Rep. Scott Taylor said he has delivered on campaign promises to support the military and economy during a Kiwanis Club luncheon at Williamsburg Lodge Wednesday.
The freshman Republican congressman also said he supported protections for people with pre-existing conditions and cast himself as an independent voice in federal government.
Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, is running for re-election against Democrat Elaine Luria, a Norfolk small business owner and former Navy commander. The election will be held Nov. 6.
Taylor, who was first elected to represent the 2nd Congressional District in the House of Representatives in 2016, said his primary goals were to expand in the military, help veterans and improve his district’s economy.
“We’ve done just that,” he said.
Taylor sponsored legislation, which became law, that increased accountability for senior Veterans Affairs officials, requiring the agency secretary approve senior executive reassignments from one post to another “to have a layer of accountability for our veterans.”
Taylor sits on the House Appropriations Committee. He said that thanks to his position, he’s able to effectively funnel money toward projects in the district, which strengthen the military and the area’s economy.
“We’ve been able to help push hundreds of millions of dollars to this economy,” Taylor said, adding that bases in the region have benefited from spending that addressed delayed maintenance and construction projects.
“Sequestration and the cumulative effect of continuing resolutions … has really devastated the military,” Taylor said. “And certainly the economy around here. Over the past couple years, of course, we got that cash injection that was necessary for the military.”
He also attached language to one piece of legislation that provides resources for military bases to protect their access roads from sea-level rise.
One Kiwanis member asked Taylor about his stance on pre-existing conditions, to which Taylor replied that he wanted to protect people with pre-existing conditions.
“I support protecting people pre-existing conditions. And what I voted for actually requires it by law,” he said.
The American Health Care Act, a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act that Taylor voted for, maintained a requirement that insurance companies offer protections for people with pre-existing conditions. However, it would have allowed no limit on what insurers could charge to cover people with pre-existing conditions
The AHCA failed to become law. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires that insurance companies not charge people with pre-existing conditions higher fees or deny them coverage.
Another club member, noting recent instances of violence fueled by political partisanship and prejudice, said he felt the president’s rhetoric is capable of fueling that violence.
“I don’t like the rhetoric. I think it’s dangerous. Some of the things the president says are too much. Some of the things that Maxine Waters says is too much,” Taylor said. “Where I felt it’s appropriate for me to stand up and condemn the remarks made by any leader, to include the president of the United States, I have zero problem doing it.”
Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.