HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants. The funding will allow Newport News and Norfolk to invest in the redevelopment of their public or HUD-assisted housing. “This is a big win to ensure safe, affordable housing for underserved communities in Hampton Roads,” the Senators and Representatives said. “We are thrilled HUD selected Virginia for these grants that will allow Newport News and Norfolk to put their redevelopment plans into action so they can start making critical public housing improvements for residents.”
May 2, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House and Senate Democrats introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—comprehensive legislation to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize a union and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions. As wage inequality continues to leave workers and middle-class families behind, this legislation would empower millions of Americans to stand together and ensure hardworking people are getting their fair share of economic growth. A recent study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research found that unions have consistently provided workers with a 10- to 20-percent wage boost over their non-union counterparts over the past eight decades.
April 5, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 196,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent.
March 27, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks during the floor debate for the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7). “Thank you, Madam Chair. In 1963, the Equal Pay Act codified the right to ‘equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.’ In fact, the Equal Pay Act was enacted one-year prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that – for the first time – provided for the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws. Over the past 55 years, the Equal Pay Act– in combination with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – has produced substantial progress towards addressing inequities for women in the workplace.
March 7, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor proposed to raise the overtime salary threshold to $35,308 from $23,660. The overtime threshold is the level below which salaried executive, administrative and professional workers must receive overtime pay for each hour worked after 40 hours per week. “The new overtime salary threshold proposed by the Department of Labor falls far short of meeting the needs of workers who are struggling to get ahead. While some people will see benefits under the new threshold, the proposal would exclude millions of workers who would have benefited under the 2016 Obama administration rule, which would have increased the threshold to nearly $50,000.
February 6, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after President Trump delivered this State of the Union address before Congress. “President Trump’s State of the Union – like the first two years of his presidency – largely ignored the challenges facing students, workers, and communities across the country. Access to a quality education, a good-paying job, and affordable health care are fundamental issues for all Americans. Rather than offering credible solutions, the president continued to spread misinformation about immigration and advocate for an ineffective and inefficient wall.
January 16, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, joined House and Senate leadership to introduce the Raise the Wage Act of 2019. The bill would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 in 2024, index future minimum wage increases to median wage growth, and ensure all workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by phasing out the subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities. The Raise the Wage Act was introduced with 181 House cosponsors.