Sen. Scott makes brief visit to Barnwell

U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) made a brief visit in Barnwell on Monday, July 2 as he made a tour through the lowcountry of South Carolina.

Scott met for 30 minutes with a small group who gathered at the Barnwell County Library to listen to constituent issues and answer questions.

He said he is most pleased with the tax reform bill passed by Congress which is starting to “hit the paychecks” of workers. He touched on the Investing in Opportunity Act he has sponsored which “targeted rural and distressed communities and allows the attraction of types of capital back into rural American and inner-city America” for 10-year long-term investment. He said under the program investors can defer their capital gains tax until the end of the ten years.

“What you will see are investors who will take a second look because the risk of investment has been brought down by about 35 percent,” said Scott.

“I’m optimistic about the opportunities,” said the senator.

On the subject of the Savannah River Site (SRS) and the Mixed Oxide (MOX) project, Sen. Scott said the MOX project is “an absolute national security necessity.”

He said the United States and Russia agreed to dispose of weapons grade plutonium “so much so that it would eliminate 17,000 nuclear warheads – each.”

“When we don’t finish the MOX facility, what we are saying to the Russians is ‘Please feel free to use the weapons-grade plutonium for the creation of 17,000 nuclear warheads.’ Please raise your hands if you think that this is a good idea. It ain’t.”

“The Russians have decided to walk away from the agreement since we won’t finish the MOX facility. The reason why this is so important is because the MOX facility is the only-known facility that we can have to actually eliminate the weapons grade component.”

“There is no other known option for us,” said Scott.

He said there is funding and language in the funding bill which would allow the MOX facility to continue and not be on “cold stand-by”.

He said Congressman Joe Wilson, who is slated to become the next chairman of the Armed Services Committee, ’has been very helpful in the House”.

“Getting the Administration, more specifically the Department of Energy and more specifically Secretary (Rick) Perry to pay attention to common sense would be very helpful,” said Scott. “Seventeen thousand warheads in the hands of the Russians is not good.”

While he says he understands President Trump’s trade policy, he isn’t completely sold on the use of tariffs and creating a trade war.

He said the president is using tariffs “as a way to push back on China because they are stealing a lot of our intellectual property”.

He said China is requiring U.S. companies operating there to turn over intellectual property which they then use against us.

Because South Carolina has large companies producing tires, cars and other products, Scott said he is “concerned” with the impact of an international trade war.

Scott also fielded questions on education, online sales taxes for small businesses, and the fire service.

He invited the 30 or so people attending to contact his office with concerns, questions and ideas.