Floor Statements 2016

December 2, 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. Before addressing matters of concern to the Education and the Workforce Committee, I want to underscore my strong support for the shipbuilding and ship maintenance provisions. I have the honor of representing Hampton Roads, Virginia, the heart of our nation's shipbuilding industrial base. I strongly support the conference report's shipbuilding and ship maintenance provisions, specifically language urging the Secretary of the Navy to speed up the procurement schedule for aircraft carriers to ensure that our carrier fleet is not again reduced to 10 carriers. These provisions in the conference report will not only significantly benefit my region, but will be critical for our nation's security. I'd like to commend Congressman FORBES and Congressman COURTNEY for their efforts on this area.
December 1, 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mourn the loss of one of our nation's finest public servants, Dr. Debra Saunders-White. She was a good friend and a tireless advocate for increasing access to higher education for all students. This past Saturday, Debra Saunders-White passed away, and I would like to take a brief moment to celebrate her life and legacy. For many years, Debra Saunders-White was a leading voice in education as she fought to strengthen historical black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. As a first generation college graduate, Debra understood both the opportunities afforded by higher education and the many challenges that accompany students as they attempt to access and afford a higher education.
November 30, 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia for yielding and for organizing tonight's Special Order. Tonight, we honor three retiring members from the Virginia delegation to Congress: Congressmen Randy Forbes, Robert Hurt, and Scott Rigell. Despite our differences from time to time on national policy, the Virginia delegation has a long history of being able to constructively work together on issues of importance to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Former-Senator John Warner, the longtime dean of our delegation, embodied this bipartisan work ethic, and we have already heard it referred to as the Virginia way of doing things. During their service in Congress, RANDY, ROBERT, and SCOTT have each put their mark on this institution and on national policy.
November 30, 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. 1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015. Filipino Americans have contributed to American life and culture in countless ways, and one of the most noble is through military service. Over 200,000 Filipino soldiers and guerrilla fighters served with the United States Armed Forces during World War II. Their invaluable service helped provide the necessary support to defeat the Japanese in the Pacific.
November 17, 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 5982, the so-called Midnight Rules Relief Act, which amends the Congressional Review Act. This bill would allow Congress to consider a joint resolution to simultaneously disapprove multiple regulations en bloc, all at once, when such rules are issued within the last 60 legislative days of a session of Congress in the final year of a President's term. Now, that is legislative days. In this case, 60 legislative days would reach back until May of this year, almost 8 months before the end of the President's term. To call the rules issued last spring a midnight rule is a curious use of the word.
September 28, 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I stand in opposition to H.R. 6094, the inappropriately named Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act. First of all, it is not limited to those. It is for all employers. It would delay the implementation of the overtime rule for 6 months. The rule is currently slated to go into effect on December 1, and working families can't wait another 6 months for a long-overdue adjustment in the overtime rule. We ought to talk a little bit about what we are talking about. If today you are earning $10 an hour, if you work more than 40 hours a week, you get time-and-a-half for every hour worked over 40. And if they change that to the same amount, instead of $10 an hour, $20,000 a year, you still get time-and-a-half for overtime after 40 hours because your salary is under the approximately $23,000 threshold.
September 28, 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, the terrorist attacks perpetrated against our Nation 15 years ago killed nearly 3,000 people. No one can fully fathom the grief still felt by families to lose their loved ones in such a horrific way. We understand the need to continue to seek justice against those who may have aided and abetted the individuals that orchestrated these attacks. However, this legislation is not the right way to go about achieving that justice. JASTA abrogates a core principle in international law--foreign sovereign immunity. There are already several exceptions to this immunity recognized by our Nation and others, but JASTA goes much further than any present exception or recognized practice of any national law. Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman from Texas just suggested, one fundamental indication of fairness of legislation is not how it would work to our benefit, but what we would think if it were used against us.
September 26, 2016
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
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
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.