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Austin Scott (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Austin Scott
Scott in c. 2022
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byJim Marshall
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byHenry Bostick
Succeeded byTony McBrayer
Constituency165th district (1996–2003)
138th district (2003–2005)
153rd district (2005–2011)
Personal details
Born (1969-12-10) December 10, 1969 (age 54)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Vivien Scott
(m. 2005)
EducationUniversity of Georgia (BBA)
WebsiteHouse website

James Austin Scott (born December 10, 1969) is an American politician who has been the U.S. representative for Georgia's 8th congressional district since 2011. The district stretches down the middle of the state, from just outside Macon to the Florida border. Scott served as a Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. House.

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Early life, education, and career

Scott's father, Jim, is an orthopedic surgeon and his mother, Becky, is a teacher in the public school system. Scott graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in risk management and insurance. He passed the Series 7 Exam.[1]

Scott is president of the Southern Group, LLC and a partner in Lockett Station Group, LLC.[2]

Georgia Legislature

Scott was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives at the age of 26. He chaired the Governmental Affairs Committee and served on the Appropriations, Rules, and Ways and Means Committee, where he chaired the Public Policy Subcommittee. The district he represented comprises Tift and Turner Counties.

In 2001, Scott was the first Republican in the Georgia House to work with Democrats to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state's flag.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives

Scott with members of the Carrollton, Georgia, fire department in 2009



With millions of dollars in campaign donations from national PACs, Scott challenged Democratic incumbent Jim Marshall in Georgia's 8th congressional district. He defeated Marshall in the November 2 general election with 53% of the vote to Marshall's 47%.[4]

Scott originally planned to campaign for governor of Georgia, announcing his campaign in January 2009. He made headlines for walking more than 1,000 miles around the state in his "Walk of Georgia",[5] introducing a bill to abolish tolls on Georgia 400 and leading the charge in pressuring Georgia State Attorney General Thurbert Baker to file suit against the federal government over the Affordable Care Act.[6][7][8][9] In April 2010, Scott withdrew from the race for governor to run for Congress.

In 2010, Scott signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes.[10]


During his first term, Scott represented a fairly compact district in the center of the state, from Macon to Moultrie.

Redistricting after the 2010 census made the 8th somewhat more secure for Scott. Notably, a large chunk of the district's black residents were drawn into the neighboring 2nd district. This included most of Macon and surrounding Bibb County (except for a sliver in the north); Macon had been the heart of the 8th and its predecessors for more than a century. To make up for the loss of population, the General Assembly pushed the 8th all the way to the Florida border, adding Thomasville and most of Valdosta from the old 2nd. The old 8th already had a significant Republican lean, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+10. The new 8th had a CPVI of R+15, making it the 11th most Republican district in the Eastern Time Zone and one of the most Republican districts in the country.

Scott was unopposed in both the primary and general elections.[11]


Scott was unopposed for a third term.


In 2016, Scott faced a Democratic opponent for the first time since his initial run for the seat, private investigator James Neal Harris. Scott defeated Harris with 67.6% of the vote, carrying every county in the district.[12]


Scott was unopposed for a fifth term.


On June 9, Scott defeated his Republican primary opponents, Vance Dean and Danny Ellyson, with 89.81% of the vote.[13] For only the second time since his initial run for the seat, he faced a Democratic challenger, Lindsay Holliday. Scott defeated Holliday with 64.52% of the vote in the November 3 general election.[14]


In 2022, Scott faced Democrat Darrius Butler and won with 68.58% of the vote.


Scott's portrait from the 112th Congress

Scott was selected by his colleagues as freshman class president for the 112th Congress.[15]

National security and defense

Scott's district is home to two United States Air Force bases: Moody Air Force Base and Robins Air Force Base. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Scott supports pro-military and defense spending policies.[16] He is also a proponent of the United States Navy hospital ships.[17]

Scott was very vocal on the United States Air Force's decision not to replace the Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS, which provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Many JSTARS are based at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. While Scott supports the forthcoming Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS, he contends the Air Force should maintain the capabilities of the JSTARS until the new ABMS systems are in place.[18] In 2018, the Air Force announced that Robins Air Force Base would host the initial elements of the Advanced Battle Management System, a capability which will fuse global air and space intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance information.[19]

Scott opposed canceling the F-22.[18][failed verification]

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Scott works toward combating transnational criminal organizations and the international flow of drugs.[20]

Scott served on the Conference Committees for the Fiscal Year 2018, Fiscal Year 2019, and Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Acts.[21]

For the 117th Congress, Scott is the only member from Georgia to serve on a Congressional defense committee.


