For other people named Tim Scott, see Tim Scott (disambiguation).
|United States Senator|
from South Carolina
January 3, 2013
Serving with Lindsey Graham
|Preceded by||Jim DeMint|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from South Carolina's 1st district
January 3, 2011 – January 2, 2013
|Preceded by||Henry E. Brown Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Mark Sanford|
|Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives|
from the 117th district
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Tom Dantzler|
|Succeeded by||Bill Crosby|
|Member of the Charleston County Council|
from the 3rd district
February 8, 1995 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Keith Summey|
|Succeeded by||Elliott Summey|
|Born||Timothy Eugene Scott|
(1965-09-19) September 19, 1965 (age 52)
North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Charleston Southern University(BS)
Timothy Eugene Scott (born September 19, 1965) is an American politician of the Republican Party serving as the junior U.S. Senator for South Carolina. He was appointed in 2013 by South Carolina governorNikki Haley to replace the retiring Jim DeMint. Scott then won a special election in 2014 and then election to a full term in 2016.
In November 2010, Scott was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for South Carolina's 1st congressional district, and was in the House from 2011 to 2013. Scott, a conservative, was endorsed for the Senate by Tea Party groups. He spent one term in the South Carolina General Assembly (2009–2011); prior to that, he had been on Charleston County's council from 1996 to 2008.
Along with DemocratsCory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, Scott is one of three African-Americans in the U.S. Senate. He is the first African-American senator from the state of South Carolina, the first black Republican elected to the U.S. Senate since the election of Edward Brooke in 1966, and the first elected from the southern United States since 1881, four years after the end of the Reconstruction Era. He is the first Republican African-American U.S. Representative from South Carolina since 1897 and since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Early life, education, and business career
Scott was born in North Charleston, South Carolina, a son of Frances, a nursing assistant, and Ben Scott, Sr. His parents were divorced when he was 7. He grew up in working classpoverty with his mother working 16-hour days to support her family, including Tim's brothers. His older brother is a sergeant major in the U.S. Army. Scott's younger brother is a U.S. Air Forcecolonel.
Scott attended Presbyterian College from 1983 to 1984, on a partial football scholarship. He graduated from Charleston Southern University in 1988 with a B.S. in Political Science. Scott is also an alumnus of South Carolina's Palmetto Boys State program, an experience which he cites as an influential factor in his decision to enter public service.
In addition to his political career, Scott owns an insurance agency, Tim Scott Allstate, and works as a financial adviser.
Charleston County Council (1995–2008)
Scott ran in a February 1995 special election to the Charleston County Council at-large seat vacated by Keith Summey, who resigned his seat after being elected as Mayor of North Charleston. Scott won the seat as a Republican, receiving nearly 80% of the vote in the white-majority district, which since the late 20th century has voted Republican. He became the first black Republican elected to any office in South Carolina since the late 19th century.
Scott was on the County Council for a time alongside Paul Thurmond, the son of the late Republican U.S. Senator, Strom Thurmond, who had switched in 1964 from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.
In 1996, Scott challenged Democratic State Senator Robert Ford in South Carolina's 42nd Senate district, but lost 65%–35%.
Scott won re-election to the County Council in 2000, again winning in white-majority districts. In 2004, he won re-election again with 61% of the vote, defeating Democrat Elliot Summey (son of Mayor Keith Summey).
Scott was on the Council from 1995 until 2008, becoming Chairman in 2007. In 1997, Scott supported posting the Ten Commandments outside the county council chambers, saying it would remind members of the absolute rules they should follow. The county council unanimously approved the display, and Scott nailed a King James version of the Commandments to the wall. Shortly after, the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State challenged this in a federal suit. After an initial court ruling that the display was unconstitutional, the council settled out of court to avoid accruing more legal fees. Regarding the costs of the suit, Scott said, "Whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal (of displaying the Commandments) is worth it."
In January 2001, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Charleston County, South Carolina for racial discrimination under the Voting Rights Act, based on its having all its council seats elected by at-large districts. This dilutes the votes of a minority group. DOJ had attempted to negotiate with county officials on this issue in November 2000. Justice officials noted that at-large seats dilute the voting strength of the significant African-American minority in the county, who in 2000 comprised 34.5% of the population. They have been unable to elect any "candidates of their choice" for years. Whites or European Americans comprise 61.9 percent of the population in the county. Since the late 20th century, the majority-white voters have elected Republican Party candidates. County officials noted that the majority of voters in 1989 had approved electing members by at-large seats in a popular referendum.
Scott, the only African-American member of the county council, has said about this case and the alternative of electing council members from single-member districts,
"I don't like the idea of segregating everyone into smaller districts. Besides, the Justice Department assumes that the only way for African-Americans to have representation is to elect an African-American, and the same for whites. Obviously, my constituents don't think that's true."
