David Albert Scott (born June 27, 1945) is an American politician and businessman who has served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 13th congressional district since 2003. Scott's district includes the southern fourth of Atlanta, as well as several of its suburbs to the south and west. Prior to his election to Congress in 2002, Scott served as a Democratic member of both chambers of the Georgia Legislature and operated a small business. Notably, Scott was named one of the 25 most corrupt members of Congress by the political watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in 2007. In 2021, he succeeded veteran politician Collin Peterson to become the chair of the House Agriculture Committee.
Early life and education
Scott was born in Aynor, South Carolina and attended high school in Daytona Beach, Florida. He received a bachelor's degree in finance from Florida A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Scott is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
In 1978, Scott founded Dayn-Mark Advertising (from the names of his two daughters, Dayna and Marcie), which places billboards and other forms of advertising in the Atlanta area. Scott's wife, Alfredia, now heads the business. In May 2007, it was reported that the business owes more than $150,000 in back taxes and penalties. Scott's campaigns have paid the company more than $500,000 over the eight years totalling from 2002 until current date, which included expenses for office rent, printing, T-shirts, and other services. He has also paid his wife, two daughters, and son-in-law tens of thousands of dollars for campaign work such as fund raising and canvassing. In 2007, Scott was named one of the 25 most corrupt members of Congress by the political watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
U.S. House of Representatives
When Georgia picked up an additional district as a result of the 2000 census, Scott entered a five-way Democratic primary for the seat, winning with 53.8 percent of the vote. He then defeated Republican Clay Cox in the general election with 59 percent of the vote. He has never faced another contest even that close, and has been reelected eight times, even running unopposed in 2004, 2014 and 2016.
During his first two terms, Scott represented a district that twisted and wound its way through parts of nine counties and was barely contiguous in some areas. In a mid-decade redistricting held after the 2004 elections, the district was redrawn to be somewhat more compact, with its population centered in Clayton, Douglas and Fulton counties. Redistricting after the 2010 census gave the district all of Douglas County and pushed it further into Clayton.
- Committee on Agriculture (Chair)
- Committee on Financial Services
- NATO Parliamentary Assembly
- Blue Dog Coalition
- New Democrat Coalition
- Congressional Black Caucus
- U.S.-Japan Caucus
- Co-Chair of the Democratic Study Group on National Security
Scott was the lead sponsor on the following legislation:
- The Financial Literacy Act, to provide education to investors and home buyers
- The Access to Healthcare Insurance Act, extending affordable healthcare coverage
- The Extension for Unemployment Benefits and the Overtime Pay Protection Acts
- The Moment of Silence Act, for reflection or prayer at the start of each school day in the nation's public schools
- The Retired Pay Restoration Act, giving veterans both retirement and disability pay
- The Zero Down Payment Act, which eliminates the down payment requirement for middle and low income families who buy homes with a FHA insured mortgages
- The Mutual Fund Integrity Act, which strengthens regulations of the stock market
Scott was ranked as the 18th most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the second most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).
Scott is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act and voted for H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. In 2008, he opposed H.R. 5767, the Payment Systems Protection Act (a bill that sought to place a moratorium on enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act while the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve defined "unlawful Internet gambling").
Affordable Care Act
Scott voted for the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"). On August 6, 2009, Scott was confronted by a constituent who was also a local doctor. The doctor, who later appeared in subsequent debates with his opposition candidate, asked Scott why he was going to vote for a health care plan similar to the plan implemented in Massachusetts and if he supported a government-provided health care insurance option. Scott questioned whether or not the doctor was a resident of Scott's district, although the local TV station WXIA-TV's news department confirmed that the doctor did live and work in Scott's district. Scott also stated that Hill had not called Scott's office for setting up a meeting concerning health care but this has not been verified.
Although Scott voted against the first version of the 2008 bailout, he backed the final version "after being assured the legislation would aid homeowners facing foreclosures. Scott crafted an added provision dedicating $14 billion to aid those homeowners."
Scott supported two failed pieces of legislation in 2004 and 2006 that aimed to establish a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. However, in May 2013 thinkprogress.org reported receiving an email from a spokesman of Scott saying, "Congressman Scott fully supports marriage equality." The Human Rights Campaign's profile of Scott also contains this sentence as his statement under "position on marriage equality".
Scott has announced his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, saying that “It’s a good deal for Iran, for Russia, China and probably Hezbollah, but is it not, definitely not a good deal for Israel or for the United States or our allies – especially Jordan and Saudi Arabia..."
Yemeni civil war
Scott was one of five house Democrats who voted for the US to continue selling arms to Saudi Arabia and to support the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. This vote was cast the day after the Senate, on December 13th, 2018, for the first time in the 45 years after the passage of the War Powers Resolution in 1973, came together and used congressional authority given by federal law to end military action.
Scott's brother-in-law is Baseball Hall of Fame member Hank Aaron.
Scott allegedly received death threats over his support of the Affordable Care Act. A swastika was found spray painted on a sign outside of his congressional office in his congressional district.
- "Congressman David Scott Named Chairman of House Agriculture Committee". U.S. Congressman David Scott. December 3, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- "Representative David Scott (GA)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved June 6, 2008.
- Vogel, Kenneth (May 24, 2007). "Rep. Scott's finances questioned". Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2008.
- Kemper, Bob (September 18, 2007). "Atlanta congressman on 'corrupt' list". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2008.
- "Our Campaigns - GA District 13 - D Primary Race - Aug 20, 2002". www.ourcampaigns.com.
- "Our Campaigns - GA District 13 Race - Nov 05, 2002". www.ourcampaigns.com.
- "Members". Blue Dog Coalition. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
- "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017
- Bob, Goodlatte (September 22, 2006). "H.R.4777 - 109th Congress (2005-2006): Internet Gambling Prohibition Act". thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
- James, Leach (July 13, 2006). "H.R.4411 - 109th Congress (2005-2006): Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act". thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
- Carpenter, Amanda. "Georgia Democrat yells at local doctor over health care". Washington Times. Archived from the original on August 11, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- Dixon, Duffie. "Congressman Scott's Town Hall Meeting". WXIA TV website. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- Sonmez, Felicia. "David Scott (D-Ga.)". Who Runs Gov. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- "Electful LBGT Rights". Electful. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- "Another House Democrat Endorses Marriage Equality". ThinkProgress. Archived from the original on May 7, 2013.
- "Your Elected Officials: David Scott". Human Rights Campaign. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013.
- Mali, Meghashyam (August 4, 2015). "The Hill's Whip List: House Iran vote". TheHill.
- Fuller, Matt; Ahmed, Akbar Shahid. "5 Democrats Bail Out Paul Ryan And Protect Saudi Arabia". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
- Boone, Christian (March 30, 2010). "Georgia congressman says he's received death threats". ajc.com. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- Weiner, Rachel (August 11, 2009). "Swastika Painted On Rep. David Scott's Office Door". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- Congressman David Scott official U.S. House website
- David Scott for Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- David Scott at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress