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Congressman Bobby Scott Explains His “No” Vote On Critical Debt Bill



By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter
New Journal and Guide

Third District U.S. Congressman Robert Scott and Congresswoman Jen Kiggans, Second District, have polar opposite political stands.

Scott is a Liberal Democrat, and Kiggans is a moderately Conservative Republican.

But when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Bill raising the Debt Ceiling, the lawmakers voted differently than predicted.

Congresswoman Kiggans said in a statement that she voted in favor of the agreement.

Meanwhile Scott, one of the longest-serving members of the Virginia delegation to the House, also released a statement saying he voted against the agreement. He is the only member of Congress representing the Hampton Roads area to vote no on the agreement that was signed into law in Saturday June 2 by President Biden.

“I voted against this agreement because we were faced with a false choice: destroy the economy or accept unknown spending cuts and turn the clock back on environmental progress. The fact is that we can avoid economic default without attacks on the environment and then begin to focus on reasonably addressing the budget.”

His statement continued, “The United States has never defaulted on our debt, yet it became very clear over the last few months that Republicans were perfectly willing to provoke a global economic calamity that would trigger a job-killing recession and raise costs on working families, simply because Republicans believe it would help them politically. The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee herself said that economic default ‘bodes very well for the Republican field in 2024.’”

Scott praised Biden for being able to reject extreme Republican demands to cut all domestic funding by 22 percent.

But the compromise, he said, would “only cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Interestingly, that is roughly the same size as the Trump era tax cut where over 80 percent of the benefits were scheduled to go to the top 1 percent and corporations, so it begs the question of whether Republicans were finally paying for the Trump tax cuts they should have paid for when originally enacted.”

Scott said he also voted no because he had “significant concerns with the provisions that would allow the Mountain Valley Pipeline to move forward with almost no environmental or judicial oversight, and weaken the National Environmental Policy Act.”

He sad the pipeline should not have been included in the compromise because it had nothing to do with the debt ceiling.

“Greenlighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline by sidestepping regulatory agencies and the courts undermines environmental safety. That is why I joined my Virginia Democratic colleagues in offering an amendment in the Rules Committee to strip this provision. Disappointingly, the Rules Committee rejected our amendment.”

Scott said he also had some concerns about SNAP benefits, and was relieved “that the analysis by the Congressional Budget Office found that the expansion of these benefits for other vulnerable groups indicates that more Americans will actually be able to benefit from these programs than those who will lose benefits.”

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