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Scott Perry brings a unique background of hard work, small business, military leadership and community involvement to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Perry served three terms as a Pennsylvania State Representative, where he established a record for protecting taxpayers’ interests in Harrisburg. While serving there, he was assigned to the Committees on Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Labor Relations, Veterans Affairs, Emergency Preparedness, and Rules. He earned the privilege of serving as the Congressman from Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District (York, Adams & part Cumberland) in 2013. He earned re-election to the newly-redistricted 10th District (Dauphin, part York, and part Cumberland) in 2018, and presently serves on the U.S. House Committees on Transportation & Infrastructure, and Foreign Affairs.
Perry knows the importance of hard work and dedication. He’s the grandson of Colombian immigrants, and the son of a single mom who fled two abusive situations and worked several jobs to survive and support her children – with whom she finally landed in Central Pennsylvania in their first home on Berryhill Street in Harrisburg, then moved to Dillsburg. Scott and his family were on public assistance for several years during his youth. He was raised in a spartan home, which initially had no electricity and plumbing, required bathing in a steel tub on the porch, pumped water from a well, and cut firewood with his older brother to keep the family warm in winter.
Perry began working at age 13 picking fruit at Ashcombe’s Farm in Mechanicsburg. Since then, he’s worked as a mechanic, dock worker, draftsman and a licensed insurance agent. He’s a 1980 graduate of Northern High School and the Cumberland-Perry Vo-Tech School. He put himself through college while working a full-time job, and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1991, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Management.
In 1993, Perry and his mom started their own mechanical contracting firm, initially in their garage – Hydrotech Mechanical Services, Inc. The Dillsburg-based business provided contract construction and maintenance services to municipal and investor-owned utilities from North Carolina to New York and specialized in large meter calibration.
Perry began his military service when he enlisted in 1980. He attended basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and graduated Advanced Individual Training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as a technical drafting specialist. He graduated as the president of his Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery branch. He soon branch-transferred to Army Aviation, where he earned qualifications in almost every aircraft in the Army’s rotary wing inventory (Huey, Cayuse, Kiowa, Cobra, Chinook, Apache, and Blackhawk), as well as the Instructor Pilot rating. He’s commanded at the company, battalion and brigade levels; notably, then-Lieutenant Colonel Perry commanded the 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, which deployed to Iraq from 2009-2010, during which he flew 44 combat missions. In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, became Commander of the Fort Indiantown Gap National Training Site, and was selected to attend the coveted United States Army War College, from which he earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. Perry was privileged to be selected for promotion to the rank of Brigadier General in 2014 and served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 28th Infantry Division – the Army’s oldest, actively serving Division. After serving in his final position as the Assistant Adjutant General, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Brigadier General Perry retired on 1 March 2019, upon nearly 40 years of military service.
Perry’s service to his community has included serving as the chairman of the Carroll Township Planning Commission and as a member of the township Source Water Protection Committee. He was chairman of the Dillsburg Area Wellhead Protection Advisory Committee and served on the Dillsburg Revitalization Committee. He remains active in the Jaycees and held the office of regional director for the state organization. He’s is a member of Dillsburg Legion Post #26, Dillsburg VFW Post #6771, and is a Lions Club International Member.
Scott and his wife, Christy, are the proud parents of two daughters.
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Tens of thousands of families throughout Pennsylvania continue to serve as stewards of millions of acres of farmland. Agriculture and agribusiness contribute tens of billions of dollars and countless jobs to Pennsylvania’s economy. I have great respect for the hard work and dedication of Pennsylvania’s farm families; as a matter of fact, my working career began at age 13 picking fruit at Ashcombe’s Farm in Mechanicsburg.
I’ve supported necessary reforms to our traditional farm programs and worked with the agricultural community to identify unnecessary and duplicative federal regulations that hurt their ability to do business. The agriculture policies I supported would provide certainty to Pennsylvania’s farmers, and strengthen the Nation’s agriculture sector by updating our farm policies.
DEFENSE AND NATIONAL SECURITY
National defense is a core, constitutional function of our government.
We must do whatever necessary to protect our homeland from terror, and we must take the fight to the enemy. Rather than making up the plan along the way, we must continue to develop and carry out a clear strategy for confronting our Nation’s enemies. Instead of fighting with yesterday’s tools, we must ensure sure that our Service Members have every resource necessary to defeat these threats.
