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Press Office of Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3)

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Press Office of

Representative Douglas Seymour

Democrat for South Carolina's 3rd District

 

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Seymour Re-elected to House

 

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ANDERSON, SC - In the 1986 midterm elections, Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. A noted Southern Democrat, Seymour has served the people of South Carolina's 3rd district in Congress since he was first elected in 1974. "It is a great honor and privilege to have been re-elected to serve the people of South Carolina's 3rd - ranging from Clemson to Anderson, from Aiken to Greenwood, and many great communities in between," Seymour said during his election-night victory speech. "I am honored to be a part of the Democratic victories this election cycle, but I know that we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We need to get down to work in Washington, DC for the average man and woman across this great nation," Seymour said.

 

The veteran Congressman also hinted at some of his legislative priorities, saying, "I want to do what's best for the 3rd district, for South Carolina, and for our nation as a whole. I firmly believe that when our district succeeds, our nation succeeds. And when our nation succeeds, our district succeeds. In particular I'm interested in protecting the tens of thousands of textile jobs in the Carolinas, and to fight childhood poverty to eradicate the cyclical trends that we've seen for far too long." Before being sworn in for his seventh term as a Congressman, Seymour also stood as a conservative Democrat candidate for the House Majority Whip, a contest he narrowly lost. "I'm always looking for ways to advance good, sound policy for my state and district, and my resolve remains unwavering on that front," Seymour concluded in a statement to the press.

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Seymour Seeks to Protect Textile Industry

 

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ANDERSON, SC - In his first act of the 100th Congress, Representative Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) introduced the Protecting American Textile Manufacturing Act, a comprehensive bill that would enhance the competitiveness of the American industries for textiles, textile products, and nonrubber footwear. "Hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians are impacted directly by the textile sector of our economy. It is a vital part of our state's character, and essential to our nation's well-being. That is why I am so passionate about securing the passage of this bill through Congress - and why it is my number one priority this session," Seymour said in a statement.

 

The bill has five key sections which contribute to the overall promotion and protection of the American textile industry. First, textile imports from the Soviet Union are prohibited. "We cannot allow our economic and military rival undercut our prices and destabilize a whole segment of our nation's economy," Seymour said. The bill would also gradually increase the amount of imports of textiles, textile products, and nonrubber footwear permissible under law at a growth factor of 1% per year. The Protecting American Textile Manufacturing Act would also put related customs duties towards modernizing the textile industry, and lay out parameters for the President to negotiate trade arrangements. "This is a commonsense bill which has already attracted big-name bipartisan support," said Seymour in his statement. "I look forward to the eventual passage of this piece of legislation and the jobs savings across South Carolina and the 3rd district."

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Seymour Introduces Sweeping Anti-Poverty Legislation

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Representative Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) recently introduced his second piece of legislation in the 100th Congress, this time focused on fighting the scourge of poverty. "Poverty impacts far too many Americans, far too many South Carolinians. And the impact, which is especially acute on children, has vast intergenerational implications. That is why I am proud to champion the Fighting Childhood Poverty Act," Seymour said in a statement after introducing the bill to the House hopper. The Fighting Childhood Poverty Act would positively impact at least 950,000 Americans currently living in poverty by expanding the scope of existing anti-poverty tools. "While we've made progress in the past decade, South Carolina remains above the national average for poverty, and I believe that this legislation is important to help fight for our state and district."

 

The bill first extends the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit (which is used to incentivize firms to hire poorer, unemployed Americans) by an additional two years. It then increases the dependent care tax credit for those who fall under the poverty level. "The purpose of the expanded dependent care credit," Seymour said, "is to defray the cost of childcare for working class American families." The bill also expands Medicaid for those children and pregnant mothers who fall substantially below the federal poverty level and appropriates $350 million between the Head Start education program and the Job Training Partnership Act. Finally, the bill allows for certain grants to states to experiment with Aid to Families with Dependent Children. "Poverty is a real epidemic, and fighting for American children to escape this cycle is a must," Seymour concluded his statement.

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Rep. Seymour: Time to Encourage Education Savings

 

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CLEMSON, SC - U.S. Representative Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) recently spoke at a meeting of the Clemson University Democrats, addressing his latest legislative initiative that would make college more affordable for millions of Americans. "I believe that the way of the future will have many more Americans pursuing higher education degrees through universities like this one here in Clemson.  But the price of investing in one's potential future earnings is ever-increasing, which reduces return-on-investment. That is why I have just introduced the Higher Education Savings Act in the hopper of the United States House of Representatives," Seymour told the young adults.

