by Joe Adgie
On Monday, Washington came to Valdosta.
Congressman Austin Scott, who represents Georgia’s 8th district, which includes Valdosta, came to VSU to speak to the community at a meet and greet.
Scott spoke to a packed Ballroom A about what was going on in Washington, the differences between Congress and the Georgia general assembly and his stance on key issues such as intervention in Syria.
“This country cannot afford to inject itself into every civil war that happens throughout (the world),” Scott said. “We can’t police the whole world.”
Scott explained that a presidential administration should follow two guidelines for going to war, one being “broad-based international support for any action that you carry out,” and “broad-based support from the American public.”
“I’ll tell you, I’ve been around long enough to know we didn’t have international support,” Scott said. “And we didn’t have support from the American citizens.”
Scott also spoke about the controversy regarding student loan interest rates.
“That’s something, quite honestly, that (students) should never have been caught in the crosshairs,” Scott said. “The resolution that we got, that was passed by a Republican house, signed by the President, and passed by a Democratic senate; I think it will work well.”
That resolution involved connecting interest rates of student loans to financial markets—where rates would increase with an economy improvement, with a set maximum cap.
“If I had my way, the private sector would be brought back into the student loan system as well,” Scott said.
Scott, however, expressed concern with what he viewed as “the federal government getting into the management of our university institutions.”
“I think they run much better without the federal government telling them what to do, from the standpoint of the federal government and what our role can and should be in that,” Scott said.
This was part of what was a very busy day for the congressman, who spent the entire day in and around Valdosta. Nick Buford, a member of the College Republicans, helped to put the appearance together.
“We started setting this up for today about two weeks ago with his Tifton staff,” Buford said. “That’s where his closest district office is.”
The meet and greet was the fifth event of the day for Scott around the Valdosta area, starting off with a visit to the local YMCA in Moultrie and then a luncheon and Q-and-A at the Holiday Inn in Valdosta. That was followed by a tour of South Georgia Medical Center and then a dinner with state senator and VSU alumnus Tim Golden and VSU President William McKinney.
Scott has represented Valdosta in Washington since the start of 2013 but has held his seat since 2010. Valdosta was moved into the 8th district as a result of the 2010 census at the start of the year, coming from the 1st district and Representative Jack Kingston.