Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, a congressman representing Virginia’s 3rd congressional district, has been in office since 1993. He first held positions in the Virginia House of Delegates and then the Virginia Senate before being elected to the United States Congress.
During his time in the Virginia General Assembly, Congressman Scott successfully sponsored bills relating to education, employment, health care, social assistance, economic development, crime prevention, and consumer protection. He successfully advocated in the Virginia legislature for a minimum wage rise, the establishment of the Governor’s Employment and Training Council, and expanded health insurance for pregnant women and their babies and young children.
The election of Congressman Scott marks just the second time in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s history that an African-American has been elected to Congress, and the first time since Reconstruction. His grandfather on his father’s side was Filipino, and he is the first American of Filipino ancestry to hold a voting seat in Congress. Both of his father’s parents were born in the Philippines.
Scott has agreed to lead the House Committee on Education and Labor. He is working to ensure that all Americans have access to a high-quality education, that students don’t have to take on excessive debt, that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care, that employees are protected from harassment and discrimination on the job, and that retirees can live out their golden years in comfort. He’s also working to ensure everyone has access to fair and equal employment opportunities where they can support themselves.
From 2015 to 2018, he served as the Committee on Education and the Workforce’s ranking member, during which time he earned a sterling reputation for forging strong bipartisan support for important legislation. In 2015, he was one of four main authors of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act and reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act after 13 years. Also in 2017, he advocated for the passage of legislation to improve and modernize the country’s CTE framework. He worked hard in 2018 to get two bills passed into law by President Trump that will reform and enhance the country’s juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice Reform Act incorporates Congressman Scott’s Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education Act, which he has introduced year in Congress since 2007.
Prior to the adoption of the Affordable Treatment Act, Congressman Scott supported the All Healthy Children Act, which aimed to provide the millions of uninsured children in the United States access to a full range of medical care. On the other hand, the Affordable Care Act was ultimately successful in accomplishing this goal, but the All Healthy Children Act was not.
In addition, Congressman Scott is an integral part of the House Budget Committee, where he has many important contributions to make to discussions of fiscal policy and deficit reduction. He was a vocal critic of Bush’s tax cuts, which he said benefited only the wealthy while adding trillions of dollars to the national debt. He opposes the 2008 taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout, the 2013 Fiscal Cliff settlement that extended most of the Bush-era tax cuts permanently, and President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
In addition, Congressman Scott is well recognized as a staunch defender of the Bill of Rights and Constitution of the United States. He has devoted much of his time and energy to ensuring that all Americans are able to enjoy their fundamental civil liberties. To ensure that all children with disabilities have access to a quality education, he led the charge in 1997 to defeat changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that would have limited access to public funding for special education. What he did paid off. In addition, Congressman Scott was a vocal critic of the Patriot Act and the abuse of surveillance powers by both the Bush and Obama administrations. Also, he is adamantly opposed to any legislation in Congress that would legalize bias in hiring for initiatives funded by the government.
Representative Scott has been an outspoken advocate for fixing America’s broken criminal justice system. He now serves as both the Committee on the Judiciary’s Chairman and Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Former Subcommittee Chairman He has served in this role before. The Death in Custody Reporting Act was first passed into law by Bill Clinton in 2000, and it was reauthorized by Barack Obama in 2014. This bill has the backing of Congressman Scott. The number of people who die while in police custody or while under arrest must be reported to the United States Department of Justice, and this is required by law. Thanks to Congressman Scott’s efforts, the Fair Sentencing Act was passed in 2010, marking one of the first significant reductions in a mandatory minimum sentence in decades. Sentences for crack and powder cocaine offenses were brought closer together under the new law.
Scott and Sensenbrenner wrote the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective Justice Act together in 2015. In spite of being one of the most far-reaching proposals for criminal justice reform in a century, this bill has attracted support from members of both major political parties in the United States Congress. The First Step Act, a sentencing and prison reform measure approved by President Trump in December 2018, contains features from the SAFE Justice Act, including the retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 and a correction to the calculation of “good time” credits for convicts. With its passage into law in December 2018, the First Step Act sought to alter both the criminal justice system’s sentencing practices and the conditions of incarceration.
In addition, Congressman Scott is a staunch advocate for the nation’s armed forces and the safety of our troops. Representatively, he introduced his own version of Senator Jim Webb’s Post-9/11 G.I. Bill in 2007. This bill, which President George W. Bush put into effect in 2008, is widely regarded as the most significant improvement to veterans’ access to higher education funding since WWII. Scott is a strong advocate for the shipbuilding sector, shipbuilders, and the men and women who serve in the armed forces of the United States as a member of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.
Scott spent his childhood in Newport News, Virginia, after being born on April 30, 1947, in the nation’s capital. He attended Harvard University and then Boston College Law School to get his law degree. Soon after graduating from law school, he settled back in Newport News and practiced law there from 1973 until 1991. As a young lawyer, he saw a need to help those who could not otherwise afford legal representation, thus he established the Peninsula Legal Aid Center. He was issued a discharge with distinction for his time spent serving in the Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.