May 16, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. I appreciate the gentleman from New York and certainly the gentlewoman from Ohio for organizing this Special Order to discuss the need for criminal justice reform. Mr. Speaker, we have serious, fundamental problems with our criminal justice system today. For too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics with crime policy by enacting so-called tough on crime slogans and sound bites, such as three strikes and you are out, mandatory minimum sentences, and--if you get it to rhyme, apparently, it is better--if you do the adult crime, you do the adult time. As appealing as these policies sound, their impacts range from a negligible reduction in crime to actually increasing the crime rate.
May 16, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3832, the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act of 2016, as amended. While I support the legislation's underlying goal of deterring and preventing tax-related identity theft and tax fraud, I strongly oppose the bill's expansion of mandatory minimum sentencing. Section 5 of the bill would expand the mandatory minimums found in Title 18 Section 1028A of the United States Code. This section of Title 18 imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for ``aggravated identity theft.'' Under section 5 of this bill, a violation of section 7206(b) of the Internal Revenue Code would require a judge to impose a two year mandatory minimum regardless of the circumstances of the case.
May 13, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I inadvertently voted NAY on passage of S. 524, as amended by the House. I strongly support S. 524, as amended by the House.
May 11, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4843, the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act. Mr. Speaker, one of our highest national priorities should be to ensure that children have early quality opportunities to remove barriers to success in future life. But children born dependent on addictive substances face severe obstacles to overcome, and we know that many of these obstacles can be removed.
May 10, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to S. 32, the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2015. While I support the underlying goal of combating drug trafficking, existing federal criminal laws already prohibit and punish this conduct. This bill however weakens existing mens rea standards, and therefore could lead to the application of mandatory minimums to action which the defendant did not know was illegal. This bill therefore is a perfect example of four of the most common problems in crime policy.
April 29, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4901, which would reauthorize the D.C. voucher program, known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, through 2021. We don't spend enough money on education, so it is hard to justify diverting scarce public resources in order to finance private school education for a handful of students at the expense of the vast majority who attend public schools. Instead, we should focus our limited public resources on initiatives that improve education for all of our children. This is the promise of a public school education in the United States, but the voucher programs undermine that promise while hiding behind the guise of school choice for students in need.
April 28, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 88. This Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval would undo the Department of Labor's final rule that simply ensures financial advisers act in the best interests of their clients with retirement funds. Now, this is a Department of Labor rule that only applies to workers' retirement funds. In times past, people would retire and receive a defined benefit. They would just retire and get their promised income. But now, we have what are called defined contribution plans, where the money is invested and, over the years, if someone, even a modest-income person, invests over his 40-year career, he could easily amass a fund of hundreds of thousands of dollars, even $1 million if they start early and invest consistently.
April 27, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, more than 60 years ago, Congress responded to the Defense Department's concern that so many children were malnourished, they would be unfit for military service, that they passed the National School Lunch Act as a measure of national security to safeguard the health and well-being of our Nation's children. Through the enactment of the first Federal child nutrition program, Congress recognized that feeding hungry children is not just a moral imperative, it is vital to the health and security of our Nation. Mr. Speaker, I serve as the ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Our committee is tasked with making sure that all children have an equal shot at success, so it is only fitting that child nutrition programs fall within our committee's jurisdiction.
April 20, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia on its 150th anniversary. Founded in 1866, St. Mark's was originally a mission church of St. James and the congregation grew rapidly. After outgrowing three buildings in their first 50 years, church leaders moved the congregation to a new building in the West End of Richmond. The Georgian Revival style building opened in 1922, was consecrated in 1946, and is still in use today.
April 18, 2016 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for getting the title of our State correct. I thank the gentleman from New York and the gentlewoman from Ohio for yielding and organizing tonight's Special Order. Last week, the House of Representatives failed to pass a budget by the statutorily mandated date of April 15. This failure is unfortunate for our budget process, but perhaps not unfortunate for the American people because no budget is better than the proposed Republican budget that would have been brought to the floor. Our Nation's budget reflects priorities, but the Republican budget only highlights the wrong priorities. The budget the House Republicans wanted to bring to the floor would be even more devastating to students, working families, and seniors than their previous proposals.