Floor Statements 2017
March 24, 2017
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, as we talk about the Affordable Care Act, I think it is important to remind ourselves of the situation before it passed: costs were going through the roof, those with preexisting conditions could not get insurance, women were paying more than men, and every year millions of people were losing their insurance. We passed the Affordable Care Act. Since then, the costs have continued to go up, but at the lowest rate in 50 years. Those with preexisting conditions can get insurance at the standard rate. Women are no longer paying more than men. Instead of millions of people losing their insurance every year, more than 20 million more people now have insurance. The full name of the Affordable Care Act is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
March 22, 2017
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, today we are considering a bill that purports to make it easier for small businesses to obtain coverage, and tomorrow we will vote on a bill that will take away health insurance coverage for 24 million Americans and force everyone else to pay more for less. So not only are we considering a bill today that will make things worse, we are considering it a day before we vote on ruining health security for working families in order to provide tax cuts for the wealthy. As we debate the possible replacement of the Affordable Care Act, I think it is instructive that we look back at what the situation was before the ACA passed. Listening to some, you would think that the costs weren't going up at all. In fact, costs were going through the roof before the ACA, and small businesses, particularly, were having spectacular cost increases--and that is until somebody got sick. At that point, you were unlikely to be able to afford any insurance at all.
March 9, 2017
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to H.R. 985. In addition to the legislation's many problems that have already been mentioned by my colleagues, I am particularly concerned about what the bill does in the so-called FACT Act, which will have a devastating impact on workers exposed to asbestos. I am acutely aware of the devastating impact that asbestos exposure has on working men and women in this country because I represent an area with several shipyards. In the last few decades, in my district alone, several thousand local shipyard workers have developed asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma from asbestos exposure that occurred between the 1940s and 1970s. Hundreds of these workers have already died, and asbestos deaths and disabilities are continuing due to the long latency period associated with this illness.
March 7, 2017
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I don't blame the gentleman. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Affordable Care Act. As we discuss this, as he has indicated, it helps a little bit to talk about what the situation was before the Affordable Care Act passed. We knew that costs were going through the roof. We knew that those with preexisting conditions, if they could get insurance, would have to pay a lot more for that insurance. We knew that women were paying more for insurance than men. We knew that millions of people every year were losing insurance. That is what was going on before.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 83, the Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval that will undermine workplace safety and health. It does so by overturning a clarifying rule issued by OSHA on December 9, 2016, to ensure accurate occupational injury and illness reporting. Now, first of all, it is strange that we are reversing a rule through the Congressional Review Act that creates no new compliance or reporting obligation, imposes no new costs. It simply gives OSHA the tools to enforce an employer's continuing obligation to record injuries and illnesses. Spurred by the court of appeals decision, which blocked OSHA from citing continuing violations outside the 6-month statute of limitations, OSHA updated its recordkeeping rule.
February 27, 2017
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my concerns with H.R. 228. While the legislation seeks to provide additional flexibility and support to Indian tribes--a worthy goal--I remain concerned that it could have the effect of weakening the services provided to families and children in Indian tribes. Currently, Indian tribes have the option to consolidate certain federal funding streams related to work and job training into one grant. H.R. 228 includes a number of changes to this consolidation option and expands the number of programs that can be consolidated.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, our country is experiencing a retirement security crisis. Nearly 40 million private sector workers do not have access to a retirement savings plan at their jobs. The data and research also show that many middle- and low-income workers lack the ability to save enough on their own for retirement. Too many Americans lack access to retirement savings plans and too few are able to build a retirement nest egg on their own. Unfortunately, Congress has not stepped up to comprehensively address our country's retirement security challenges, but many States have stepped up and enacted innovative solutions to expand working people's access to retirement savings. California passed a law establishing a program that is estimated to provide 6.8 million workers access to a retirement savings plan. In Illinois, more than a million people are expected to benefit from the State's retirement savings program.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of myself and Representatives Robert Wittman, Donald McEachin, and Scott Taylor to honor Dr. Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, an extraordinary group of women from Hampton Roads, Virginia recently featured in the critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Tomorrow evening, Senators WARNER, KAINE, and BROWN are joining me in hosting a screening of Hidden Figures here at the United States Capitol. I would like to take a moment to recognize the accomplishments of the remarkable women depicted in this film Breaking down barriers of both gender and race at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, these women, and many like them, laid the groundwork for John Glenn to become the first American to orbit the earth, and for Neil Armstrong to walk on the moon. I am proud that their stories are reaching a wider audience.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 58, the joint resolution of disapproval of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to teacher preparation programs. This resolution would not only block the rule in question, but according to the rules of the CRA, it would tie the hands of this and of any future administration from re-regulating the provisions until a successful reauthorization of the Higher Education Act might take place. Mr. Speaker, this rule in question provides clarity to States on how to increase teacher preparation program quality, transparency, and the equitable distribution of well-prepared teachers. It was promulgated to enable compliance with the statutory provision included in the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I rise in strong opposition of H.J. Res. 57. This resolution takes aim at the heart of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. That bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. This resolution would strike down regulations that provide necessary clarity to States about what it means to ensure that all students are taught to high standards, and what it means to provide accurate data on student academic performance and resource equity. States now lack direction needed to proceed with implementation of the bill. Just last week, the Department removed all ESSA technical assistance to the States from the public domain, despite numerous and repeated requests for technical assistance from State and local leaders.