U.S. Congressman David Scott | In The News
13th District Update |December 1, 2015
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Congressman David Scott, Representing Georgia's 13th District
End of Session Business Awaits

As the House returns to work this week, many big issues await final action. Most importantly, Congress needs to pass a spending bill for FY2016. Congress will also likely finish work on a multi-year transportation bill. With so few weeks remaining in the year, the final spending bill will likely be loaded up with lots of unfinished business.

Bi-Partisan Progress?

After Speaker Boehner announced that he would resign from Congress, there were a few weeks of uncertainty. The Republican caucus roiled with internal fights over who would move up in the leadership ranks. The hard-right members were holding their votes and demanding that the next speaker align with their views.

Congressman Paul Ryan agreed to run for speaker as a consensus candidate. The House soon turned to a bi-partisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and set budget caps for the next two years. This was a change from previous few years of tough fights over austerity cuts and short term budget agreements. Other bi-partisan votes occurred on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and a long-term transportation bill.

Transportation Bill Moves


The House approved a six-year bill to reauthorize transportation projects such as roads, bridges, mass transit and traffic safety. The debate has mainly been about how to fund these programs. Better fuel efficient vehicles have decreased the per-gallon motor fuel taxes collected. Republicans in Congress are reluctant to increase the motor fuel tax and are trying to find a hodge-podge of unrelated revenue raising items to fund transportation. The final agreement could fund these programs less than the six years they are authorized.

Several studies have recently found that metro Atlanta has some of the worst traffic and most dangerous intersections. The transportation bill will offer immediate financial help to the Georgia DOT, which has delayed projects during the recession.  

During the debate, dozens of amendments were offered. One amendment that I opposed would have allowed for bulked up trucks to run on interstates. I also opposed amendments to end project-labor agreements and cut pay for construction jobs.

End Game

The House and Senate are negotiating deals between their separate versions of the budget, transportation bill and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The final action on each conference report will be a simple yes or no vote without a chance to amend the bills. I hope that the bi-partisan mood can continue to keep the government funded, our roads repaired and our schools strengthened.

As these issues are debated, I welcome your views.

                                                       
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You can also connect with Congressman Scott via Facebook, YouTubeTwitter or LinkedIn


                                                       
                                                       


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