Scott Taylor is the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 2nd District. The Congressional election is scheduled for Nov. 3, 2020.
Candidate Name: Scott Taylor
Race: U.S. House of Representatives, Virginia’s 2nd District
Biography: Scott Taylor was raised by his mother, a single parent, in a small town on the Eastern Shore. School, athletics, and early employment taught Taylor responsibility and strong work ethic — but most influential in building his character was his impactful mentorship from the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.
Through these positive influences, Taylor overcame obstacles and the considerable odds against him to become a U.S. Navy SEAL. He sustained serious injuries on a combat mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom. When he returned stateside, he became a successful real estate developer and used the G.I. bill to receive a degree from Harvard.
Taylor again felt called to serve; he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates (2013-2017) and then to the U.S. Congress in 2016, defeating a 16-year incumbent. While in Congress, he was appointed to the House Appropriations committee and served on the Homeland Security, Military Construction/Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch subcommittees.
In addition to securing important funding for the military and long overdue VA reform, he helped pass the Ashanti’s Alert Act, which was signed into law in 2018. After losing a tough race in 2018 which included millions of dollars of outside Democratic spending, Scott has set his sights on winning back that seat from Elaine Luria.
Why should Virginians elect you to the U.S. House of Representatives?
Virginians want leadership that can solve problems and deliver – more than mere talking points, but tangible results. I have the verifiable experience, the collaborative relationships, and the ability to serve again as a results-oriented representative. Approximately 40% of this district’s economy is derived from federal spending; my seat on the Appropriations Committee (overseeing federal expenditures), with seniority, is profoundly important for Virginia as our economy begins to recover from COVID-19. My election to Congress will ensure that our region has a seat at the budget table that will allow for meaningful influence on other Congressional matters as well.
What is the most important legislative issue facing Virginia, and what is your position on it?
Healthcare and critical medical supply chains. The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in American and global supply chains – we must acknowledge and improve those issues. Mainly, manufacture more critical goods in this country.
The opposition party has worked to defend mediocrity… by expanding antiquated programs that sag under the pricey weight of bureaucratic layers. The inability to innovate has contributed to rising healthcare plans for working families, worse outcomes for Americans, and constituents walking around with insurance cards while unable to afford their deductibles.
We must move to a dynamic, updated healthcare system that protects our most vulnerable in society (i.e. those with pre-existing conditions and/or who lack resources) and allows for disruptive, more efficient technologies (i.e. telemedicine, etc.) to break through the bureaucracy and be implemented faster. Americans deserve nothing less than affordable care of the highest quality achievable.
Currently, the “global” supply chain greatly emphasizes China-based goods, especially when it comes to critical medical supplies and medicines. Virginians and Americans are reliant on China for critical medical supplies and active ingredients in life-saving drugs. Our Commonwealth should lead on utilizing the Opportunity Zones – created in the 115th Congress, while I was in office – and other incentives to lure this type of critical manufacturing to our Commonwealth. Bringing this manufacturing home will help ensure that our country is never reliant on any other for the survival of our people.
What is the top challenge facing your district, and how would you address it if elected?
Getting our economy firing on all cylinders again, by safely getting our people back to work. A vibrant economy underpins strong healthcare, healing, and hope for the future. The government should never label anyone – or anyone’s livelihood or life’s work, anyone’s desire to feed their families – as non-essential.
In light of Virginia’s recent gun control debates, what, if any, gun laws would you support changing?
My background as a U.S. Navy SEAL sniper and experience protecting facilities and people from armed men in Yemen lends to an extensive knowledge of weapons systems and security of buildings. My experiences are much different and in-depth than most politicians.
We must preserve the fundamental rights to bear arms while preventing those who should not possess weapons from securing them. Achieving that balance of freedom and security is exactly why I introduced legislation with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard that mandates the military to report felonious or domestic violence convictions to the FBI database (currently, the military justice system does not streamline with the domestic one).
God-given rights must not be infringed by the government, as decreed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We must ensure that people do not secure guns when there is historic evidence that they pose a threat to society. At the same time, free and law-abiding citizens’ rights must not be infringed upon; law abiding citizens must not be forced pay the price of law-breaking people’s actions.
Not one gun control bill put forth by Democrat legislators would have prevented our tragic shooting in Virginia Beach… yet they leveraged the fear and pain of that tragedy to push their desired agenda of gun control. Bills were signed into law while the Commonwealth was under lockdown, despite massive, peacefully-demonstrated opposition. Not one Democrat campaigned on making millions of law-abiding Virginians felons overnight, yet that is exactly what they tried to do.
When their promises of reducing gun violence fail to come to fruition, Democrats will move to take away more of our Second Amendment rights. This sad reality is a shame and an affront to our Constitutional liberties.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
The top priority issue is healthcare (please see my earlier response to what we should strive to achieve).
The second most important issue is our economy. This virus has affected the livelihoods of our people unequally. The tourism industry, salons, restaurants, etc. have been devastated. I believe the best solution to help get our neighbors back on their feet will not simply be a federal response, but responses from all levels of government.
Congress will have to appropriate monies to stressed states – there should be strings attached to received aid to disallow the use of funds towards the mismanagement of pensions and other unfunded mandates, as in states like Illinois. States and localities should utilize federal funds and perhaps create innovative funds, too.
For example, states and localities can create funds which can be paid back through the collection of future taxes, other money may be disbursed as loans or grants, especially to industries that have been hit especially hard (i.e. our tourism industry). Localities and states know their industries best.
In our district and throughout the Commonwealth, we will also need leaders who see clarity through chaos and take steps to capture future markets that will create more jobs and economic activity.
When back in Congress, I plan to introduce a bill that is much like the Berry Amendment, which requires the U.S. military to acquire American-made products. I will propose a mandate to the purchase of American-made critical medical supplies and medicines in the American healthcare system. This proposed mandate would apply to medical supplies purchased by Medicaid, Medicare, the Department of Veteran Affairs, or the military – thus creating economies of scale, making American self-reliant again over time.
Virginia state and local governments would do well to create additional incentives alongside Opportunity Zones to capture more locally based manufacturing to provide local jobs and strengthen our local economies.
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