Revoking Passports for Terrorists
Throughout 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Scott helped introduce the Treason and Passport Revocation Act. The bill would allow the Secretary of State to revoke the passports of individuals who travel to join or be trained by foreign terrorist organizations and also makes joining a terrorist organization an act of treason. A similar bill, the Foreign Terrorist Organization Passport Revocation Act passed the House in May 2015. San Diegans are proud of the key role the city plays in our national defense. If an individual joins a terrorist organization, they should not be allowed to return to the United States and they should be held accountable for their crimes.
Opposing Trump’s Travel Ban
In 2017, Scott led 70 colleagues in a letter to the Department of Justice requesting answers on how President Trump’s travel ban was crafted and whether federal agencies weighed in on the policy. The letter scrutinizes the Trump Administration for reckless implementation of a travel ban based on misguided, discriminatory assumptions that do not make San Diegans any safer. Our rigorous vetting processes, which often take years to complete even for women and children, are the reason we don’t have to choose between security and being a haven for those seeking freedom and prosperity in America.
Improving Access to Reliable Energy
In 2015, Scott offered and helped passed an amendment to the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015 requiring the Department of Energy to adopt alternative forms of energy, ensuring we have sufficient energy storage in the event of a natural disaster. San Diego businesses are developing alternative forms of energy storage—like solar storage—that can help increase our resiliency in the event of disasters, like wildfires. Scott’s amendment ensured the Department of energy and cities vulnerable to natural disasters, like San Diego, are best prepared to avoid the economic and social consequences of an energy crisis.
Alternative Energy Savings
In 2015, Scott offered an amendment that passed with the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, requiring the Department of Energy to report on projects that turn greenhouse gas emissions into usable energy and help expand energy saving technology nationwide. MCAS Miramar successfully captured methane produced by the Miramar landfill and turned it into usable energy for MCAS Miramar and the surrounding area. It was the first project to provide alternative energy sources for the base and a successful example of San Diego innovation. Their investment in renewable energy technology helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect against threats to our energy supply from extreme weather to cyber-attacks and can be a model for the rest of the country, thanks to Scott’s amendment.
Expanding Missile Defense Partnerships
In 2015, Scott offered and passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to show Congressional support for expanding our missile defense cooperation with Israel. Strategic partnerships with our allies in the Middle East are vital to all of our safety and security. Through his role on the Armed Service Committee, this amendment is one way Scott worked to ensure the safety of our country and our families through a solid relationship with our allies is key to that security.
Innovative Nuclear Research
In 2015, Scott offered an amendment that passed with the National Defense Authorization Act, allowing for nuclear fusion innovation. San Diego companies and researchers are developing nuclear technologies that can give our military more reliant and resilient energy sources, like nuclear fusion that can power more efficient and reliable ships for the Navy. Scott’s amendment will help accelerate a carbon-free, safe form of energy, developed by San Diego businesses.
Coastal Campus Funding
Scott helped secure funding for the construction of Coastal Campus Coronado, a new training facility for the Navy SEALs, in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act. As co-chair of the Special Operations Caucus, Scott understands improving training facilities for Coronado’s Navy SEALs also expands San Diego’s role in national defense and creates jobs in our region.
MCAS Miramar Funding
In 2016, Scott successfully fought to accelerate funding for the construction of new aircraft hangars at MCAS Miramar in the National Defense Authorization Act. MCAS Miramar is home of one F-35 squadrons on the West Coast. With F-35s arriving sooner than expected, it was critical to accelerate construction of new hangars at Miramar. Scott’s success in getting construction funding also brought jobs to San Diego sooner.
Camps for Children of Military Families
In 2015, Scott proposed an amendment that passed with the National Defense Authorization Act, authorizing the Department of Defense to provide funding to the children of military households affected by substance abuse. Supporting the families of our service members and veterans is part of supporting those who served. Sadly, the rate of suicide and substance abuse among these homes continues to be high. While we work to stop substance abuse and suicide, we also need to take steps to support the families hurt by these tragedies.
Veterans Network of Support
Howard and Jean Somers tragically lost their son Daniel in 2013 when he committed suicide after leaving the military. The Somers felt they could have prevented this tragedy if they knew how to better support Daniel’s transition from active duty to civilian life. After hearing their story, Scott offered and passed language that expressed support for the Department of Defense doing more proactive outreach to families of servicemembers to keep them informed of what their loved ones are experiencing, so they can be better equipped to support servicemembers when they come home. The language was included in the Committee report on the defense policy bill.
In 2019, Congress, Scott introduced and passed the bipartisan, bicameral Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support legislation to establish a Network of Support so servicemembers’ family and friends can prevent isolation and suicide. The bill has been included in the annual FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act and became law at the end of 2019. Surrounding servicemembers with their network of support will equip them with the tools they need and reduce the stigma of accessing mental health services.
In 2016, Scott offered an amendment in the Armed Services Committee that passed with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directing the Navy to investigate mutiny charges that arose from the 1944 deadly explosion at Port Chicago. In 1944, a group of African American sailors stationed at Port Chicago (California) Naval Magazine was convicted for mutiny, but widespread publicity raised questions about the fairness and legality of the court proceedings. Scott’s amendment helped get these sailors one step closer to justice.
Supporting DOD Energy Goals
In 2016, Scott offered an amendment that passed in the House Armed Services Committee urging the Department of Defense to report on the effectiveness of its energy strategy and sustainability office. Energy security is national security and enabling the military to diversify their energy supply will help improve combat readiness. San Diego is a model for energy innovation that helped launch two major renewable energy efforts at the DOD; the launch of the Great Green Fleet is the largest renewable energy purchase in Department of Defense history—a joint effort between DOD and Sempra Energy. San Diego is leading in energy diversification and incorporating these efforts into the DOD will ensure military readiness.
Ensuring Small Business Competition for DOD Contracts
In 2014, Scott offered an amendment to the defense policy bill that passed in the Armed Services Committee to reform the DOD’s acquisition process and level the playing field for small businesses. San Diego is home to many innovative companies that support our national defense sector. Scott’s amendment establishes fair competition, so the best ideas, rather than the size or reputation of one of the competitors, determines who receives DOD contracts.
Supporting Warfighters and San Diego Jobs
In 2014, Scott offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to allocate funding to purchase eight Poway-manufactured MQ-9 Reapers. Acquiring these unmanned aerial vehicles created jobs for San Diego and provided needed support for our service members by improving our ability to defeat enemies abroad.