 

"My bill will create an income tax exclusion up to the amount of higher education expenses for parents, spouses, and students themselves who pay for their tuition, books, et cetera with U.S. savings bonds," Seymour explained. Seymour's bill also requires the Treasury Secretary to make the public aware of the tax advantages conferred under this program, which would help reduce the effective cost of attending a university or vocational school. "With the 21st century looming on the horizon, and global competition just getting stiffer, Americans need to continue their innovative spirit of entrepreneurship - and the tools provided by post-secondary education to do that must be a national priority. Now is the time to encourage education savings, and I'm proud to be on the forefront of this vital issue in our nation's capital," Seymour concluded.

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Seymour Introduces Legislation to Hold Congress Accountable

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Douglas Seymour, Democrat from South Carolina's 3rd District, recently introduced a sweeping piece of legislation that would hold Congress and the federal judiciary accountable to the same anti-discrimination law - the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - that applies elsewhere for vital employment decisions. "Look," Congressman Seymour told the press upon the bill's introduction, "I have long stood against unjust hiring practices that single out qualified individuals on the basis of their race, sex, or handicap. It is only logical that we force the United States Congress and our judicial branch of government to legally be held to the same standards that we do for federal agencies and private employers."

 

Seymour acknowledged that he was unaware of any major discriminatory suits pending with respect to the various congressional staffs of each member, but stated, "The idea that Congress should get a carve-out to this landmark piece of legislation is simply wrong on its face. While Constitutional guarantees of equal protection do apply here," Seymour said, "giving prospective employees stronger legal grounds makes it easier to root out bad actors in the legislative and judicial branches of government." The Congressional and Judicial Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1987 would allow exemptions for political affiliation and residency for Congress, but would establish the Employment Review Board (consisting of retired federal judges) to oversee the enforcement of the law. "This is a serious bill, because it covers a serious topic. Representing the good folks down here in South Carolina, and having a record of supporting Supreme Court decisions against discrimination, I trust that this bill will receive the consideration is deserves."

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Seymour, Kaine Reach AIDS Compromise

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) recently met with the Reverend Rep. Anderson Kaine (R-IL-20) to discuss a reform to the AIDS Prevention and Information Act of 1987, which is currently being debated before the House Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Seymour had expressed concerns regarding the price tag associated with the piece of legislation, which appropriated over $4 billion dollars to AIDS testing and various other grants. "It is undeniable that AIDS is a problem in our society, but to pour billions of dollars into testing is not the answer. This bill is fiscal insanity, and would move us away towards the desired long-term goal of fiscal stability," Seymour said during the HELP debate. To that end, Congressman Seymour approached Reverend Kaine, who had also expressed concerns over the lack of accountability and wrong message sent by the bill.

 

Seymour, who frequently reaches across the aisle, voted not to table the underlying bill but instead introduced an amendment to the AIDS Prevention and Information Act of 1987 that would reduce the total price tag by about 4-and-a-half times. The Seymour I amendment also clarifies that instruction for youth should only apply to at-risk youth. Finally, Congressmen Seymour and Kaine's arrangement would ensure that educational and counseling services funded by the federal appropriation would place a particular focus on sexual abstinence. "We know how to prevent AIDS - its as simple as abstaining from extramarital and premarital sexual relations. Any education program that we fund as a nation must promote moral behavior, and that is a key piece of the Seymour I amendment in HELP." The amendment looks set to pass committee, and Seymour has announced that he will support the bill-as-amended in a final committee vote.

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Seymour Speaks on Family Values

 

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ANDERSON, SC - At a meeting of Southern Baptist leaders in South Carolina, Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) recently discussed his strong and passionate support for family values. "I'm here today not to pontificate about politics of division and discord, but rather to speak to the truth that is God's love for us, and His institution of basic societal institutions - the most fundamental one being the family. There is no denying that the basic bedrock of America is the family, today just as it has been since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. They knew that Divine Providence would oversee their journey, and they knew that they could rely upon the family as an institution given to us by the Almighty," Seymour said.

 

The local Congressman and Southern Baptist adherent then spoke about a few legislative happenings in Washington, DC that relate to the primacy of family relations. "You may well know, but I'm a proud co-sponsor of legislation to defund abortion federally, and to limit marriage to one-man and one-woman. These are issues that we have to get right: lives are literally depending on us. Taxpayer funded abortion is despicable, and I was proud to vote for the strictest version of this bill in the HELP Committee, and we saw an important version pass through that committee. As for the Defense of Marriage Act, I believe that it is commonsense to allow states to pick their own marriage policy. Some cry states' rights, but trust me - this bill only empowers states further to make the right choice when it comes to the holy union of marriage. Finally, my own bill that helps families is the Fighting Childhood Poverty Act." This bill is currently up for consideration before the HELP Committee and would create tax incentives, among other things, to fight poverty. "We need to ensure all American children can get ahead, and through education, early childhood healthcare, and work programs, we're on track to do just that," Seymour concluded.

