Valdosta Daily Times

September 5, 2013

Congressman Scott visits

U.S. representative outlines upcoming legislative session, offers opinion on Syria, immigration

Stuart Taylor
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Speaking at a Rotary Club luncheon Wednesday, Congressional Representative Austin Scott outlined his priorities for Congress' upcoming session, starting with the corporate tax rate, which Scott argues should be abolished.

“The corporate income tax accounts for 18 days of total federal spending.… If we got rid of it, we would get rid of the deficit because we'd be able to get Americans back to work,” said Scott.

With a new year right around the corner and fears of more cuts to our military, Scott addressed fears of BRAC, or Base Realignment and Closure.

“I think that you'll see a round of BRAC in 2015...We need to be, in the military affairs committee, talking about how we can grow our base, talking about the assets it has...We have the ability to grow with this base. Let's get our assets together, let's get together a plan and let's find some missions we can bring to our base.”

With some members of Congress arguing for a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, starting in October, Scott called for a short, 45-60 day resolution to be passed, with a more long-term decision to be made after the American public sees what it's like.

“October 1 is when the dates are published. That's when Americans get to see exactly what it will cost...I think when they see those numbers, it's going to change their opinions dramatically.”

Before taking questions from the audience, Scott also addressed the current Syria debate.

“I am tired of the United States injecting itself into the conflicts of others...as sad as it is, we can't inject ourselves into every country's affairs.”

With only nine Congressional voting days left in the fiscal year, Scott feels the time could be better spent focusing on jobs and the economy.

Scott stopped short of saying he would vote against military action in Syria, saying that he “reserved the right to view additional classified information.”

“If I saw classified information...actual pictures of him [Assad] moving chemical weapons to Hamas or other terrorist organizations where I thought they were being used against allies of the United States like Israel, that would potentially change my calculation.”

Before closing, Scott took several questions from the audience, voicing his opposition to the Common CORE program, raising the minimum wage and changing the current path to citizenship for immigrants, while arguing for stronger border security, revamping the immigration system and developing a work permit system.

“This can be done. It doesn't have to be so complex.”