Protecting Servicemembers from Financial Abuse
In 2015, Scott offered and passed an amendment to the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act which ensured that the Department of Defense could issue a rule protecting servicemembers and their families from abusive lending practices without facing additional hurdles. San Diego is home to one of the largest military populations in the country and unfortunately, servicemembers and their families are a prime target for abusive lending practices. Scott’s amendment ensures that DOD can take steps to protect military families.
Securing the Iran Deal
In 2016, Scott supported the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which required Iran to dismantle 13,000 of 19,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges and reduce its low-enriched uranium stockpile by 98 percent. The JCPOA was an important strategic component in dealing with Iran by halting Iran’s progress toward developing a nuclear weapon and preventing war.
Economic Adjustment Grant for San Diego
In 2016, Scott helped secure San Diego a $1.8 million economic assistance grant from the Department of Defense (DOD). San Diego was hit hard by the DOD’s adjustment to their defense contracts, so Scott sent a letter to the DOD in support of San Diego’s application for the grant. The grant helped San Diego create jobs and mitigate the redevelopment loss.
Seven Straight NDAA’s and NDAA Conferee
Since coming to Congress, Scott has been instrumental in crafting and standing up for San Diego in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), This annual bill provides the framework for our national defense, including how many ships and planes the United States purchases, DOD’s energy investment, and our engagement with both our allies and enemies. In recognition of his leadership in National Defense, Scott was appointed to the committee that negotiates differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill in 2016. He also received that distinction in 2019, as a representative from the Budget Committee.
Climate Preparedness for the Military
In 2017, Congress, Scott led a letter to the House and Senate conferees for the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, encouraging them to maintain the House bill language that directs the department to include climate change as a factor for preparation regarding threat assessments, resources, and military readiness for the Department of Defense. This language was included in the final bill. Our military leaders must be able to prepare for all threats and climate change threatens to exacerbate existing challenges and endanger military bases in San Diego, across the country, and around the world.
Acoustic Hailing Technology
In 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019, Scott led the San Diego delegation in the effort to introduce Acoustic Hailing Devices technology into security programs for both national security efforts abroad and at home, through the National Guard. These devices allow our military to communicate across vast distances and during situations where typical communications are shut down, like natural disasters, large crowd events, and barren landscapes. Integrating smart technologies that were developed in San Diego help our servicemembers and support our innovation economy.
Since coming to Congress, Scott has advocated with many letters and votes, for robust shipbuilding and maintenance funding. The FY 2018 NDAA included the largest ever budget for ship building maintenance. Additionally, the budget included funding for the Littoral Combat Ship to remain at a 3 per year production rate, with two shipyards, following a direct request from Scott. Sailors in San Diego do the work to fight the battle during wartime and prepare during peacetime on these ships and Congress needs to do its part to support them.
Network of Support
In 2019, Scott introduced and passed the bipartisan, bicameral Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support legislation to establish a Network of Support so servicemembers’ family and friends can prevent isolation and suicide. The bill has been included in the annual FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act and became law at the end of 2019. Surrounding servicemembers with their network of support will equip them with the tools they need and reduce the stigma of accessing mental health services.
Preventing Biosecurity Threats
Since entering Congress, Scott helped to ensure we have the technology and resources to protect Americans from existing and emerging biothreats. In July 2018, he worked with the Energy and Commerce Committee to include a provision in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act reauthorization bill to restore funding for the Public Health Emergency Fund, which helps the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) detect, prepare, and respond to public health emergencies. The Alliance for Biosecurity named Scott “Congressional Biosecurity Champion” in 2018 for his leadership on calling attention to the nation’s biosecurity threats, promoting health security, and enhancing federal preparedness and response programs. Scott is a member of the Congressional Biodefense Caucus, which is dedicated to strengthening our nation’s biodefense enterprise and national security.
Improvements to VA Medical Facilities
In 2020, Scott helped pass the Major Medical Facility Authorization Act of 2020, which secured funds for a major project at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The project will use $230,840,000 to expand the building for patients being treated for spinal cord injuries, and build a new community living center as well as a new parking structure at the medical center in La Jolla. The facility serves around 700 San Diego veterans and active-duty military personnel every year, as well as some veterans from Arizona, Nevada and other areas in Southern California.
In 2014, Scott offered a motion to the VA Access, Accountability and Choice Act to ensure our veterans receive the quality care they earned. It was credited with breaking the gridlock over the Veterans Choice program. The bill gave veterans more options to access health care, and still be covered by their VA benefits, as a way to address wait and travel times. It also improved accountability at the VA by making it easier to fire Senior Executive employee; expanded access to in-state tuition rates at public higher-education for veterans and their families; and expanded counseling care and services to victims of military sexual trauma. Our veterans answered the call to serve our country and it’s our duty to ensure they’re not left behind when they return home. San Diego is home to one of the nation's largest veteran populations and our heroes should not face barriers to getting the healthcare they need.
In 2019, Scott introduced and passed the Veteran HOUSE Act, which expands eligibility for veterans with other-than-honorable discharges to participate in the HUD-VASH voucher program. The bill has unanimously passed both the Financial Services Committee and House Veterans' Affairs Committee in 2019. In January 2020, the House passed the bill 362-31. Veterans with other-than-honorable discharges can be more likely to experience issues with mental health and could be more vulnerable to homelessness. It’s crucial that they have access to housing and supportive services.
In 2018, Scott introduced and passed legislation to stop cuts to homeless veterans' programs in the VA when the Trump administration attempted to transfer money intended to house homeless veterans (HUD-VASH program) to fund other VA programs. This amendment was included in the FY2019 spending bill that became law in September 2018. When the Trump Administration tried to cut funds to house homeless veterans, Scott made sure they couldn’t follow through with their plans to move the funds elsewhere. Homeless veterans need permanent supportive housing to transition out of homelessness.
In 2020, Scott introduced an amendment to the Rights For Transportation Security Officers Act, requiring a GAO study on how TSA recruits veterans for their workforce. His amendment passed the House, as did the base bill. The veteran workforce is skilled and should be able to access opportunities where they can lend their specialized talents to our nation's different industries.
In 2013, Scott offered and passed an amendment to the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act to encourage the hiring of veterans for military construction projects. San Diego is home to one of the nation’s largest veteran populations and the Department of Defense is in the process of several major construction projects. As we work to ensure that veterans can find good-paying jobs, the Department of Defense should work with contractors that employ veterans.