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Seymour: Let's Cherish the Second Amendment

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) received an internal promotion from the House Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to the more prestigious Committee on Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and the Judiciary (ASFAJ). His elevation came during a time of votes on the ASFAJ committee - an essential duty of any committee-member. One bill up for consideration is the Responsible Gun Ownership Act, which would prohibit the ownership of loosely defined "assault weapons," along with background check provisions that are unenforceable. "I have just voted against recommending the Responsible Gun Ownership Act to the full House for consideration. Not only is it a half-hearted attempt at creating a federal background check system, but it also bans whole groups of arms from public ownership. Let's cherish the Second Amendment, not attempt to undermine it," Seymour said to the press upon leaving the committee room.

 

"The bill in question is simply not the right piece of legislation for our nation. Our Founding Fathers embraced the Second Amendment as necessary to the security of a free nation. I'm a proud, responsible gun-owner, and I believe that gun rights must be protected. Of course, violent criminals should not have access to these weapons, but the current bill is nothing but a poor excuse for a mandate. There's no enforcement mechanism, not way that the background checks would be carried out," Seymour said. Addressing the proposal to ban assault weapons, Seymour expressed deep concern over the ambiguous definitions provided by the bill. "The bill prohibits possession of assault weapons, but fails to provide a real definition of an assault weapon, instead classifying them in with machine guns. Well, just last year I joined a bipartisan group of legislators to pass the Firearm Owners Protection Act, which prohibited transfer and possession of all new machine guns! So, either this section is a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing aimed at an ever-expanding definition of assault weapons, or it is simply redundant." Regardless, Seymour said, he opposed the bill on sound policy-making grounds in addition to pro-Second Amendment reasons. "We cannot go passing pie-in-the-sky proposals that sound good but cannot be implemented by the federal government. That is why I voted no on this gun control measure."

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Seymour Applauds Passage of His Bills

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Today, two pieces of landmark legislation sponsored by Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) were signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. These two new laws, the Higher Education Savings Act and the Fighting Childhood Poverty Act, were clear-cut examples of Congressman Seymour's legislative leadership and are bound to have a major positive impact on the lives of everyday Americans. "I am proud that these two important bills were signed by the President,"  Seymour told the press after their passage. "Here we have two bills that will live up to their names, and have the potential impact to greatly reduce poverty in the United States while promoting educational opportunity for all children."

 

Douglas Seymour has been a tireless advocate for these pieces of legislation, from drafting their core provisions, introducing them, and securing cosponsors, to leading the debate, ushering them through the chambers, and ultimately helping place them on the President's desk. "It is a humbling experience, but one that has unlocked a great deal of potential for the hundreds of thousands of lives that will be touched on day one,"  Seymour said. The Fighting Childhood Poverty Act builds upon previous efforts to improve opportunity for children, primarily by providing tax incentives and job training opportunities for parents to work and healthcare and educational opportunities for the poorest families. Seymour's other major law signed by President Reagan, the Higher Education Savings Act, would create an income tax exclusion for savings bonds used to pay for higher education expenses. "As I told students at Clemson when I was first championing this bill, we need to remain competitive in higher education, and this bill will enable the U.S. to do just that." Two other bills that Congressman Douglas Seymour has co-sponsored and vocally supported became law today, as well: the Veterans Job Training Extension Act of 1987 and the Radio Free China Act of 1987.

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Seymour Condemns Williams' Disingenuous Tactics

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Douglas Seymour, Democratic Congressman for South Carolina's 3rd District, recently commented on the Republican-led takeover of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and the Judiciary (ASFAJ) Committee and procedural antics under Ranking Member (and acting Chairwoman) Jacky Williams (R-CA-45). Under House Rules, the Ranking Member may assume the gavel in the prolonged absence of the Committee Chair - something Congressman Seymour is not contesting. However, Representative Williams took the unprecedented step of limiting debate to only five minutes - an absurdly short amount of time for the deliberative ASFAJ Committee to do its job. "As a member of this committee, I condemn in the strongest possible terms the political stunt in which Congressional Republicans are engaging. Committees aren't a rubber stamp, despite what Congresswoman Williams may think about our democratic processes," Seymour said to the press.