First, we must protect the Homeland; we must keep terrorists out of America, secure our borders, and stop cyber-attacks. Second, we must eradicate the terrorists, and prevailing in the war against radical Islamist extremism must become our top national security policy. Third, we must ensure that our country is ready to tackle the threats of our time - and beyond. Finally, we must defend our freedom.
Our ability to do that depends on the willingness of our Nation’s leaders to face the world with clear and open eyes, and the determination to secure America’s values and interests. The safety of our Nation remains my top priority. Congress must fulfill its duty to “…provide for the common defense…”, and we must meet that responsibility.
ECONOMY AND JOBS
The economy and jobs remain the top concern of most constituents, regardless of political ideology. Washington must stop spending money it doesn’t have and focus its efforts on creating opportunities for job growth. Small business owners throughout the 10th District have repeatedly told me that increasing taxes and government regulations hurt their ability to create jobs and grow the economy.
Congress needs to keep prioritizing efforts to make the tax code fairer and simpler, in the hopes of creating quality, family-sustaining jobs and bigger paychecks for every American. Locally, thousands of job openings, especially in skilled manufacturing, remain unfilled. We must continue to reform job training programs and expand education opportunities to give Americans the tools they need to find work. I’ve supported efforts to reform and modernize the maze of federal workforce training programs and help unemployed Americans get back to work.
Government regulations cost the average American family more than $15,000 each year. I’ve aggressively sought to confront excessive government regulations that act as barriers to stronger private sector growth and job creation.
We can’t keep spending money we don’t have and we must reduce barriers for real private sector job growth. I’ll remain focused on what we can do right now, and in the long-term, to make a difference in people’s lives.
Federal education policy is in need of dramatic reform. Previous federal education efforts relied on one-size-fits-all accountability metrics that restricted states’ and school districts’ ability to appropriately gauge student learning and create a curriculum to prepare students for post-secondary education or the workforce.
Federally prescribed interventions and turnaround strategies haven’t worked or produced the desired results in low-performing schools. I’ve supported education reforms that return responsibility for student achievement to states, school districts, and parents, while maintaining high expectations, eliminating ineffective federal programs, and investing limited taxpayer dollars wisely.
We must balance our nation’s energy needs while taking thoughtful steps to preserve our environment. We must pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy that includes development of new, clean energy technologies while ensuring that America takes full advantage of our vast domestic energy resources. This strategy will create jobs and make energy more affordable while helping to preserve our environment.
I’ve advocated for legislation to encourage development of hydropower, the largest source of clean, renewable energy in the United States, thereby creating thousands of jobs and providing power to millions of Americans at a low cost. Of the approximately 80,000 dams in the United States, approximately three percent currently generate hydropower. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our Nation’s energy needs.
At the same time, domestic oil and natural gas play a central role in our energy future by helping to create jobs, revitalizing our manufacturing sector, addressing energy costs and substantially reducing our reliance on energy from unstable foreign sources. I won’t support efforts to impose costly new energy regulations that will stifle job creation. Almost every day, local employers tell me how government regulations hurt their ability to grow their businesses and hire more workers.
America’s health care system must be reformed in order to reduce costs, increase coverage, and improve quality of care for all Americans.
Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we’ve seen less choice and skyrocketing costs for basic medical care. Hundreds of constituents have shared their stories of how rising healthcare costs are devastating their lives, families and small businesses. Simply put, the ACA failed in its core mission to decrease health care costs, which is why I supported its repeal and replacement.
I support reforms that are patient-centered and doctor-centered, not insurance company-centered. I support: allowing citizens to purchase health insurance across state lines; helping small businesses pool together to negotiate better rates; expanding health savings accounts; and pushing tort reform. I’ll continue to look for such reforms that emphasize improving quality, accessibility and affordability, and will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to initiate common-sense reforms that don’t interfere with individual choice, threaten jobs due to rising costs on employers, or increase our already unsustainable debt.
Finally, neither I as a Member of Congress nor any member of my staff receive any exemption from the ACA. I’ve said since my first day in office that all elected federal officials should be treated the same as the people they serve – which is why my staff, like millions of Americans, are subject to getting their health care through the ACA exchanges.
The United States is a proud Nation of immigrants. We’ve welcomed refugees and immigrants for generations, forming a culturally diverse and open country unlike any other in the world. My own grandmother legally emigrated from Colombia in search of greater freedom and opportunity for her family. Our immigration system, however, must ensure that those who wish to come to America and thrive in our “land of opportunity” do so in a legal manner, which, currently, it fails to do.