In 2015, Scott helped introduce and pass the Sergeant Daniel Somers Classified Veterans Access to Care Act, a bipartisan bill to improve mental health care for veterans who took part in classified missions during their service. The bill was inspired by Sergeant Daniel Sommers, who suffered from post-traumatic stress and tragically took his own life. Although Daniel sought help at the VA, he was unable to share any classified missions in group therapy sessions. Daniel’s parents―Coronado residents Dr. Howard Somers and Jean Somers―came to share his story and propose solutions to Congress. Now, because of Daniel’s parents’ advocacy and the bipartisan effort to pass the bill, veterans who engaged in classified activities in the course of their service will be able to transition individualized therapeutic treatment if needed.
Support for zero8hundred
In 2014, Scott was instrumental in launching zero8hundred, a unique military transition support program in San Diego. Scott convened military leaders, veterans’ service organizations, and philanthropic groups to create zero8hundred. He also offered and passed language expressing congressional support for private-public partnerships like zero8hundred. Today, Zero8hundred provides a coordinated effort in San Diego to help servicemembers transition from active duty to civilian life.
Mental Health for Veterans, Families, and Jobs
In 2018, Scott introduced and passed legislation to strengthen peer counseling for mental health at the VA. The VA MISSION Act included this bill to expand the peer counseling program at the VA, which embeds peer counselors into patient-aligned care teams (PACT), to 25 additional VA sites. It became law in June 2018. Veteran peers can guide veterans through the complex system of mental health care and connect them to resources they may otherwise not know.
In 2015, Scott introduced the Marriage and Family Therapists for Veterans Act which aligns state and federal guidelines to allow marriage and family therapists certified by regionally accredited programs to be considered for employment at VA medical centers. Similar language was included in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act that passed the House. San Diego is home to one of the nation’s largest veteran populations and sadly, an average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day. When veterans are struggling, their struggles can also take a toll on their families. The bill helped ensure America keeps its promises to our veterans by allowing the VA to hire more mental health professionals.
GI Bill Education Benefits
In 2018, Scott introduced and passed legislation to provide education and job training benefits to guardsmen and reservists, correcting an inconsistency in the law by extending vocational rehabilitation services to all servicemembers who deploy for preplanned missions, regardless of the authority under which they are deployed. The bill became law at the end of 2018 when the President signed S.2248, the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018. Guardsmen and reservists who served side-by-side in active duty with other servicemembers should receive the same education benefits.
In 2017, Scott introduced and helped pass a bill to ensure all Purple Heart veterans can access their full GI Bill education benefits, regardless of how long they served on active-duty. Previously, Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits were only available if a veteran completed at least 36 months of active duty service or was medically retired; however, some Purple Heart recipients are honorably discharged before either of those qualifications are attained, making them ineligible for full payments. The bill was included as part of a broader reform package called the “Forever GI Bill.” Purple Heart recipients have made some of the most tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation. They earned full education benefits through their service.
In 2017, Scott helped introduce and pass the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. This bill creates three new pathways for veterans’ appeals process in order to fix the back-log and achieve faster results for new cases. This bill acknowledges the broken VA appeals system and creates three new pathways for veterans’ appeals process in order to fix the back-log and achieve faster results for new cases. It also allows the VA Secretary to establish a new pilot program to try other appeal options that may help the program move faster. San Diego veterans should not have to wait years on appeals decisions. This bill will modernize the system and reduce the backlog so that our veterans receive the attention and benefits they have earned.
In 2017, Scott supported legislation to provide greater authority to remove or discipline poorly-performing employees. This bipartisan legislation will improve the service that our veterans receive by holding bad actors accountable and protecting the hardworking employees who care for our veterans.
Student Loan Repayment
In 2020, Scott introduced and passed bipartisan legislation to incentivize employers to help pay their employees’ student loans. The bill has garnered over 200 cosponsors. In 2017, Scott highlighted the bill at the South by Southwest (SXSW) EDU conference to garner national attention and rally support for the bill. A temporary version of the bill became law in the CARES Act in March 2020. The Employer Participation in Repayment Act will relieve San Diegans of student debt faster so they can afford to buy a home or save for retirement.
Energy and the Environment
Emissions Free Hydropower
In 2017, Scott introduced and helped pass the HYdropower Permit Extension (HYPE) Act, to cut red tape in the construction permitting process for hydropower projects and incentivize greater investments in carbon-free hydropower. Previously, it took an act of Congress to extend construction permits for hydropower projects, even though these projects have already undergone a rigorous approval processes. The bill also grants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the authority to give hydropower projects a four-year extension if delays prevent them from beginning construction during the initial permit. Hydropower is an emission-free source of baseload energy that helps decrease America’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Smart Closed-Loop Hydropower
In 2017, Scott was the lead Democrat on the Promoting Closed-Loop Pumped Storage Hydropower Act, which gives closed-loop hydropower projects an expedited process for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Scott led the effort to craft the final language of the bill which helped it earn the bipartisan support it needed to pass. In San Diego, where large rivers and typical hydropower generation are less common, closed-loop hydropower offers an innovative solution and can have other benefits to the region’s energy and reservoir systems. More electricity from hydropower is key to meeting our clean energy goals, and reducing harmful emissions that pollute our air and water and contribute to climate change.
Funded Cutting-Edge Ocean Research
In 2018, Scott supported many successful efforts to enhance ocean research in San Diego. His advocacy led to a funding level of $5.9 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which was $233.9 million higher than the FY2017 enacted level.
In 2019, Scott championed a bipartisan effort to secure $43 million, a $177,000 increase from FY2018 enacted levels for a crucial NOAA program to improve weather forecasting and prepare for natural disasters.
San Diego is home to Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, a world leader in most cutting-edge ocean research.
Global Leader On Climate Change
In 2019, Scott unveiled The Climate Playbook, a compendium of climate-related bills introduced by Members of the House and Senate in 2016. On November 14, 2019, The Chair House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis recognized the importance of the Climate Playbook as an asset for all of Congress. The Climate Playbook has received national praise.
In 2017, Scott was a featured speaker at a conference of world climate experts convened by Pope Francis in Vatican City and the sole representative from the United States Congress. In his remarks, Scott reflected on the divisive politics of climate change in the United States. The notion of addressing climate change used to be bipartisan, but the divisive state of American politics has caught up to the issue. With President Trump determined to undermine all of the progress on climate achieved by President Obama, local governments and leaders around the world need to act on the existential threat of climate change.
Spearheading National Climate Action
In 2019, Scott and Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced the bicameral Super Pollutants Act of 2019, which will significantly curb the release of methane from oil and gas sites in the U.S. by codifying EPA’s endangered methane rule and creating a regulatory pathway to reduce emissions from existing sources.
