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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Bobby Scott (3rd District of Virginia)

Headline: Scott Fights for Multiple Priorities in Appropriations Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) praised passage of several fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills, putting the House of Representatives on track to send all twelve appropriations bills to the Senate by the end of June.  Congressman Scott offered several amendments to these bills that were ultimately adopted by the full House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the House passed H.R. 2740, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for 2020.  Congressman Scott offered an amendment to protect construction and shipyard workers, including many in Virginia’s third congressional district, from the hazards of beryllium which is an ultra-toxic metal.  Specifically, the Scott Amendment prohibits the Department of Labor from spending funds to roll back health standards, previously adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that protect workers from this cancer-causing substance.  The Scott amendment passed 241-181 (Roll Call No. 258).

“This funding package includes important investments in making college more affordable, expanding access to job training, preventing wage theft, reducing maternal mortality, and other key areas that are critical to the health and well-being of our constituents,” said Congressman Scott. “I am especially pleased that the final bill includes my amendment to protect construction and shipyard workers – including many workers in my district – from the hazards of beryllium, an ultra-toxic metal.”

Today, the House passed H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020.  Congressman Scott offered two amendments that were adopted by the full House of Representatives.

Congressman Scott offered an amendment with Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to provide an additional $13 million for local delinquency prevention grants, or “ Youth PROMISE” grants, authorized under Title V of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).  Last year, Congressman Scott worked with Congresswoman Foxx to pass the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018, which included provisions from Congressman Scott’s Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities Mentoring, Support and Education, or Youth PROMISE Act, that he first introduced in 2007.  The additional funding provided for by the Scott-Foxx amendment would provide additional resources to local delinquency programs under Title V to help local communities develop and implement evidence-based youth violence prevention and early intervention strategies. The Scott-Foxx amendment was adopted by voice vote on the House floor.

“As the appropriations bill came to the floor, only $17.5 million was made available to the Department of Justice to make grants under this new program,” said Congressman Scott. “My amendment raises that level to $30.5 million, allowing the department to make sizable investments in multiple communities.”

Additionally, Congressman Scott offered an amendment to provide an additional $500,000 for the 400 Years of African American History Commission.  His amendment was cosponsored by Representatives John Lewis (GA-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13). 

“As we observe the 400th year since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the English colonies with reverence, it is equally important that we celebrate all that our community has achieved throughout those 400 years,” said Congressman Scott. “Congress must mark this occasion, as this body has done with so many other anniversaries, by fully supporting the Commission’s ongoing work.”

In 2017, Congress passed legislation authored by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Congressman Scott to create a national commission to commemorate 400 years of African American history since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619.  While the commission was formally established in October 2018, Congress has yet to appropriate any federal funding to support the commission’s work.  Earlier this year, Congressman Scott led a letter with other members of Congress requesting funding for the commission.  The House Appropriations Committee included $500,000 for the commission in H.R. 3055.  Congressman Scott’s amendment brings the total funding for the commission to $1 million, placing initial federal funding closer to that of previous federal commemorative commissions.  The Scott amendment was adopted by voice vote on the House floor.

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