Floor Statements 2018
April 27, 2018
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor an institution that has been at the forefront of education in America for the last 150 years. This April, Hampton University is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding. To mark the occasion, I would like to take a moment and recognize the wonderful legacy of this institution of higher education that lives on today. The seeds from which Hampton University grew were planted in 1861. During the Civil War, Fort Monroe, the Union-controlled coastal fortress, was a beacon to slaves in Hampton, Virginia and the surrounding towns. General Benjamin Butler, Commanding Officer of the fort, had issued a declaration that any slaves that made it to Union lines would not be returned to their masters, but declared ``contraband of war.'' Overrun with slaves desiring their freedom, the Union created a camp for the refugees a few miles northwest of the fort. It was in this camp that Mary Smith Peake, a free black woman held classes for escapees under a large oak tree, in violation of Virginia law prohibiting the education of free or enslaved blacks.
April 25, 2018
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleague from Virginia, Congressman Garrett. I want to thank him for organizing this evening's Special Order, but first I want to commend him for his work as a Virginia State senator for making April 23 Barbara Johns Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This April 23, Monday, marked the first official recognition of this important day in the Commonwealth. Almost 64 years ago, the Supreme Court struck down lawful school segregation in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. What few people know is that Virginia was one of the four cases decided that day. There were three other States, and Washington, D.C., had another case that was decided the same day. Virginia's involvement in Brown v. Board of Education stood out because that effort was led by a student, namely Barbara Johns. She was only 16 years of age. This stalwart figure in the struggle for equal education stood up to challenge the notion that African Americans should receive separate and unequal education under the law.
April 12, 2018
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 2. We often get distracted by debating the title of a proposed constitutional amendment without getting into serious discussion about whether or not the specific provisions will actually help balance the budget. If we are ever going to balance the budget, the fact is it is going to require Members to cast some tough votes, and many of these votes will be career-ending votes, and a constitutional amendment calling itself the balanced budget amendment cannot change that reality.
March 1, 2018
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I am honored to rise, on behalf of Congressman Morgan Griffith and myself, to recognize the achievements of Ron Carson who has made the plight of tens of thousands of disabled coal miners a central part of his life's work. Through his decades of work directing three black lung clinics in Southwest Virginia, and tireless advocacy efforts across the coal fields of this country, he offered help and hope to miners whose lungs were irreversibly scarred with the scourge of black lung disease.
February 15, 2018
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chair, H.R. 620, the so-called ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, is an attack on the civil rights of Americans with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA, is a civil rights law passed in 1990 to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in all aspects of society. I recognize that the ADA falls within the committee jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, and I am here as the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce because, if H.R. 620 were to become law, it would have a profound effect on students and workers with disabilities who are trying to learn, work, or just generally access their community.
January 29, 2018
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, unions empower workers with the freedom to negotiate for a fair return on their work and they provide a collective voice to advocate for policies that benefit working people. Union workers, including those in the public sector, have more access to paid leave, medical and retirement benefits, and higher pay than workers who are not unionized. Children of union members experience more upward mobility than children of workers who are not covered with union contracts, and States with higher union density have stronger workplace protections. There is a long history of unions helping the least powerful secure dignity on the job. This is the 50th anniversary of the Memphis sanitation workers' strike in 1968. After two workers were crushed in garbage compactors, the Memphis sanitation workers peacefully protested for better pay and safer working conditions. They sought representation from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME. They marched with placards that simply stated: ``I am a man.''
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to S. 140. As has been pointed out, buried in section 3 of this otherwise noncontroversial water and lands bill is the text of H.R. 986, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. This nongermane provision would strip thousands of employees of their rights and protections under the National Labor Relations Act at Tribal enterprises located on Tribal lands. At issue in the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act are two solemn and deeply rooted principles: First, the right that Indian Tribes possess in matters of local self-governance; Second, the rights of workers to organize unions, bargain collectively, and engage in concerted activities for mutual aid and protection. Rather than attempting to balance these two important principles, the bill chooses sovereignty for some over the human rights of others. I would note that the approximately 75 percent of workers employed at Tribal casinos are not members of the Tribes running the casino, but this bill would strip labor rights of hundreds of thousands of these workers as well as those who are actually members of the Tribes.