Scott is also among the leading Democrats advocating for a bipartisan carbon tax in Congress. In 2019, Scott was one of four Democratic leads to introduce the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, and one of two Democratic leads the to introduce the MARKET CHOICE Act of 2019.
In 2017, Scott and Rep. Curbelo introduced the Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction (SUPER) Act, which establishes a task force to combat some of the most significant drivers of global climate change.
San Diego has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent below predicted 2035 levels as part of its Climate Action Plan.
Fighting for Carbon Capture Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS)
In 2017 and again in 2019, Scott introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USEIT) Act. The USEIT Act is one of the most significant CCUS bills ever introduced in Congress, authorizing $85 million to support carbon utilization and direct air capture research and encourages federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration to facilitate planning and permitting of CCUS facilities and the carbon dioxide pipelines needed to enable large-scale deployment. In 2019, USEIT passed the Senate as part of the NDAA.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC), without large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal technologies, it is nearly impossible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. USEIT is supported by the United Steelworkers (USW), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC).
Securing SONGS Operations, Getting Nuclear Waste Off Our Coastline
Scott has provided oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the decommissioning process at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). He’s requested increased attention from inspectors and ensured proper community engagement. He verified that an incident in 2018 was handled properly, and changes to operations were made before restarting the on-site storage of spent fuel.
Scott is also a leader on nuclear waste storage legislation. He co-leads legislation to finalize a permanent resting place for spent nuclear fuel and consolidated interims storage, both of which could be avenues to getting nuclear waste off of the beach in San Diego as soon as it is cools enough to transport. He also helps lead legislation that would prioritize moving this waste before others that aren’t as close to bodies of water or densely populated areas. Political considerations have stopped the advancement of safe nuclear waste storage for years and Scott is actively overcoming that with legislation and funding.
Supporting Funding for the Future of Clean Energy
Nearly every year since coming to Congress, Scott has helped lead the efforts to appropriate funding for advanced nuclear technology to develop nuclear fusion through international partnerships. In November of 2019, The DOE extended a funding award worth $121.5 million over another 5 years at General Atomics, where many San Diegans work on the project to develop test components and fusion infrastructure. As the 10th best-educated constituency of any congressional district, residents of the 52nd Congressional District are working on creating the energy generation the world needs for a safe future.
Promoting Energy Recovery From Waste
In September 2019, House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures Chairman Mike Thompson and Committee Democrats released a draft of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act to incentivize the development of renewable energy technology. The GREEN Act includes the Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Equalization Act, a bill co-introduced by Scott which extends tax credits for investments in qualified energy production, including closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal, municipal solid waste, qualified hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic.
In 2018, Scott introduced the Carbon Utilization Act, aiming to credit to incentivize the deployment of carbon capture technology. The bill would expand USDA research and loan guarantees to include carbon capture technologies that turn the carbon dioxide or methane products produced by organic waste into electricity, heat, or fuel. New energy sources created by this legislation, like biogas, could bring us closer to energy independence and reduce greenhouse gases. San Diego-based biofuel companies are leading the way on clean-tech energy innovation.
Enhancing Emergency Preparedness
In 2019, Scott re-introduced the bipartisan Strengthening the Resiliency of Our Nation on the Ground (STRONG) Act that would help communities better prepare for natural disasters. The bill would establish an interagency task force that combines the expertise of federal, state, and local agencies to prepare short and long-term extreme weather strategies. As a military town and coastal city, San Diego is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This bill will help our city prepare, plan for, and more quickly recover from extreme weather events.
Increased Transparency and Accountability of Federal Disaster Spending
In 2019, Scott introduced the Disclosing Aid Spent to Ensure Relief (DISASTER) Act, which requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to publish a single total of federal disaster relief funding. In July 2019, the House passed this bill, as well as two other disaster transparency bills that Scott introduced with Rep. Mark Meadows—the Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act and the Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act. These bills are awaiting Senate passage. These disaster transparency bills are crucial to San Diego and California generally as disasters continue to get bigger and more frequent so that we can better prepare to fight and prevent future disasters.
Blocked the Misguided, So-Called Innovation Act
In 2014 and 2015, Scott led the opposition to the Innovation Act, which threatened small innovators by making drastic, sweeping changes to the patent system. Colleges and Universities, medical researchers, and inventors all opposed the bill because of the chilling effect it would have on investment in innovation. In 2015, Scott was credited as having been instrumental in preventing the bill from moving forward after he led a letter signed by a bipartisan group of 78 Members of Congress. San Diego is home to a unique innovation ecosystem that drives research breakthroughs, leads to new cures and treatments for our most perplexing diseases and illnesses, and results in new technology for both consumers and the Department of Defense. The changes proposed by the Innovation Act threatened to turn our innovation ecosystem inside out, stifle investment in new discoveries, and put small inventors at a disadvantage when large, established companies steal their ideas.
R&D Tax Credit
Since coming to Congress, Scott has been a vocal advocate for the extension of the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. The R&D Tax Credit provides an incentive for businesses to invest in innovation. At the end of 2015, Scott supported passage of an omnibus appropriations bill that made the R&D tax credit permanent, eliminating uncertainty for businesses and providing a true incentive for innovation. San Diego is home to some of the country’s most innovative companies. Congress has a bad habit of extending tax credits after they have already expired. This is not an incentive for new innovation.
Protecting Qualcomm from a Hostile Takeover
In 2018, Scott raised serious concerns over the national security implications of the proposed takeover of San Diego’s Qualcomm by Broadcomm, a Chinese company. He wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Mnuchin requesting that the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence provide a classified report for Congress assessing whether Qualcomm’s global leadership in the development of 5G technology. Scott also requested a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), should the deal move forward. The Trump administration heeded Scott’s call and prevented the merger. Congress must ensure the intellectual property of U.S. companies, particularly when involved with future competitive development like 5G, are protected.
Federal Technology Innovation and Testing
Scott led a bipartisan amendment to the Studying How to Harness Airwave Resources Efficiently (SHARE) Act of 2019, which creates a program to assess how federal agencies may be able to share spectrum and prototype new technologies. His amendment included other technologies called synchronization and look-before-talk, which can increase efficiency in spectrum uses. The amendment was accepted and the bill passed out of the E&C committee in November of 2019. San Diego leads the way in research future uses of spectrum technologies and needs support from the federal government.
