ENG: Timothy Eugene "Tim" Scott (born September 19, 1965) is the junior United States Senator for South Carolina, in office since 2013. Previously he was the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 1st congressional district from 2011 to 2013. Elected in November 2010 to the 112th Congress, he was the first Republican African-American Representative from South Carolina since 1897. Scott was also one of the two members of the 2010 freshman class chosen to sit at the House Republican leadership table. Scott, a fiscal and cultural conservative, ran for Congress on a platform of reducing federal spending and taxes. He was endorsed by Tea Party groups.
Previously, Scott served one term in the South Carolina General Assembly (2009–2011), and 13 years on the Charleston County Council (1996–2008). A graduate of Charleston Southern University, Scott owns an insurance agency and has worked as a financial advisor.
On December 17, 2012, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley named Scott to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint who announced his resignation earlier that month. Scott is the only African American member of the United States Senate as well as only the seventh African American to have ever served in the United States Senate. Scott is the first-ever African-American senator from the state of South Carolina and the first from the South since 1881. Scott took office on January 2nd, a day before the rest of the freshman senators, resulting in a seniority ranking of 88, several places ahead of where he would have been had he been inaugurated on the regular date.
Early life, education, and business career
Scott was born in Charleston, South Carolina to Ben Scott, Sr. and Frances Scott, a nursing assistant. His parents were divorced when he was 7, and he grew up in poverty under the care of his mother who worked 16-hour days. He has an older brother who is a Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army.
Scott attended Presbyterian College from 1983 to 1984, and graduated from Charleston Southern University in 1988 with a B.S. in Political Science.
In addition to his political career, Scott owns an insurance agency, and works as a financial advisor.
South Carolina House of Representatives (2009-2011) - Elections
In 2008, incumbent Republican State Representative Tom Dantzler decided to retire. Scott ran for his seat in District 117 of the South Carolina House of Representatives and won the Republican primary with 53% of the vote, defeating Bill Crosby and Wheeler Tillman. He won the general election unopposed, becoming the first Republican African-American representative in more than 100 years.
Scott staunchly supports the state's Right-to-Work laws and argued that Boeing chose South Carolina for that reason.
In South Carolina Club for Growth's 2009-2010 scorecard, Scott earned a B and a score of 80 out of 100. He was praised by the South Carolina Association of Taxpayers, for his “diligent, principled and courageous stands against higher taxes.”
United States House of Representatives (2011-2013) - Elections - 2010
Scott entered the election for lieutenant governor before switching to the race for South Carolina's 1st congressional district following the retirement announcement of Republican incumbent Henry Brown. The 1st district is based in Charleston, and included approximately the northern 3/4 of the state's coastline (except for Beaufort and Hilton Head Island, which were in the 2nd District).
Scott ranked first in the nine candidate Republican primary of June 8, 2010, receiving a plurality of 32% of the vote. Fellow Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond, son of U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, ranked second with 16% of the vote. Carroll A. Campbell III, the son of former Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., ranked third with 14% of the vote. Charleston County School Board member Larry Kobrovsky ranked fourth with 11% of the vote. Five other candidates had single digit percentages.
Because no candidate had received 50 percent or more of the vote, a runoff was held on June 22, 2010. Scott faced off against Paul Thurmond. Scott was endorsed by the anti-tax National Club for Growth, various Tea Party movement groups, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Republican House Whip Eric Cantor, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, and the founder of the Minuteman Project. Scott defeated Thurmond 68%-32% and won every county in the congressional district.
According to the Associated Press, Scott "swamped his opponents in fundraising, spending almost $725,000 during the election cycle to less than $20,000 for his November opponents". He won the general election, defeating Democrat Ben Frasier 65%-29%. Following the election, Scott and Allen West of Florida became the first African-American Republicans in Congress since J.C. Watts retired in 2003. Scott also became the first African-American Republican elected to Congress from South Carolina in 114 years.
Scott was unopposed in the primary and won the general election, defeating Democrat Bobbie Rose 62%-36%.
Congressman Scott, one of two African-American Republicans elected to the House in 2010, declined to join the Congressional Black Caucus.
In March 2011, Scott co-sponsored a welfare reform bill that would deny food stamps to families whose incomes were lowered to the point of eligibility because a family member was participating in a labor strike. He introduced legislation in July 2011 to strip the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of its power to prohibit employers from relocating to punish workers who join unions or strike. The rationale for the legislation is that government agencies should not be able to tell private employers where they can run a business. Scott described the legislation as a common sense proposal that would fix a flaw in federal labor policy and benefit the national and local economies. The NLRB had recently opposed the relocation of a Boeing production facility from Washington state to South Carolina.
Scott successfully advocated for federal funds for a Charleston harbor dredging project estimated at $300 million, arguing that the project is neither an earmark nor an example of wasteful government spending. He said the project was merit-based, and in the national interest because larger cargo ships could use the port and jobs would be created.
During the summer 2011 debate over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, Scott supported the inclusion of a balanced budget constitutional amendment in the debt ceiling bill, and opposed legislation that did not include the amendment. Before voting "no" on the final bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, Scott and other first term conservatives prayed for guidance in a congressional chapel. Afterwards, Scott asserted that he had received divine inspiration regarding his vote, and joined the rest of the South Carolina congressional delegation in voting no on the measure.
- Taxes and spending – Scott believes that federal spending and taxes should be reduced.
- Health care – Scott believes the 2010 health care reform law should be repealed. Scott states that the health care in the U.S. is one of the greatest in the world, stating that people all over the world come to study in American medical schools, waiting lists are rare, and Americans are able to choose their insurance, providers, and course of treatment. Scott supports an alternative to the health care bill that he says keeps these benefits while controlling costs by reforming the medical tort system by having a limit on non-economic damages and by reforming Medicare.
- Earmarks- Scott opposes earmarks.
- Economic development - He supports infrastructure development and public works for his district. He opposes restrictions on deepwater oil drilling.
- Social issues – Scott describes himself as pro-life. Scott supports adult and cord blood stem cell research. He opposes embryonic stem cell research funded by taxpayers. He opposes the creation of human embryos for experimentation. and opposes assisted suicide.
- Immigration – Scott supports federal legislation that is similar to the Arizona law, Arizona SB 1070. He supports strengthening penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. He also promotes cultural assimilation by making English the official language in the government, and by requiring new immigrants to learn English.
- Labor –Scott introduced a bill which would eliminate food stamps for any family where a family member choose to go on strike.
- Foreign Policy -Scott advocates a continued military presence in Afghanistan and believes an early withdrawal will benefit Al-Qaeda. He also views Iran as the world's most dangerous country and believes that the US should aid pro-democracy groups there. Scott opposed the 2011 military intervention in Libya.
United States Senate
On December 17, 2012, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced she would appoint Scott to replace retiring Senator Jim DeMint, who had previously announced that he would retire from the Senate to become the President of The Heritage Foundation. Scott is the first African-American to serve from South Carolina in that state's history. In addition, Scott is the only black senator in the 113th Congress (and the first since senator Roland Burris retired in 2010 after succeeding President Barack Obama), and is the first African-American Senator to serve from the Southern United States since Reconstruction.
It was reported that Scott, along with former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, former First Lady of South Carolina Jenny Sanford, and Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Catherine Templeton, were on Governor Haley's short list to replace Sen. DeMint. In her decision to pick Scott, Governor Haley said: "It is important to me, as a minority female, that Congressman Scott earned this seat, he earned this seat for the person that he is. He earned this seat with the results he has shown."
Scott is unmarried. He owns an insurance agency and he is also a partner in Pathway Real Estate Group, LLC. Scott is a devout evangelical Christian. He is a member of Seacoast Church, a large evangelical church in Charleston.
January 23, 2013