Scott served on the Conference Committees for both the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills.[22]

Scott secured provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill to bring broadband investments to rural America.[23]

In August 2020, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held two virtual hearings to examine foreign trade policies harming American growers of seasonal and perishable produce, including one with Georgia producers. These hearings were the result of years of requests by Scott and other members of Georgia's and Florida's Congressional delegations to examine the dumping of foreign-subsidized fresh fruits and vegetables into U.S. agricultural markets below the cost of production domestically.[24]

Scott unsuccessfully ran against Representatives Rick Crawford and Glenn Thompson for Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress. Thompson, senior to Scott on the committee, was named Ranking Member by the House Republican Steering Committee in December 2020.[25]


On June 15, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act (Public Law No: 115-184), a bill authored by Scott and supported in the United States Senate by Johnny Isakson to require the Department of the Interior to provide outer burial receptacles for veterans' remains buried in a national cemetery administered by the National Park Service.[26]

Scott and Representative Sanford Bishop brokered federal assistance for farmers affected by 2018 and 2019 natural disasters, including $3 billion in agricultural relief for damages from storms and reprogrammed unused funds to be used for future relief efforts. This was included in a disaster assistance package Trump signed into law in June 2019.[27]

As a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Scott has sponsored and supported numerous sportsmen's and conservation bills. In the 115th Congress, he introduced legislation to modernize the Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act to allow state fish and wildlife agencies to use Pittman-Robertson funds for public relations and for constructing, operating, and maintaining public ranges,[28] which passed the House during the 115th Congress.

Speakership election

Scott announced his bid for the October 2023 speakership election on October 13,[29] facing Jim Jordan of Ohio.[30] He was considered a close ally of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise who had previously run for the position but withdrew after failing to consolidate the necessary votes.

He was ultimately defeated, with Scott garnering 81 votes to Jordan's 124. He subsequently endorsed Jordan for the speakership.

On October 20, Scott announced a second bid seeking the Republican nomination following Jim Jordan's failure to be elected speaker after three ballots on the House floor and to secure the party's nomination a third time subsequently.[31][32]

Current committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[33]

Caucus memberships

Other memberships

Stock trades

Scott has been a successful stock trader while serving in Congress.[38] He bought 1,000 shares of Fuel Cell Energy, Inc. (FCEL) at $2 per share on October 30, 2020, and sold some shares on December 23, 2020, at $13.42 (a 571% increase), selling the remainder on January 14, 2021, at $17.60 (a 780% increase).[39] The website Unusual Whales follows congressional stock trading and has created a page for Scott's trades.[40]

Political positions


Scott opposes abortion and believes that human life begins at conception.[41]

Budget, taxes, and the economy

Scott is in favor of a balanced budget amendment.[41] He voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[42]


Scott has a "D" rating from marijuana legalization advocacy organization the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) for his voting history regarding cannabis-related issues.[43]

Capital punishment

Scott is in favor of capital punishment.[41]

LGBT issues

Scott opposes same-sex marriage and is in favor of a Federal Marriage Amendment.[41]

Second Amendment

He opposes gun control.[41]


Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Scott consistently supported military aid to Ukraine. As of October 2023, he received an "A"-rating on the congressional report card on Ukraine support by Defending Democracy Together.[44]

Women's issues

Scott voted for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 and also for the 2013 Reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act amendment, which failed in the house. Ultimately, he voted against the 2013 renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.[45][41] He voted for the Deborah Sampson Act in 2019 which increased health care access for women veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs.[46]

Texas v. Pennsylvania

In December 2020, Scott was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[47] incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[48][49][50]

2021 Electoral College vote

On January 7, 2021, Scott did not object to the Electoral College certification in the House of Representatives.[51] On January 5, 2021, he joined several Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Congressional leadership stating that members of Congress did not have the authority to object to Electoral College votes sent to them by each state absent an investigation from a state legislature or a conflicting slate of electors.[52]

Scott condemned the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.[52]

Scott attended President Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, 2021.[citation needed]

Confederate names

On February 12, 2021, Scott was appointed to the Congressionally mandated Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.[53]


Scott sponsored H.R. 6202, the American Tech Workforce Act of 2021, introduced by Representative Jim Banks. The legislation would establish a wage floor for the high-skill H-1B visa program, thereby significantly reducing employer dependence on the program. The bill would also eliminate the Optional Practical Training program that allows foreign graduates to stay and work in the United States.[54]

Personal life

Austin and his wife Vivien reside in Tifton, Georgia, with their three children. The Scotts are members of the First Baptist Church of Tifton.[55][56][57]


  1. ^ "Austin Scott – Biography".
  2. ^ "Representative Austin Scott". Archived from the original on March 22, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  3. ^ Malloy, Daniel (July 10, 2015). "Rebel flag remains a hot topic in Congress". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  4. ^ "2010 Election results". Politico. November 5, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "Walk of Georgia". Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "Scott plans 1,000-mile 'Walk Around Georgia'". Tifton Gazette. June 24, 2009. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  7. ^ "Austin Scott Completes Walk of Georgia". SWGA Politics. August 29, 2009. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  8. ^ Badertscher, Nancy (March 23, 2010). "Abolish Ga. 400 toll, candidate's bill proposes". Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  9. ^ Tharpe, Jim (March 26, 2010). "Republican lawmaker wants state to 'direct' Baker to sue over health care". Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "GA – Election Results". Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - GA District 08 Race - Nov 08, 2016". Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Election Night Reporting, Rep - US House Dist 8". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  14. ^ "Election Night Reporting, US House District 8". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  15. ^ "Austin Scott (R-Ga.)". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  16. ^ "Defense & National Security". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "Lawmakers criticize Navy's plan to retire one of two hospital ships". March 16, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "A mission too critical to gap". July 12, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  19. ^ "Robins to host Advanced Battle Management System". June 6, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "ICYMI: Rep. Austin Scott Advocates Support for SOUTHCOM in Combating Transnational Criminal Organizations". July 12, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  21. ^ "Rep. Scott Legislative Accomplishments". December 3, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  22. ^ "Rep. Scott Legislative Accomplishments". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  23. ^ "Farm Bill Passes House, Includes Rep. Scott Provisions to Bring Broadband Investment to Rural America". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  24. ^ "Rep. Austin Scott Commends USTR Report on Addressing Unfair Trade Practices that Harm Georgia Growers of Seasonal and Perishable Produce". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  25. ^ Cole, John (December 3, 2020). "Thompson Elected Top Republican on Ag Committee". Politics PA. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  26. ^ "Actions Overview H.R.4910 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)". June 15, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  27. ^ "Rep. Austin Scott: Disaster Relief Heads to the President's Desk". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  28. ^ "Changes to Pittman-Robertson Funds Are Designed to Save the Next Endangered Species: Hunters". April 21, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  29. ^ "Rep. Austin Scott Announces Run to be the Speaker of the House - Press Release". October 13, 2023. Retrieved October 21, 2023.
  30. ^ Okun, Eli (October 13, 2023). "Playbook PM: Jim Jordan gets some surprise competition". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  31. ^ "Georgia Rep. Austin Scott announces plan to run again for Speaker of the House". FOX 5 Atlanta. October 20, 2023. Retrieved October 20, 2023.
  32. ^ Broadwater, Luke (October 20, 2023). "House Speaker Election: Jordan Loses Secret Ballot to Remain G.O.P. Nominee for Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 20, 2023.
  33. ^ "Austin Scott". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  34. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  35. ^ "Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus | Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation".
  36. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  37. ^ "Committees & Caucuses". December 13, 2012.
  38. ^ "At least 15 lawmakers who shape US defense policy have investments in military contractors". Business Insider.
  39. ^ "Unusual Whales".
  40. ^ "Unusual Whales".
  41. ^ a b c d e f "Austin Scott on the Issues". On The Issues. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  42. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  43. ^ "Georgia Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  44. ^ "GOP Congressional Report Card". Republicans For Ukraine. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  45. ^ "Austin Scott's Voting Records on Issue: Women". Vote Smart. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  46. ^ "HR 3224 - Deborah Sampson Act - National Key Vote". Vote Smart. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  47. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  48. ^ Liptak, Adam (December 11, 2020). "Supreme Court Rejects Texas Suit Seeking to Subvert Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  49. ^ "Order in Pending Case" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. December 11, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  50. ^ Diaz, Daniella. "Brief from 126 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court". CNN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  51. ^ "How members of Congress voted on counting the electoral college vote". Washington Post. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  52. ^ a b "Letter to leadership" (PDF). Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  53. ^ Homan, Timothy R. (February 12, 2021). "Pentagon, Congress appoint panel members to rename Confederate base names". The Hill. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  54. ^ "Cosponsors - H.R.6206 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): American Tech Workforce Act of 2021 | | Library of Congress". U.S. Congress. December 9, 2021. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  55. ^ "Representative Austin Scott". Archived from the original on March 22, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  56. ^ "Representative Austin Scott Biography". December 11, 2012. Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  57. ^ Staff (January 5, 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.

External links

Georgia House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henry Bostick
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 165th district

Succeeded by
Al Williams
Preceded by
Johnny Floyd
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 138th district

Succeeded by
Nikki T. Randall
Preceded by
Burke Day
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 153rd district

Succeeded by
Tony McBrayer
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 13 April 2024, at 22:44
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