Delayed and Repealed Medical Device Tax
Since coming to Congress, Scott has been a vocal opponent of the Medical Device Tax which stifles both innovation and job growth in San Diego and around the country. In each session, he helped introduce the Protect Medical Innovation Act which would repeal the tax established by the Affordable Care Act. At the end of 2015, a two-year delay of the tax was included in legislation to fund the government.
In 2019, Scott supported the introduction of the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that fully repeals the 2.3% excise tax levied on medical device firms as part of the Affordable Care Act. In December 2019, President Trump signed the 2020 federal spending package.
San Diego’s innovation ecosystem results in new, innovative devices and treatments that make it easier to care for individuals with historically difficult diseases and illnesses. The Medical Device Tax has slowed growth in our Medical Device Industry leading to fewer jobs and less investment in our community.
Since coming to Congress, Scott has been a vocal advocate for increased funding for NIH. In 2013, he led a group of his colleagues on a tour of NIH so they could learn about the important work being done there. He has sent numerous letters to Congressional Appropriators and supported the 21st Century Cures Act which, for the first time, provided $1.75 billion in mandatory spending on NIH supported innovation. This is in addition to more than $8 billion in annual authorizations for NIH’s research activities. In 2015, Scott successfully fought to increase NIH funding to a total of $37 billion—a record high even when adjusting for inflation. The amount includes $500 million in additional funds to address opioid addiction and $414 million extra for Alzheimer's disease research. In 2019, he helped secure a total of $29.1 billion for NIH, a $2 billion increase from the previous year. San Diego’s unique Innovation Ecosystem depends on federal investment in basic scientific research through NIH and other federal agencies.
Stabilizing the Individual Marketplace
In 2017, Scott introduced the Bipartisan Market Stabilization and Innovation Act, which would stabilize the individual marketplace and bring down health care costs for millions.
As a member of the Problem Solvers’ Caucus, Scott has been leading the effort to get bipartisan agreement on healthcare reform. Repealing the ACA would have a serious impact on the most vulnerable among those who rely on Medicaid for quality healthcare.
Reauthorized Funding for Community Health Centers
In FY2020 appropriations, Scott supported the highest level of funding to improve access to comprehensive and evidence-based mental health and addiction care, securing our requested funding level of $150,000,000 for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics Expansion Grants. He also helped secure $722,571,000 for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, which awards funds to states to supplement existing and/or new mental health services.
In 2018, Scott led a letter to House Leadership calling on Congress to reauthorize the Community Health Center Fund for two years. The Community Health Center Fund represents 70 percent of federal grant funding for health centers that provide care for poor and underserved communities in every state. Community health centers play a critical role in San Diego by providing quality medical and mental health care to millions of San Diegans every year.
Prevented Cuts to Hospitals Providing Low-Income Patient Care
Since 2017, Scott has successfully fought to delay cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments. Medicaid DSH payments allow hospitals to treat low-income and uninsured patients, especially in rural areas where hospitals face added financial burdens. It is crucial that hospitals everywhere have the resources to continue caring for the most vulnerable Americans.
Supported Training of Future Pediatric Doctors and Specialists
Throughout 2017 and 2018, Scott led efforts to reauthorize essential health programs. He helped secure $315 million for Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME), a $15 million (5 percent) increase over FY 2017 to support the training of future pediatricians and pediatric specialists. In 2019, he supported funding requests for $400 million in FY2020. Rady’s Children’s Hospital is the largest children’s hospital in California. The San Diego Health Care System is providing world-class care for children all around the world.
Supported Primary Care, Medical and Dental Residency Programs
In 2017, Scott urged the Energy and Commerce Committee to support renewing federal funding for Teaching Health Centers (THCs). His efforts helped secure funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME), which will provide existing grantees with per resident amount of $150,000.
Safeguarding Vital Drug Discount Program
In 2017, Scott and Rep. Larry Buschon introduced the PAUSE Act, which would put a temporary pause on certain new hospitals entering the 340B program while Congress verifies that these hospitals are passing along savings from the program to the low-income patients the program serves.
In October 2019, Scott led 41 members of the California Congressional Delegation urging Governor Newsom to protect community health centers from any cuts to the 340b drug discount program. The letter was a response to Newsom's Executive Order directing the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to “take all necessary steps to transition all pharmacy services for Medi-Cal managed care to a fee-for-service benefit by January 2021." If implemented, the statutory change could jeopardize prescription drug revenues for many California community health centers.
Drug revenues from the 340B program allow Community Health Centers to provide life-saving treatments to low-income patients in every community in the country.
Lowering the Cost of Health Care
In 2020, Scott and Rep. Angie Craig introduced a bill that will make health insurance premiums more affordable, providing $10 billion annually to states to establish a state reinsurance program or use the funds to provide financial assistance to reduce out-of-pocket costs for individuals enrolled in qualified health plans. The bill also requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish and implement a reinsurance program in states that do not apply for federal funding under the bill. On May 4, 2019, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill as a part of a larger package called the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019. Between 1.2 and 1.4 million people receive federal subsidies to buy health on the health insurance marketplace. Reinsurance programs are important because they drive down the cost of these plans.
In 2019, Scott and Rep. Angie Craig introduced a bill to make health care more affordable by encouraging states to create their own state-based marketplaces, which would cover the costliest medical claims and lower premiums for people across the country. The program is estimated to reduce premiums by as much as 10 percent. This bill became the shell legislation for a comprehensive health care package, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, which passed the House in June 2020.
Protecting Access to Life-Saving Diagnostic Services
In 2019, Scott introduced the bipartisan Laboratory Access for Beneficiaries (LAB) Act with five of his colleagues. The bill directs the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct a joint study that would make recommendations to improve how CMS collects data on lab reimbursements for life-saving lab services. Additionally, the LAB Act would give both CMS and labs additional time to collect complete and accurate data. Without a broad and representative collection of data, CMS's current reimbursement methodology could underpay for lab services, causing small labs in rural locations to close. Language from the LAB Act was included in a federal funding bill in December 2019. Seniors in San Diego have different health care needs, and increasing access to life-saving diagnostic services is one of the most effective ways to provide individualized care.
Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs
In 2019, Scott introduced a bill with Rep. Pete King and Rep. Anthony Brindisi that will give Medicare beneficiaries increased access to innovative drugs. The Acting to Cancel Copays and Ensure Substantial Savings for Biosimilars (ACCESS) Act would eliminate a patient’s copay for a biosimilar if they normally would pay full cost for a biologic drug under Medicare Part B. The cost of prescription drugs is soaring, and increasing access to lower-cost biosimilar drugs and give San Diegans more treatment options.