The first step in the immigration reform process must be to secure our borders, period. Significant progress must be made on this issue before we take any further steps. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has no metrics to properly understand the security of our borders. DHS must establish realistic metrics while using readily-available technology that provides transparency and allows us to properly address areas of concern across our borders.
I’ll work toward a new legal immigration system that: establishes verifiable enforcement measures that ensure visitors leave our country when they’re supposed to; provides our agricultural industries with the workers they need; requires immigrants to understand and speak basic English; and revises Visa programs to attract and keep more entrepreneurs, investors and highly skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. We need immigration policies that honor our heritage as both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.
The Second Amendment is a Constitutional right guaranteed to all American citizens. Like all rights afforded in our Constitution, we must be extremely cautious when deciding to limit or remove any of them, which should happen only after the completion of thorough due process; anything less sets a dangerous precedent in allowing the federal government to further encroach upon the rights and civil liberties of private citizens.
The Constitution doesn’t specify what type of arms we can bear or how/when we may exercise our rights; the federal government also has limited constitutional authority to limit/regulate these rights. To be clear, the terms “assault weapons” and “weapons of war” are political phrases designed to evoke an emotional response – they’re not a defined class of firearms. Remember, criminals who fail to obey laws in the first place certainly don’t/won’t heed new laws. Attempting to stop acts of violence by banning firearms doesn’t address the root cause of the violence.
While I remain focused on Constitutional freedoms, I remain open to thoughtful and meaningful solutions. For example, I’ve supported significant improvements to our mental health system, which may prevent those who perpetrate these senseless acts of violence, as well as innocent citizens from having to face the immeasurable loss and grief resulting from them.
SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE
Social Security provides critical financial support to more than 56 million beneficiaries, including widows and those with disabilities. Social Security is funded by the payroll taxes of current workers to pay the benefits of current retirees. The Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that by about 2035 the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted. When that happens, beneficiaries could face a painful 23% benefit cut.
Medicare is the cornerstone upon which all other government health programs rest. In their most recent report, the Medicare Trustees projected that the account that funds Medicare’s hospital benefit will go bankrupt by about 2024.
I’ve long supported responsible reforms that preserve Medicare and Social Security benefits, while ensuring that our Nation’s seniors continue to be protected. The reforms I support don’t touch benefits for middle-class seniors currently benefiting from Social Security; however, in order to keep our promises to current and future generations regarding their health and retirement security, comprehensive reforms must be enacted to protect these programs.
The federal government has run up an unsustainable debt of more than $22 trillion - and rising - and is in the process of bankrupting programs like Social Security and Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, we currently borrow 46 cents on every dollar spent by the federal government.
I’ve led and supported many efforts to responsibly reduce federal spending. My first bill introduced in Congress proposed a responsible balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. I’ve also repeatedly supported legislation that balanced the federal budget in ten years through meaningful spending cuts and not through higher taxes.
I don’t pretend to have a monopoly on good ideas to address these issues. What I do know is that most of the choices won’t be easy and will take engaged Americans and leadership from our elected officials to turn the corner. The days are over of kicking the can down the road to the next generations.
We need to have an honest discussion with the American people about how we spend their hard-earned tax dollars. About 60 percent of federal spending is dedicated to mandatory spending programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the debt – and that percentage is growing rapidly. Defense comprises about 20 percent of federal spending. Discretionary spending (i.e., education, energy and housing) make up most of the rest. No agency, no account, and no program should be off-the-table for review.
Hard-working American families and businesses know what it’s like to live on a budget. They make difficult decisions to live within their means every day, and Washington should have to do the same.
One of the core functions of the federal government is to ensure that America has the necessary transportation infrastructure to facilitate interstate commerce and strengthen America’s competitive edge in the global economy. All of us can see that our infrastructure is crumbling around us. I’ve supported legislation to fund surface transportation programs and provide certainty and stability for the private sector and state and local governments. I’m actively working with my colleagues on long-term solutions to make our transportation system safer and more efficient, thereby growing our economy and spurring job creation.
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Americans owe a debt of gratitude to our country’s bravest individuals – those who have served and given their lives in defense of freedom and liberty. As a country, we must remember the sacrifices of our Veterans who have bravely served our Nation, as well as their families, and I remain committed to providing the best care possible for them.
I’ve supported efforts to ensure greater accountability at the Veterans Administration, strengthen education benefits for Veterans, and improve protections for whistleblowers at the VA.
Having served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for more than 35 years, I’m certainly sensitive to the many challenges facing our men and women who put their lives on the line for our country. We must honor our commitments and obligations to these men and women in uniform.