Photo by Corinne Nicholson
COVINGTON -- State Rep. Austin Scott, Republican candidate for the 8th Congressional District, was in Newton County on Monday to visit with voters and supporters.
During a brief interview prior to a speech before the local Republican Party, Scott touched on a few issues weighing heavily on the minds of Americans as Election Day nears.
Scott made no bones about his opinion on the new health care law: "I absolutely intend to vote to repeal the bill and will elect leadership that will repeal the bill," he said. Scott has said the bill was passed "without regard for the will of the American people."
While Scott's opponent, Democratic incumbent Jim Marshall, has also declared he would vote to repeal the law, Scott noted that he has yet to sign a discharge petition being circulated by a Republican congressman.
Speaking on the economy and job stimulation, Scott said he supports the extension of the Bush tax cuts and opposes the Card Check legislation, which would give unions more control of the economy and, opponents say, be a threat to businesses. It would also do away with the current system that gives workers a choice on unionization in a private-ballot election that is federally supervised. If more than 50 percent of workers at a facility sign a card, the government would have to certify the union, and a private ballot election would be prohibited.
Scott is also an opponent of the Cap and Trade legislation to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. The legislation would allow businesses easily able to reduce emissions to sell credits to others that cannot. Scott opposes the bill because he said it will significantly increase the cost of power bills for businesses.
"The anti-business, anti-profit mentality in Washington has sent business owners running," he said.
On illegal immigration, Scott said the solution is to, "Seal the border and put an end to birthright citizenship. If the parents are here illegally, the child should not have the right to citizenship."
He's for reducing the national debt and operating on a balanced budget without raising taxes.
"I'm a small business owner that understands when the economy turns down in my home and business we had to redefine our wants and needs, and it's the same way at the state level," said Scott, who owns an insurance brokerage in Tifton. "The federal government is continuing on a spending spree that has saddled every American with a debt that is fast approaching a point that it can't be repaid."
He criticized Marshall's vote to increase the national debt limit to allow the federal government to continue to operate on an unbalanced budget. He also said he doubts Marshall's claim that he'll vote against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"He's been in there eight years. He has said if re-elected he won't vote for Pelosi, but he's voted for her four consecutive times," Scott said. If Marshall keeps his word, "He would be stripped of his committee assignments, which means he can't help anybody with anything," Scott said.
Asked why he's the best candidate over Marshall, Scott stated, "He believes in redistribution and I believe in equal opportunity."
Scott declined to comment on an ongoing effort by a Macon Democrat and the Georgia First Amendment Foundation to have records from his 2001 divorce from his first wife unsealed, other than to say, "It's dirty pool, and I think people see it for that."
Scott has said he believes Marshall's campaign is behind the move. Marshall's spokesman has denied any involvement.
The 8th Congressional district covers 21 counties, including most of Newton. It stretches south to Colquitt County near the Florida line.