Protecting Access to Life-Saving Drugs
In 2020, Scott introduced the bipartisan Preventing Drug Shortages Act, which would help address the critical issue of drug shortages that affect the quality of care patients receive across the country. The introduction of the bill came days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first U.S. drug shortage related to factory shutdowns and shipping problems in China due to the recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. On March 27, 2020, the bill became law as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Advancing Biomedical Research
In 2017, Scott successfully fought to increase NIH funding to a total of $37 billion—a record high, even when adjusting for inflation. The amount includes $500 million extra to address opioid addiction and $414 million extra for Alzheimer's disease research. In 2019, Scott helped secure almost $9 billion for the National Science Foundation, which supports one out of every four basic research projects at higher institutions. Scott has been a tireless advocate for federal investment in basic scientific research.
Finding Cures for Rare Diseases
In 2018, Scott introduced the Advancing Access to Precision Medicine Act to provide children with rare diseases access to genetic and genomic testing. In February 2018, Scott hosted a briefing, “Changing Lives for Children with Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases,” on the ways that whole-genome sequencing can provide more rapid and accurate diagnosis and treatment options for children with rare diseases.
In 2019, Scott introduced the Ending the Diagnostic Odyssey Act of 2019 that would provide federal funding to states to support the use of whole genome sequencing to diagnose sick children.
San Diego is home to world-class research institutions that are bringing life-saving treatments to children and families around the country. Scott has been their champion since coming to Congress.
Supporting a Growing Algae Industry
As one of four co-chairs of the Congressional Algae Caucus, Scott has long-supported research in algal biofuels technology. He championed the successful effort to fund carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Office of Fossil Energy (FE). He helped secure an unprecedented $44 Million in congressional appropriations for algae research and related projects in 2018. In addition, the majority of Rep. Peters’ Algae Agriculture Act of 2018, was incorporated in the 2018 Farm Bill making algae eligible for the same investment opportunities as other agricultural products.
Scott also supported the passage of amendments to the 45Q Carbon Sequestration Tax Credit, securing algae as a pathway to carbon capture and sequestration eligible $35 per ton carbon tax credit. In 2019, Scott again supported an unprecedented, $40 million in congressional appropriations for algae research and related projects. UC San Diego is leading the way in algae biotechnology research, which promises to change the way that we produce fuel and food.
Homelessness Funding Formula
Since coming to Congress, Scott has worked tirelessly to get the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reopen their Continuum of Care homelessness funding formula for public comment. Despite having one of the nation’s largest homeless populations, San Diego doesn’t receive the homelessness funding it needs. Scott sent multiple letters, hosted Secretary Castro in both San Diego and DC, and finally offered and passed an amendment to the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act that required HUD to reopen the formula. Ultimately, in July 2016, HUD reopened the formula for public comment and included four new proposals, each of which would result in increased funding for San Diego.
Effective Distribution of Homelessness Assistance
In 2016, Scott introduced and helped pass the Housing Assistance Efficiency Act, which allows non-profits to directly administer homelessness assistance grants to those who need it. This eliminates a bureaucratic step that required non-profits to connect homeless individuals with federal agencies to receive aid rather than administer the aid directly to those who need it. Ultimately, the language was included in the Highway Trust Fund Reauthorization and is now law. San Diego non-profits do important work in support of our homeless community. Scott’s bill allows them to expand and improve their efforts to support people directly.
Scott helped pass the FY18 Omnibus spending bill, which increased the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by raising the volume cap by 12.5% and establishing a permanent income averaging provision. The GOP Tax Bill hurt the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which finances the construction of affordable housing projects. This strengthens the value of the credit and encourages future housing development.
Scott authored an appropriations letter requesting $100 million set aside for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, which provides specific funding for homeless youth. The funding was included in the House-passed spending bill. The program was funded at $80 million after Senate negotiations. San Diego received the largest Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program grant in 2018, totaling $7.94 million, and leads the country in testing innovative solutions for youth homelessness.
Anti-discrimination in Contracting
In 2017, Scott offered and passed an amendment to the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act that ensured that companies doing business with the Federal government are not able to discriminate against their LGBT employees. San Diegans know that who you are or who you love should not result in discrimination.
In 2017, Scott offered an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act that would bar funds from being used to implement President Trump’s ban on transgender folks serving in the U.S. military. Trump’s ban has been blocked by courts and transgender people can enlist in the military as of the beginning of this year. San Diegans trust military leaders on this topic: any qualified servicemembers should be able to serve, no matter their gender identity.
End Unnecessary Government Printing
In 2015, Scott introduced the Unnecessary Government Printing Reform Act that would put an end to wasteful government printing. Similar language was included in the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act and was passed. San Diegans are fed up with government inefficiency and waste. Scott’s bill saves paper and government resources.
Getting Russian Meddling Out of U.S. Elections
In 2017, Scott voted for legislation that directed the President to impose new sanctions on Russia for meddling in the U.S. 2016 elections. The bill became law, but the President missed the January deadline to impose these sanctions, so Scott sent a letter inquiring upon the delay. Days later, the President released sanctions on Russia. Congress must act to protect its republic and the sanctity of its elections. These sanctions remind President Putin and other nefarious leaders who seek to impose their influence that punishment will be administered.
Trade Promotion Authority
In 2015, Scott was one of only 28 House Democrats to support passage of Trade Promotion Authority, the procedural mechanism that allowed the Administration to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. San Diego’s economy depends on international trade. In order to remain globally competitive, the United States must reduce barriers to its exports and keep China from setting the rules for the Asia Pacific.
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization
Since coming to Congress, Scott has been a vocal supporter of reauthorizing the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States. The Ex-Im Bank provides small businesses in San Diego and around the country with guidance and financing that allows them to do business in foreign countries. In both 2014 and 2015, Scott was a supporter of legislation to reauthorize the bank, and was proud to help pass reauthorization in 2015. Between 2011 and 2016, the Export-Import Bank has supported nearly $2.5 billion in exports from businesses in the 52nd District.
Passage of the USMCA
In 2019, Scott sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi underscoring the importance of cross-border trade with Mexico and Canada, specifically requesting that the trade agreement be passed by Congress before the end of the year. An agreement was struck and became law when the president signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) agreement. Trade with America’s neighboring countries is vital to the economic growth and diplomatic relationship between the three nations. Passing the USMCA with improvements in labor protections, environmental protections, and enforcement mechanisms was a huge win for the country.
