News from Congressman Austin Scott

Dear Friend,

This past week, the House passed a $1.9 trillion so-called “COVID relief” bill. Only 9% of spending in the legislation is dedicated to health spending. More than 90% of the package is non-COVID spending and includes funding for things like an underground tunnel in Silicon Valley and a bridge connecting New York and Canada. Some other highlights include:

  • $350 billion to bail out bankrupt blue states and cities
  • $86 billion for pension bailouts
  • $35 billion for Affordable Care Act bailouts
  • $140 million for a subway in Silicon Valley
  • $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • $1.5 million for a bridge from New York to Canada
  • $15 minimum wage mandate (that is estimated to cost 1.4 million jobs)

This bill is nothing more than a vehicle to enact the Democrat’s liberal agenda and pay out progressive pet projects, and they should be ashamed for selling it to the American people as COVID relief.

While Democrats play politics, Republicans are working to safely reopen schools and the economy, speed up vaccine distribution, and effectively use the remaining $1 trillion from previous COVID packages – all of which were crafted in a bipartisan manner.

I voted NO on this bill that puts the Democrat agenda before American workers, students, and families. You can click here to read more on the bill and my two amendments to the agriculture section that were ultimately struck down by my Democrat colleagues.

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The COVID relief bill that is ‘COVID-19 relief’ in name only.

 

SEEKING ANSWERS ON THE WUHAN LAB IN CHINA

As we continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still many questions that need answering as to the origin of the coronavirus and U.S. financial assistance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology Lab in China. This includes the role of the National Institute of Health (NIH) and any direct or indirect funding the Wuhan Lab received from the United States.

That’s why I joined several of my colleagues this past week in sending a letter to Christi Grimm, Principal Deputy Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), requesting a prompt investigation into NIH’s support of the lab and if or when concerns were raised on safety procedures and compliance with Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight guidelines.

You can click here to read our letter to HHS.

 

MEETING WITH GEORGIA NATIONAL GUARD IN DC

On Friday this past week, I dropped off breakfast and visited with members of the Georgia National Guard that are providing support to the Capitol Complex. A few constituents were on break during this time, including Guardsmen from Warner Robins and Sylvester. I’m thankful for the dedication of these citizen Soldiers and their work and professionalism over the last several weeks.

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Speaking with some of our Georgia National Guard in D.C. supporting U.S. Capitol Police security efforts.

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Thankful for all our citizen Soldiers supporting the U.S. Capitol during this time.

 

THE INEQUALITY ACT

My office received many calls this past week on H.R. 5. This bill, also known as the Equality Act, would amend federal civil rights law by adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes, in turn imposing the Democrats’ radical progressive gender ideology on all Americans. It would also go so far as to withhold federal funding from any college or university that does not allow biological men to compete in women’s sports – in turn creating inequality for women.

For these and many other reasons, I voted NO on this legislation. Following the vote, I posted an article that gives a good background on the bill and the negative effects it would have for our country. You can read that article by clicking the post below.

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IMPORTANT COVID-19 VACCINE NEWS FOR GEORGIANS

This past week, Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA/HS) announced that they are now providing COVID-19 vaccinations with no appointment necessary at the vaccination site in Albany located at the Albany Georgia Forestry Site (1150 West Oakridge Drive, Albany, GA 31707). Those eligible for a vaccination can preregister at https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/ or by calling 844-275-3428.

Appointments are still necessary for vaccination at the GEMA/HS mass vaccination sites in Habersham County, Bibb County and Fulton County. The Bibb County site is located at the Macon Farmer’s Market (2055 Eisenhower Parkway, Macon, GA 31206). You can register for an appointment at the Macon Vaccination Site by visiting https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/ or calling them at 844-275-8208.

Eligibility is still currently limited to Georgia residents who are included in Phase 1A+. This includes healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, adults aged 65+ and their caregivers, and first responders (law enforcement, fire personnel including volunteer fire departments, dispatchers and 9-1-1 operators). Starting March 8, Georgia is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to include:

  • K-12 educators and school staff, public and private
  • Pre-K and DECAL educators and staff
  • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities – and their caregivers
  • Parents with children with complex medical conditions
  • K-12 educators and school staff, public and private
  • Pre-K and DECAL educators and staff
  • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities – and their caregivers
  • Parents with children with complex medical conditions

For more information on vaccine eligibility, please visit the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website by clicking here.

 

“FOR THE POLITICIANS ACT” BEING CONSIDERED THIS WEEK

With a partisan “COVID relief” package and “Inequality Act” on their way for consideration in the Senate, House Democrats will bring up H.R. 1 for consideration this week. The legislation, known as the “For the People Act” does more to create federal overreach into state-run elections and shore up the power of politicians than secure our elections “for the people.”

Under the bill, your tax dollars would be used to fund political campaign activities across our country, including attack ads, social media ads, campaign robocalls, and more. The legislation would also:

  • Nationalize elections and centralize administration in Washington, D.C.
  • Make “pandemic-style” election changes permanent
  • Force states to permanently expand mail-in voting, legalize ballot harvesting, and disregard voter ID laws
  • Disregard state voter identification laws and provisional ballot rules
  • Remove states’ ability to decide how their districts are drawn
  • Permit the IRS to investigate and consider the political and policy persuasions of organizations before granting tax-exempt status.

There are changes that need to be made to our election system, but they should be done at the state level by state legislatures, not by politicians in Washington, D.C. I oppose this bill and will vote against it when it comes to the Floor for consideration this week.

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‘For the Politicians Act’ will create federal overreaching into state-run elections.

 

SPECIAL SBA PPP LOAN PERIOD OPENS FOR BUSINESSES WITH LESS THAN 20 EMPLOYEES

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced new changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including a 14-day exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with less than 20 employees. Each employee counts as one, regardless if full-time, part-time, or seasonal.

The 14-day exclusivity period started on Wednesday, February 24 and runs through Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Any applications submitted by small businesses before this exclusivity period began will continue to be processed and will not face a delay because of this program.

You can find more information on the SBA’s website by clicking here.

 

HERE TO HELP

As always, my staff and I are here to help. If you need assistance with a federal agency or have comments or concerns to share with me, please do not hesitate to call my Warner Robins, Tifton, or Washington, D.C. offices. You can also contact me or a member of my staff on my website by clicking here.

 

Sincerely,

Austin Scott
Member of Congress

NOTE: Please DO NOT respond to this email as this mailbox is unattended.  To contact my office please click here.

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