September 28, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1866, but I also stand concerned about the humanitarian crisis going on in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Maria and also the other hurricanes that have been in the area. More than 3.4 million people reside in Puerto Rico alone--U.S. citizens who are in need of full support of the Federal Government. This is more than the population of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, and Alaska combined--U.S. citizens, yet they have no voting Members of Congress. U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands serve in our military. In fact, Puerto Ricans serve in our military at a rate twice the general U.S. population, and they are hurting. They are fighting to survive, and they are in desperate need of food, clean water, medical supplies, and security.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would strike language in the bill that would prohibit the EEOC from using its funds to implement pay data collection. Mr. Chairman, we know that racial and gender pay gaps exist in America. The Obama administration, a few years ago, created the National Equal Pay Task Force, which recommended this new data collection, the EEO-1 form, which would, for the first time, require employers to provide not just data on who is hired by race, sex, and ethnicity, but also to include pay data.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment, which would increase funding for youth employment activities under the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. As has been stated, about 5 million of our Nation's youth are both out of school and out of work, so we have a choice: Do we invest to help our youth get on a good path towards a good job, or do we pay considerably more later?
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank Ms. Bonamici, the vice ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, for offering the amendment and for her leadership on issues affecting older Americans. The Older Americans Act was first passed 50 years ago as part of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. It helps older Americans live with dignity and stay connected with their communities. I am proud that last year we were able to pass a 3-year bipartisan reauthorization that increased funding for the programs. But had our investments in these programs actually kept up with inflation and growing populations, the authorization levels would have been even much more. But, thankfully, the reauthorization moved us in the right direction.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of Amendment No. 66, offered by Representative JAYAPAL, to strike the $535 million increase for ICE enforcement and instead add $30 million to ICE's Office of the Inspector General and $10 million to DHS's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. This additional oversight funding would support investigations of sexual assault in immigration detention as mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the number of amendments that were made in order by the Rules Committee, but I am appalled that the majority chose not to include one of my amendments, No. 63, to division F of H.R. 3354, which would strike a prohibition against using Federal funds for the purpose of transportation needed to desegregate public schools. This language has found its way into every appropriations act since at least 1974.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chair, this amendment would prohibit the EPA from spending any funds to ensure that States fulfill their obligations under the Clean Water Act to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. If passed into law, this amendment would endanger the progress we have made in restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed and would put in jeopardy not only the Chesapeake Bay itself, but also critical economic contributions that the bay provides.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition of H.J. Res. 111, which will overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rule, prohibiting forced arbitration for many consumer contracts, including student loan contracts. Banks and large corporations often take advantage of ordinary Americans by burying forced arbitration clauses and boiler plate fine print in standard contracts. When corporations force consumers to secretly arbitrate with handpicked firms, which rely on those same corporations for repeat business, the system is rigged. Take, for example, Matthew, who enrolled in a for-profit aviation school that closed before Matthew could finish his degree. At the recommendation of the school, he had taken out $56,000 in private student loans.
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment. The amendment shifts workers who repair super yachts and large, luxury watercraft out of coverage under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and into coverage under State workers' compensation programs. But it doesn't just amend the longshoremen act. Rather, it creates a problem with the Coast Guard law. The Coast Guard opposed an identical amendment last year because it creates widespread damage to Coast Guard regulatory and enforcement authorities, implicates U.S. treaty obligations, and could affect the collection of tonnage taxes on foreign flagged vessels.
June 27, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Polis) for proposing this amendment. The Rebuild America's Schools Act would help ensure that each of our Nation's 50 million public school students, taught by 3 million teachers, will have access to safe, healthy, and high-quality learning facilities and internet access sufficient for digital learning in the classroom. This bold proposal would create nearly 2 million jobs, improve student learning, and revitalize under-resourced communities. The Rebuild America's Schools Act is a win for students, families, workers, and the economy; and any responsible infrastructure proposal put forth by Congress should include a bold investment in our Nation's public schools.