Reading Names and Letters
Shortly after Scott was elected in 2012, 20 children were tragically and inexplicably shot and killed when a mentally-ill teenager opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, Scott has made getting a vote on gun safety legislation a priority. In 2013, 2015, and 2017 he cosponsored the bipartisan Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act to expand background checks and, in 2015, he cosponsored the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act to close a loophole that allows individuals on No Fly Lists to purchase weapons.
Frustrated with inaction from Republican leadership, Scott took to the floor and began reading the names of gun violence victims since Sandy Hook. Following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, FL, he cosponsored a ban on assault weapons, which are weapons of war that do not belong on our streets or in our schools. Scott also amplified constituents’ voices by reading letters asking Congress to act on gun safety measures.
Broadcasting the Sit-in
In 2016, Congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis led a Democratic sit-in protest on the House floor to fight back against Republican leadership’s obstruction of gun safety legislation. House Republican leadership turned off the cameras in the House Chamber to keep the American public from witnessing the sit-in. Scott felt that the American public deserved to see that there are Members of Congress who are committed to stemming gun violence in the United States and broadcast the sit-in via his Periscope app. His feed was carried by national news outlets throughout the day.
Honoring Victims of Shooting at Chabad of Poway
Following the shooting at Chabad of Poway, Scott led 42 of his bipartisan colleagues in introducing a resolution to condemn the horrific anti-Semitic attack and honor Lori Gilbert Kaye, who passed away following the shooting. California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris introduced an identical resolution that passed the U.S. Senate, while we await its passage in the House. This resolution amplified the voices of the Chabad community and Scott has continued to fight for Congress to take action on guns.
Port TIGER Grant
In 2015, Scott sent a letter of support and spoke personally with the Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx to help the San Diego Unified Port District’s application for a TIGER grant to help upgrade the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal. In October of 2015, the Department of Transportation awarded a $10 million grant to the Port. San Diego’s economy depends on trade and the ability to efficiently move goods from the Port out into our communities and to the rest of the country. The improvements that will be made with TIGER Grant funds will increase work opportunities and benefit our economy.
Funding for Border Crossing
Since coming to Congress, Scott and the San Diego delegation worked together to provide funding for the San Ysidro and Calexico Border Crossings. Scott wrote letters to appropriators urging them to include funding for the projects. As a result funding for San Ysidro was included in two Omnibus spending bills and provided the project a total of nearly $500M. According to SANDAG, San Ysidro is the world’s busiest international land crossing, handling more than 11 million passenger vehicles, 68,000 buses, and 8 million pedestrians in 2012. SANDAG also estimates that delays and inefficiency at the border costs the region $7.2 billion in lost output and 62,000 jobs.
Highway Trust Fund Reauthorization
In 2015, Scott was an advocate for a long-term reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund. He sent letters to Congressional leadership demanding that they stop providing short-term reauthorizations of the Trust Fund and instead provide certainty with a long-term authorization. As a result, in 2015, Congress passed a long-term reauthorization that will provide certainty to businesses working on infrastructure modernization and travelers who depend on safe roads, bridges, and tunnels to get to and from in their daily lives.
In 2015, 2016, and 2017, Scott has supported a federal full funding agreement between SANDAG and the DOT in order to match the local funding for the extension of the trolley system known as the Mid-Coast project. It was awarded in September of 2016. Since then, Scott has successfully pushed for congressional appropriations in the DOT Capital Investment Grant program in order to fulfill the annual funding needs, with the following successes: $50M in FY17, $100M in FY18, $100M in FY19. In response to the shortfall from FY17, Scott helped secure a supplemental funding increase of $80 million in FY18, an addition to the $100 million requested and allocated for the fiscal year, which brings total supportive funding to $330M. This project is the latest expansion of the trolley system which connects the two largest job centers in the county, universities, the VA hospital, etc.
Funded Water Resources Infrastructure Investments
Since coming to Congress Scott has been a leader in sponsoring legislation to improve water-use efficiency. With Scott’s advocacy and support, Pure Water San Diego was selected as one of 12 projects to apply for more than $2 billion in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)in 2017. The project also received approximately $9.2M in Title XVI funding in 2016 and 2017 combined. In April 2018, Scott wrote a letter to Council President Cole & Members of the San Diego City Council urging them to approve and certify the North City Project Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR). In November, the City Council approved the EIR and accepted a $614 million WIFIA loan from the EPA to begin the first-phase of construction. In 2019, Scott introduced the Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II (OPRA II). The bill provides regulatory certainty to the City of San Diego as it continues to make significant progress, as well as major investments in Pure Water. As droughts become more frequent, projects like Pure Water are critical to securing San Diego’s water independence.
Educating the President on DACA
In 2017, Scott sent a bipartisan letter to President Trump, requesting a meeting to discuss immigration priorities, like DACA, and how San Diegans do not support a border wall. Scott was one of a few Democrats to be invited to the meeting in January. It is paramount that the President understands the border and what San Diegans really need to be safe and host a world-class border crossing.
Emergency Relief for Migrants
In 2019, Scott helped pass emergency supplemental funds to provide for relief for migrants at the border. The funding will be used to enhance medical care for migrants, alleviate conditions at temporary facilities at the border, and ensure unaccompanied children will be taken care of after arriving in the United States. The funding also provided $30 million to reimburse local communities who took care of migrants coming through the border. San Diego County and Jewish Family Services received $2.4 million for their services. In the summer of 2019, our country experienced a mass influx of migrants seeking refuge. Congress supported additional funding to address abhorrent conditions at temporary facilities along the border, which were never intended to be used for long-term use, nor were they fit for families.
Protections for Migrant Children
In 2019, Scott introduced the Ensuring Conditions are Humane by Oversight (ECHO) Act, a bill to stop the Trump Administration’s efforts to improperly treat migrant children and hide those efforts on military bases. Reports showed the President was preparing to move detained migrant children onto military bases, which could hinder access from inspectors and other government watchdogs who need to verify safe housing and treatment. His bill language would have ensured that surprise inspections of these detention facilities would still be available, and the bill language was included in the House version of the FY20 NDAA. San Diegan’s see the problems and opportunities at the border every day, and any detained children must be cared for transparently and safely.
Strengthening Mitigation Efforts
In 2015, Scott helped introduce the Wildfire Prevention Act which Allows states to apply for hazard mitigation assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in cases where a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) is awarded, to give states and local communities access to resources to mitigate the effects of the fire and to help prevent the next fire once the fire is out, bringing wildfire disaster relief in line with other natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. This bill was included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
Since the start of 2019, almost 5,500 fires have burned over 128,300 acres across California, which has been a decrease from the 5,900 fires that burned almost 789,000 acres in 2018. In San Diego alone, about 1,030 acres have burned in 2019, which is a 10% decrease from the acreage that burned in San Diego in 2018 (2,205 acres). May 2014 was a tough wildfire season for San Diego, as more than a dozen wildfires broke out in San Diego County alone, burning 26,000 acres, taking one life, and costing home and business owners $29.8 million.
Wildfire Disaster Funding Act
In both 2014 and 2015, Scott supported the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, and in 2013, he led a discharge petition to bring the bill to the floor for a vote (gained 196 signatures). The bill would change the way the Federal Government provides funding for fighting and preparing for wildfires. A portion of the bill was included in the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Act which Scott supported and subsequently became law. In the face of some of the most devastating wildfires and other natural disasters in history, San Diegans know that we need to be prepared.
Created New Wildfire Prevention Fund
Since coming to Congress, Scott has advocated for fixing how the federal government pays for fighting and preventing wildfires. Last year, California endured one of its most devastating fire seasons in recent history. In 2018, Scott successfully fought to include new funding for fire prevention in 2018 Omnibus spending plan. The $2.1 billion per year disaster fund will allow the federal government to end its long practice of paying to fight wildfires with funds dedicated to wildfire prevention programs. Earlier this year, Congress provided an additional $577 million in a disaster aid bill to avoid further depleting wildfire prevention funds.
Improving Access to Reliable Energy
In 2015, Scott offered and helped pass an amendment to the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, which requires the Department of Energy to adopt alternative forms of energy to ensure we have sufficient energy storage in the event of a natural disaster. San Diego businesses are developing alternative forms of energy storage—like solar storage—that can help increase our resiliency in the event of disasters, like wildfires. Scott’s amendment ensured the Department of Energy and cities vulnerable to natural disasters, like San Diego, are best prepared to avoid the economic and social consequences of an energy crisis.
Working Families and Good Jobs
Defending Low-Income and Disadvantaged Kids
In 2019, Trump announced plans to close nearly 40% of all Department of Labor’s Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (CCC) program facilities and end the program in its current form. Scott requested full funding for Job Corps program in FY20 Appropriations. Later, Scott voted for an amendment to keep any money appropriated to Job Corps from being used to alter or terminate the program or close any of the CCC facilities. A week later, the Trump administration announced they were withdrawing their plan to shutter the program.
Supporting an Increased Minimum Wage
Scott co-sponsored and helped pass a federal $15 minimum wage bill out of the House in 2019. This bill would match California’s minimum wage and help support workers across the United States. Scott also cosponsored a bill creating a regional minimum wage, which would tailor the minimum wage to a specific region, based on its comparative purchasing power, as determined by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Increasing the minimum wage ensures that working families receive a living wage.
Protecting Consumers from Forced Arbitration Agreements
In 2019, Scott co-sponsored and helped pass the FAIR Act. This bill would eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases, restoring justice for millions of Americans who are locked out of the court system because of the use of mandatory arbitration in contracts such as Terms of Service agreements and employment contracts. Ending forced arbitration restores justice to Americans.
Secured Funding for Cleanup in TJ Sewage Spill
In 2018, Scott led efforts to secure $10 million in funding for the Border Wastewater Infrastructure Program (BWIP) in the FY 2018 Omnibus. In 2019, Scott helped secure $15 million in funding for BWIP through the North American Development Bank for water infrastructure projects along border regions. He led a bipartisan letter with the San Diego delegation and other members representing border regions to the House and Senate leadership requesting an increase in funding for the NADB for 2019-20. Scott co-sponsored the North American Development Bank Pollution Solution Act with Rep. Juan Vargas to increase funding to the NADB to fund cross-border sewage spill cleanup efforts. The bill passed the Financial Services Committee in September 2019 to secure $3 billion in investment funding.
In 2019, Scott also helped secure construction grants for key water and wastewater projects. Specifically, he helped secure $3 million in EPA funding that the water utility in Tijuana leveraged to complete a $7 million wastewater infrastructure improvement project. It included the repair of 6 miles of large wastewater collection pipes, the rehabilitation of 35 manholes, and first-time wastewater collection service for over 400 households. His leadership also led to a $1.17 million EPA grant agreed between the NADB and the local Mexican water utility to address one of the wastewater collectors that failed and caused major sewage spills that continue to flow into San Diego waterways and beaches.
Scott and the San Diego Congressional Delegation secured $300 million, in equal installments of $75 million over four years, to fund Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants under the BWIP to address sewage pollution on the U.S.-Mexico border. This announcement is a huge victory for the San Diego region and is the result of consistent and coordinated advocacy by our congressional delegation and local elected and community leaders to combat Tijuana sewage spills
The BWIP makes critical investments to improve sewage infrastructure along the border and prevent dangerous sewage spills that threaten public health and damage San Diegans’ quality of life in the future.
Port/Navy Land Swap
In 2017, Scott wrote a portion of the National Defense Authorization Act that allowed the San Diego Unified Port District and the Navy to exchange land parcels in the Broadway complex. The Port of San Diego was trying to obtain a sliver of land adjacent to a park downtown to allow park goers convenient parking. The Navy sought explicit authorization from Congress to carry out the exchange.
In 2014, Scott worked across the aisle with Rep. Duncan Hunter to transfer Mt. Soledad from the Department of Defense to a local non-profit organization in the National Defense Authorization Act. Several court cases had threatened the iconic and historic Mt. Soledad cross and Scott’s effort ensures that the cross will be maintained.
U.S. Courthouse Naming
In 2013, Scott introduced and passed legislation to recognize Judge James M. Carter and Judge Judith N. Keep by naming the Federal Courthouse in Downtown San Diego in their honor. Due to the shift in delegation make up, Scott was able to overcome the objections of some and get the bill passed.
In 2015 and 2016, Scott sent letters asking for federal funding of security modernization and childcare construction projects at the Federal Courthouse in San Diego. He also convened a meeting between representatives from the Courthouse and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to help convince the Committee to approve the funding. As a result, the funding has been approved and construction will commence on the Courthouse.
National arts grants supporting San Diego
In 2018, as a result of Scott’s continued support for arts funding, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, arts programs in San Diego received over $180,000 in grants. San Diego is home to museums and public art that define the cultural fabric of our city and add character to our shared spaces.
Since being elected to Congress, Scott and his staff have made it a priority to provide the highest level of assistance to San Diegans who are struggling to navigate federal bureaucracy. As a result of their efforts, $4,098,631 in owed benefits has been restored to San Diegans over the past six and a half years.