Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-2) was recently voted as one of the members of the 2018 Inside Business Power List, according to The Virginian-Pilot. As a freshman Republican member of the House of Representatives, he has worked hard to make sure his first term in office is one worth remembering.
When Taylor went to Washington to for his opening day in Congress last year, the former Navy Seal and Iraq combat veteran said, “I want to get things done.”
Well, he has…
“We have assisted over 1,000 people with personal cases, such as Social Security issues,” Taylor said.
The freshman federal lawmaker sits on the House Appropriations Committee, which approved over $300 million in funding for military construction and maintenance, 73 percent of which will be spent in the Hampton Roads region. With the economic boom that the region has seen with increased exports and business creation, Virginia’s southeastern coast will see a lot more as tens of thousands of Virginians help rebuild America’s Navy.
As a combat veteran, issues surrounding former service members are at the root of why he decided to run for office. Therefore, he also sponsored measures and legislated for the VA Accountability Act, which gives the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs more authority to fire or discipline career employees.
In March, Taylor sent a letter to then-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin regarding consistent widespread discrepancies in scheduling data for medical appointments at the Hampton VA Medical Center (VAMC). After a report was done on the conditions and operations of the facility by the VA Inspector General (IG), “miscalculations of this magnitude mask the actual demand for care and prevent veterans from receiving private sector treatment under the VA Choice program,” a press release from the lawmaker’s office stated.
Furthermore, to bring better care to the nation’s veterans, Taylor has also put into motion the plans to construct additional outpatient facilities.
“I also pressured for a new VA outpatient facility and I’m hoping it will be built in Virginia Beach,” he said.
Also important, Taylor said, are the tax reforms that were passed, for which he helped pass as one of the largest tax cuts in history. The tax cuts and regulatory reforms President Trump has installed as held to nationwide unemployment lows and business giving bonuses and wage increases.
Nevertheless, funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup was also on Taylor’s mind. It was originally cut from the budget, but then it was restored by the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), at the Taylor’s request.
While he was concerned about the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, Taylor was also concerned about the future of Virginia’s coastline. He talked about sea level rise at a “town hall” on the Eastern Shore last week with emphasis on Tangier Island and its 722 inhabitants. He was also instrumental in helping pass legislation that makes the concerns of Virginians near the coast a priority.
This week, the House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MILCON-VA) Subcommittee approved the fiscal year 2019 MILCON-VA bill that includes measures submitted by Taylor that directs the Secretary of Defense to work with the Secretary of Transportation to prioritize “Defense Access Roads” and projects within communities that experience flooding by storm and non-storm surges. The bill further directs the Secretaries within the Trump Administration to report their findings and to incorporate efforts from other reports to mitigate the effects of flooding on roads and infrastructure on domestic installations.
“Our district is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base, and spans the entire coast of Virginia. Recently, there has been growing concern among military leadership about the harmful impact of flooding on coastal military installations and on the roads that provide access to these installations,” Taylor said in a press release. “The language in this bill protects our military assets and ensures military readiness by prioritizing funding for bases that are vulnerable to flooding and the effects of sea level rise.”
He also put his support behind legislation set to help curb violence in schools with the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act. H.R. 4909, will reauthorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) program “Secure Our Schools,” providing local law enforcement officials, school teachers and staff, and students with outlets to proactively prevent a threat within a school.
$75 million annually will be dedicated to schools to invest in and implement threat assessment teams, intervention methods, and anonymous reporting for students. Additional coordination will be facilitated between school officials and law enforcement authorities to help stave off school violence.
Taylor also helped pass the Ashanti Alert Act, designed for those who are too old to be filed under the Amber Alert system and too young to be considered under the Silver Alert system, used to locate missing senior citizens. The measure is to improve the scope of law enforcement officials on determining the whereabouts of missing persons and providing a better sense of public safety.
“Giving law enforcement the similar ability of an Amber alert, but for missing adults will rapidly bring government and public resources to bear,” said Taylor. “This legislation will, no doubt, save lives and help prevent future tragedies. Sometimes lessons learned come from the worst case scenarios, such as the Ashanti Billie case, but from the dark we can help bring light.”
For getting Virginians on track with a 21st century economy, Taylor urged President Donald Trump for his administration to invest in education for Americans and offer Pell Grants to citizens in efforts to guide people towards high-demand fields in the private sector.
Taylor introduced H.R. 3831, the Professional Pell Education Learning (PROPEL) Act. The program was set to expand student choice by providing individuals with a career pathway outside of the traditional four-year academic route.
Taylor explained, “With the intense pressure on today’s students to attend four-year colleges, many nontraditional schools that offer training for in-demand jobs are often neglected. Candidates for these jobs are sourced from trade and vocational schools that offer short-term certification programs.”
He plans to run for re-election because he wants to continue, solving problems, helping people and sometimes changing lives, serving my country,” he said according to the report. As he makes his rounds in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, he will be touting great work that has been done, but also a mission that must be continued.