Robert C Scott

House votes to raise federal minimum wage
Issue exposed rifts among Democrats. Legislation stalled in Senate

The House voted on Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:46 p.m. | The House voted 231-199 Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour incrementally over six years, but the Democratic effort was almost derailed by divisions between progressives and moderates.

Progressives on Wednesday had issued a last-minute warning to their moderate colleagues not to help Republicans make any last-minute changes to the bill through the procedural maneuver known as a motion to recommit, or MTR. If moderate Democrats helped the GOP add what the progressives considered poison pill language to the measure, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were prepared to vote against it, the group’s co-chairs, Reps. Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, said. 

CBO: Raising the minimum wage to $15 could boost pay of up to 27 million workers
The agency found nearly doubling the federal minimum wage could cost 1.3 million jobs when fully implemented by 2025

Protesters demanding a $15 minimum wage for federal contract workers chant as they march through the cafeteria in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on June 7, 2016. The House is expected to debate legislation next week that would raise the minimum wage to $15 in six annual increments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Congressional Budget Office said in a report released Monday that nearly doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour could cost 1.3 million jobs when fully implemented by 2025, though millions would see higher wages and the number of Americans living in poverty would decrease.

The report made clear that its estimate of 1.3 million potential job losses, which would equal roughly 0.8 percent of the workforce, was a median forecast, and that job losses could be substantially smaller — or larger. In a worst-case scenario, some 3.7 million jobs could be lost, the agency said. On the other hand, wages could rise for as many as 27 million workers.

Committee had broken voting rules for years, gets scolding
Lawmakers were allowed to add to tally after voting closed in the House Education and Labor Committee

House Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. Scott, D-Va., and ranking member Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., are seen during a business meeting in the Rayburn Building on Jan. 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:43 p.m. | The House Education and Labor Committee was forced to change a longtime voting practice after the House parliamentarian said what the panel was doing violated House rules.

Since roughly 2007 — extending to when both Republicans and Democrats controlled the committee — it had allowed members who missed votes to add their names to markup tallies after the votes had concluded, as long as the added votes did not change the outcome.

Most Democrats from Virginia delegation call on Fairfax to resign
Only Scott and Warner did not call for immediate resignation

Freshman Rep. Elaine Luria was of six Virginia Democrats in the House to call for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to step aside Friday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The majority of Virginia’s Democratic delegation on Friday night called for the resignation of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who’s facing allegations of sexual assault from two women. 

Only Robert C. Scott, the dean of the House delegation, and Sen. Mark Warner did not call for Fairfax's resignation immediately.

Rep. Bobby Scott knew of sexual assault allegation against Virginia lieutenant governor a year ago
Scott agreed to speak to Washington Post attesting to the accuser’s character, per her request

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., agreed to speak to the Washington Post about Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s accuser, per her request. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Virginia Democratic Rep. Robert C. Scott became aware roughly a year ago, during the height of the #MeToo movement, of the sexual assault allegation that has surfaced against commonwealth Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, according to a news account.

Fairfax’s accuser, Vanessa Tyson, told Scott, whom she has known for about a decade, directly, according to an ABC News report and a statement from the congressman.

Former Rep. Moran has Northam’s back, even as Democrats ditch him
Former Virginia Democrat has said Northam should be given opportunity for ‘redemption’

Former Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., pictured here in his last term in 2013 in the Rayburn House Office Building, has gone to bat for Gov. Ralph Northam after images appeared allegedly showing Northam in either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan outfit when he was in medical school. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Virginia Rep. Jim Moran is sticking by commonwealth Gov. Ralph Northam after a photo in Northam’s medical school yearbook surfaced showing a man wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

Northam has cast doubt that he appears in the photo, even though it’s on his individual page in the yearbook.

Virginia Democrats raise pressure on Northam after he says he’s staying
Kaine, Warner and Scott call governor and ask him to step down

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks with reporters at a news conference in Richmond on Saturday. Northam said that he isn’t the person in a photo on his page in his medical school yearbook after apologizing for the photo on Friday. (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

After a Saturday press conference at which Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam refused to step down, Democratic members of Virginia’s congressional delegation intensified their calls for the governor to resign.

Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and the dean of the House delegation, Rep. Robert C. Scott, issued a joint statement Saturday night explicitly calling for the governor to step aside after being more subtle in their initial statements Friday night. 

These House Democrats marched to the Senate before Thursday votes
Their message was to urge senators to vote "to end the Trump-McConnell shutdown," Rep. Barbara Lee said.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks to the Senate floor with other House members on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call)

Democratic House members marched from their chamber to the Senate Thursday afternoon, walking onto the floor just as the upper chamber took votes on two competing proposals that would have reopened government.

Their message is to urge senators to vote “to end the Trump-McConnell shutdown,” Rep. Barbara Lee said.

On Health Care, Dems Go From Running to Baby Steps
Incremental measures will dominate action on the health law in a largely gridlocked Congress

House Democrats plan to bring administration officials to Capitol Hill to explain what critics call “sabotage” of the law’s insurance exchanges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The midterm elections all but ended the Republican push to repeal the 2010 law known as Obamacare, but as a defining issue for Democrats in their takeover of the House, health care will likely remain near the top of lawmakers’ policy and political agenda.

Newly emboldened Democrats are expected to not only push legislation through the House, but use their majority control of key committees to press Trump administration officials on the implementation of the health law, Medicaid work requirements, and insurance that does not have to comply with Obamacare rules.

HHS At Odds With Its Workers, Including Doctors
Employees plan to picket at HHS headquarters

A labor spat at the Department of Health and Human Services is drawing attention from lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Health and Human Services Department is in a dispute with a union representing 14,000 employees, which risks exacerbating staff shortages among doctors and scientists involved in prescription drug reviews, food safety and other public health responses.

The labor spat is drawing attention from lawmakers as some employees plan to picket at HHS headquarters briefly Thursday afternoon.