The DOJ officials noted that the voting preference issue is not a question of ethnicity; voters in black precincts in the county had rejected Scott as a candidate for the council. The candidate of their choice was the Democratic Party at-large candidate. The suit noted that historically, black and white precincts in Charleston County have consistently supported different candidates for the Council. It noted that, because of the white majority, "white bloc voting usually results in the defeat of candidates who are preferred by black voters." Blacks live in compact areas of the county; they could comprise the majority in three districts if the county seats were apportioned as nine single-member districts.
- Economic Development Committee (Chair)
South Carolina House of Representatives (2009–2011)
In 2008, incumbent Republican State Representative Tom Dantzler decided to retire. With support from advisors such as Nicolas Muzin, Scott decided to run 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 from South Carolina in more than 100 years.
Scott supported South Carolina's right-to-work laws and argued that Boeing chose South Carolina as a site for manufacturing 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."
- Labor, Commerce and Industry
- Ways and Means
United States House of Representatives (2011–2013)
See also: United States House of Representatives elections, 2010 § South Carolina
Scott entered the election for lieutenant governor but switched to run for South Carolina's 1st congressional district following the retirement announcement of Republican incumbent Henry Brown. The 1st district is based in Charleston, and includes approximately the northern 3/4 of the state's coastline (except for Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. Since redistricting, they have been included 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 GovernorCarroll 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 Club for Growth, various Tea Party movement groups, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Republican House WhipEric 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%. With this 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. From the period of 1895 to after 1965, most African-Americans had been disenfranchised in the state, and they had comprised most of the Republican Party when they were excluded from the political system.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in South Carolina, 2012
Scott was unopposed in the primary and won the general election, defeating Democrat Bobbie Rose 62%–36%.
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. Afterward, 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, with a Balanced Budget Amendment and the FairTax respectively being implemented for spending and taxes.
- 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. In January 2014 Scott signed an amicus brief in support of Senator Ron Johnson's legal challenge against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Affordable Care Act ruling.
- Earmarks – Scott opposes earmarks, and yet he successfully advocated for federal funds for a Charleston harbor dredging project estimated at $300 million.
- 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. Scott opposes same-sex marriage.
- 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 deny food stamps to families whose incomes were lowered to the point of eligibility because a family member was participating in a labor 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.
- Police body cameras – After the shooting of Walter Scott (no relation), Scott urged the Senate to hold hearings on police body cameras.
As a Representative, Scott sponsored thirty-six bills, including:
- H.R. 698, a bill to deauthorize funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health-care related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced February 14, 2011
- H.R. 937, a bill to reduce the federal corporate income tax from 35% to 23%, introduced March 4, 2011
- H.R. 1976, a bill to provide that an employer's expression or written dissemination of views, argument, or opinion regarding the costs associated with collective bargaining, work stoppages, or strikes shall not constitute an unfair labor practice if such expression contains no threat of reprisal or force or promise of benefit, introduced May 24, 2011
- H.R. 2587, a bill to deny the National Labor Relations Board the power to 1) require employers to restore or reinstate any work, product, production line, or equipment, 2) rescind any relocation, transfer, subcontracting, outsourcing, or other change regarding the location, entity, or employer who shall be engaged in production or other business operations, or 3) require any employer to make an initial or additional investment at a particular plant, facility, or location, introduced September 15, 2011
- H.R. 2810, a bill to prohibit labor organizations from prohibiting their members from selecting individuals to collectively bargain on their behalf, introduced August 5, 2011
- H.R. 4015, a bill to repeal the Conservation Stewardship Program, introduced February 13, 2012
In addition to the bills listed above, on May 15, 2012, Scott introduced more than two dozen bills that would temporarily lift or extend tariffs on various chemicals.
Scott was appointed by the House Republican Steering Committee to both the Committee on Transportation and the Committee on Small Business. He was later appointed to the powerful Committee on Rules and relinquished his other two committee assignments.
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 be a U.S. Senator from South Carolina. Scott was one of three black senators in the 113th Congress alongside Mo Cowan and later Cory Booker (and the first since senator Roland Burris retired in 2010 after succeeding President Barack Obama). He is the first African-American to be as a U.S. Senator from the southern United States since Reconstruction. From 1890 to 1908 Democratic-controlled state legislatures passed new constitutions and laws that disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites across the South, securing power for white politicians from in the Democratic Party.
During two periods, first from January 2, 2013 until February 1, 2013, and again from July 16, 2013 until October 31, 2013, Scott was the only African-American Senator. He and Cowan were the first black senators to serve alongside each other.
News media reported that Scott, along with Rep. Trey Gowdy, former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, former First Lady of South Carolina Jenny Sanford, and Catherine Templeton, Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, 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."
Main article: United States Senate special election in South Carolina, 2014
Scott ran in November 2014 to win the final two years of Jim DeMint's term and won.
Main article: United States Senate election in South Carolina, 2016
Scott won re-election to a first full term in office in November 2016. He was endorsed by the Club for Growth.
In 2017, Scott was one of 22 senators to sign a letter to President Donald Trump urging the President to have the United States withdraw from the Paris Agreement. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Scott has received over $540,000 from oil, gas and coal interests since 2012.
- Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
- Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
- Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet (Ranking Member)
- Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion
- Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
- Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
- Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- Special Committee on Aging
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, and is a former member of that church's board. Republican leadership has praised Scott's background as an example of achieving the American dream according to a conservative model.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections, 2010
|Republican Primary - 2008 South Carolina General Assembly 117th District|
|Republican||William Bill Crosby||647||25.87|
|Republican||Clark B Parker||6,769||8.37|
- ^2012 Congressional Record, Vol. 158, Page H7467 (December 30, 2012)
- ^ abSteinhauer, Jennifer; Zeleny, Jeff (December 17, 2012). "Tim Scott to Be Named for Empty South Carolina Senate Seat, Republicans Say". New York Times.
- ^ abcdefghi"Guide to the New Congress"(PDF). CQ Roll Call. November 4, 2010. p. 59. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
- ^ abcdef"SC elects black GOP congressman; 1st since 2003". The Washington Post. The Associated Press. November 2, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- ^ abc"Tim Scott Biography"(PDF). Tim Scott for Congress. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- ^"Political firsts: How history was made this midterm election". Usatoday.com. 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- ^Bainum, Stefanie. Tim Scott speaks out on becoming a US Senator, ABC-TV News 4 Charleston, SC, January 3, 2013.
- ^ abCaroline May (November 2, 2010). "Tim Scott: first black Republican elected to Congress from the South since Reconstruction". The Daily Caller. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- ^ abc"Members of the House Representative Timothy E. Scott". Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina. Archived from the original on July 31, 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- ^Seelye, Katharine Q. S. Carolina Candidate Shrugs Off History’s Lure, New York Times, June 25, 2010.
- ^"Scott, Tim (1965–)". Biographical Directory for the U.S. Congress. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- ^"Tim Scott Biography". Tim Scott Senator. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- ^[dead link]
- ^ abBehre, Robert. Thurmond, Scott head for runoff, Charleston Post and Courier, June 9, 2010.
- ^"SC State Senate 42 Race – Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
- ^"Charleston County Council 3 Race – Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
- ^ ab"Council hopes to end Commandments suit". The Augusta Chronicle. The Associated Press. August 16, 1998. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- ^"American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- ^ abcdDAVID FIRESTONE (19 January 2001). "U.S. Sues Charleston County, S.C., Alleging Violation of Black Voting Rights". New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
- ^"Meet Tim Scott". Vote Tim Scott. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
Read our 2017 Report Card for Scott.
Scott is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Scott has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Tim Scott sits on the following committees:
- Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Senate Committee on Finance
- Senate Committee on Armed Services
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- Senate Special Committee on Aging
Scott was the primary sponsor of 1 bill that was enacted:
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We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
Scott sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Taxation (26%)Education (18%)Health (16%)Crime and Law Enforcement (13%)Labor and Employment (11%)Public Lands and Natural Resources (5%)Sports and Recreation (5%)Government Operations and Politics (5%)
Some of Scott’s most recently sponsored bills include...
View All » | View Cosponsors »
|Scott’s Vote||Vote Description|
|Yea||H.R. 1892: Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018; Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018, the SUSTAIN Care Act of 2018; Family First Prevention Services Act.; Honoring Hometown ...|
Feb 9, 2018. Motion Agreed to 71/28.
This bill became the vehicle for passage of funding for the federal government through March 23, 2018, to avert a government shutdown that would have occurred on February 9, 2018 had this bill not been enacted. The bill was introduced as the Honoring Hometown Heroes ...
|Nay||H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017|
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
|Yea||S. 2943: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017|
Jun 14, 2016. Bill Passed 85/13.
|Nay||H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act|
Dec 3, 2015. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a major bipartisan transportation bill that would authorize funding ...
|Nay||H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act|
Jul 30, 2015. Bill Passed 65/34.
This vote turned H.R 22, originally the Hire More Heroes Act, into the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647), a major bipartisan transportation bill, and the Export-Import Bank Reform and ...
|No||H.J.Res. 117 (112th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013|
Sep 13, 2012. Passed 329/91.
|Aye||H.R. 6233 (112th): Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012|
Aug 2, 2012. Passed 223/197.
|Nay||H.R. 5972 (112th): Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013|
Jun 29, 2012. Passed 261/163.
|No||S. 365 (112th): Budget Control Act of 2011|
Aug 1, 2011. Passed 269/161.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112–25, S. 365, 125 Stat. 240, enacted August 2, 2011) is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on August 2, 2011. The Act brought conclusion to the United ...
|Aye||H.R. 1249 (112th): Leahy-Smith America Invents Act|
Jun 23, 2011. Passed 304/117.
The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law represents the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952, and ...
From Jan 2013 to Mar 2018, Scott missed 34 of 1,533 roll call votes, which is 2.2%. This is worse than the median of 1.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
Show the numbers...
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
Tim Scott is pronounced:
tim // skot
The letters stand for sounds according to the following table:
|Letter||Sounds As In|
Capital letters indicate a stressed syllable.