June 27, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I would like to commend both Mr. COURTNEY and Mr. WITTMAN for their tireless work on the Seapower Subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee supporting our nation's Navy and our shipbuilding industrial base. As I have the honor of representing Newport News, Virginia, home to thousands of shipbuilders, I appreciate their work and commitment to this issue. As Mr. COURTNEY and Mr. WITTMAN have already stated, our Navy is being squeezed and desperately needs more ships, especially Virginia-class attack submarines. Numerous civilian and military officials, including Defense Secretary Mattis, have testified before Congress that we need more submarines. And that's the goal of this amendment--to ensure that the Navy has the necessary resources in FY2019 that they would need in order to efficiently pursue and negotiate the next multiyear block contract in the early 2020.
June 15, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Texas for yielding the time, and I thank her for her leadership in opposing this bill. I, too, oppose the bill. This bill is yet another in a long line of so-called tough-on-crime bills that Congress has enacted since President Nixon declared a war on drugs nearly 50 years ago. These laws have, without question, failed to win the so-called war. But they have succeeded in placing the United States as number one in incarceration rates in the world to the extent it is so bad that some studies have actually shown that our incarceration rate is so bad that it actually adds to crime because so many children are being raised by parents who are incarcerated.
June 7, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, 6 months ago, Congress passed a tax cut that cost almost $2 trillion that overwhelmingly benefited corporations and the wealthy. Today, the Republicans are asking struggling children and families to foot the bill. Nearly half of the $15 billion in cuts in the Trump-GOP recessions package targets the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. While $7 billion may be a rounding error in the corporate tax cut, eliminating this funding from CHIP will jeopardize its ability to ensure access to healthcare for the children and families who depend on the program every year.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. As the Representative of Hampton Roads, Virginia, I support the significant increase in Navy shipbuilding in the NDAA. But while we consider national defense, we must also consider school construction. Yesterday, U.S. banks reported $56 billion in first quarter profits. At the same time, our teachers are being forced to go on strike for a living wage and adequate funding for our public schools. But when the majority pushed its tax bill through Congress, it was the banks, not teachers and not the schools, that received the biggest benefit. H.R. 2475, the Rebuild America's Schools Act, would be a step forward in correcting our priorities by investing desperately needed funding into our public school infrastructure. This $100 billion proposal, which is barely 5 percent of what was spent on the tax cut for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, would go towards repairing crumbling public school buildings to ensure that every student has access to safe, healthy, and high-quality learning facilities.
May 22, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the gentleman from Georgia, Representative DOUG COLLINS, and the gentleman from New York, Representative HAKEEM JEFFRIES, for their hard work and dedication in improving this bill over the last several weeks. Historically, the United States of America has been plagued with serious, fundamental problems within our criminal justice system. For far too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics and disapprove of common-sense policy that is specifically geared towards reducing crime by instead enacting so-called ``tough on crime'' slogans and soundbites, such as ``three strikes and you're out,'' ``mandatory minimum sentencing,'' and even rhymes such as, ``you do the adult crime, you do the adult time.'' These policies may sound appealing, but their impact ranges from a negligible reduction in crime to an actual increase in crime.
May 21, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for allowing me to speak on this very important issue, and I thank her for leading this Special Order on this important topic, which is gun safety, especially as it relates to school safety. Keeping all students and educators safe is a top priority. On Friday, we had another tragedy. A small town that few could point out on a map is now infamous. Santa Fe High School, near Galveston, Texas, experienced a mass shooting, leaving 10 dead: Eight students, two teachers. Several students said to the media, they knew this would eventually happen to them. Our thoughts and prayers are with those students and with the families suffering from acts of gun violence, but enough is enough.
May 16, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, there is a lot wrong with this bill, but as ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, I am particularly concerned about its impact on students. SNAP eligibility is tied to eligibility for other vital Federal programs, so the proposed cuts in SNAP eligibility will also cut access to free school meals for 265,000 children.
May 15, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5242. This legislation under consideration today will improve our understanding about the role of school resource officers. But we must acknowledge that this bill barely scratches the surface of what is actually required to keep our schools safe, and I urge this body to do more. In the wake of February's tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, many have called for a so-called Federal focus on hardening of our schools, which includes increasing Federal dollars to hire more police officers and embracing the most harsh punishments for school discipline, and even allowing school teachers to carry firearms, despite the overwhelming evidence that many of these initiatives do more harm than good.
April 27, 2018 Floor Statements
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 Floor Statements
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.