 

This is not the first time Representative Williams has flagrantly ignored House customs or rules - there is a censure motion targeting Williams waiting in the ASFAJ Hopper for her egregious behavior during the King nepotism hearings. "I did not sign onto this censure motion at the time, but there is a concerning trend that Representative Williams is unwilling to abide by the rules and norms of Congressional behavior," Seymour stated. "The bills brought forward aren't necessarily bad bills - they include tough-on-crime and fiscal sanity measures. However, to ignore the purpose of committees, especially the prestigious ASFAJ Committee, is simply the wrong course of action." Seymour also weighed in on the presidential ambitions of Williams, saying, "This is a blatant attempt to score political points for one's personal ambitions rather than do what's right for the House, what's right for Congress, and what's right for the American people. We should not allow ourselves to be fooled by rushed pieces of legislation that haven't seen the full light of day." Seymour concluded his remarks by informing the press that he would be voting no on the bills - regardless of their underlying merit - because of the political stunt that brought them for a committee vote without adequate debate or consideration.

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Seymour Introduces Truth-in-Savings Act

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) introduced vital legislation to protect consumers and bank depositors against malpractice at depository institutions. The Truth-in-Savings Act of 1988 is an important piece of legislation which will promote economic stability, enhance competition among banks and credit unions, and empower consumers to make the best decisions possible with their money. "I am proud to introduce the Truth-in-Savings Act on behalf of my constituents today," Seymour said in a statement, "which continues my commitment to everyday Americans. I believe that government can improve market outcomes, and in the area of asymmetric information and intentionally misleading documents, this is a clear-cut example of when small-scale regulation works for everyone's best interests."

 

The primary legislative impact of the bill would be to ensure that there is clear disclosure of interest rates on the various financial instruments offered to banking customers. "It is too difficult for even the best-intending customer to find out the nature of the real differences between banks' offers, in large part because of the various disclosures that do not align with one another," Seymour stated. "The Truth-in-Savings Act, which complements the 1960s-era Truth-in-Lending Act, will promote standard disclosures, thereby enhancing the competition between various banks and credit unions. By competing with one another, customers will receive higher interest payments and lower account fees - all through the free market mechanisms." Seymour referred to the fact that the bill is neutral on how banks process interest payments and gives banks the opportunity to weigh in on Federal Reserve disclosure formatting,  thereby reducing the total regulatory burden. "I look forward to a vigorous debate, and the ultimate passage of, this critical piece of legislation - the Truth-in-Savings Act."

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Seymour, HELP Chairman, Announces Latest Docket

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) took to the press to discuss the latest batch of bills he has brought up for consideration before the the House Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Seymour, as Chairman of the HELP Committee, brought forth three critical bills that will improve consumers' financial health, will improve education and computer literacy, and will improve the well-being of ranchers and farmers. "This slate of bills," Douglas Seymour said, "represents my commitment, and the Democratic Party's commitment, to helping the little man and woman improve their economic status and attain their very own American Dream. While Republican leadership clamors for tax cuts for the richest Americans, I am proud of this agenda."

 

The three bills are Seymour's own Truth-in-Savings Act of 1988, House Majority Leader Clay's Computer Literacy Act of 1988 (which Seymour has co-sponsored), and Congressman Goodman's Capital for Farmers and Ranchers Act of 1987. "As I've stated elsewhere, the Truth-in-Savings Act will ensure that consumers are empowered with information, which will increase competition among banks for their business. Deceptive practices and false advertising will be cracked down on under this vital bill," Seymour stated. "As for the Computer Literacy Act, we will help advance into the 1990s and beyond with money for schools to acquire computers - technology with the potential to reshape the world. And the rural capital bill will ensure that farmers and ranchers have access to loans they need to stay afloat and to make a profit. These bills aren't about big business, they aren't about big government. They are all about commonsense investment in our nation's future and our consumers," Douglas Seymour concluded.

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Seymour Stands for the Working Class

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) spoke on the House floor regarding two critical pieces of pro-worker legislation that are being considered. "I take my duty as a representative of all the people of South Carolina's 3rd very seriously," Seymour stated, "but the obligation of an elected official falls most heavily on defending those who cannot as easily speak for themselves. In my mind, that includes the working class of this nation who cannot hire lobbyists or other special interest mechanisms, but instead rely on their votes and their representatives to get things done." The two bills which Congressman Seymour spoke on are the Real Right to Work Act and the Employee Rights Protection Act of 1987. The Real Right to Work Act ensures adequate, 60-day warnings to workers whose jobs would be terminated due to mass layoff. The Employee Rights Protection Act focuses on adding labor participation to anti-discriminatory practices sections of the Civil Rights Act.

 

"These two bills are vital to the well-being of jobs here in South Carolina, but also across the greater United States. The fact that an employee, who goes into work every morning in the early hours of the day, who puts his fullest effort on the line, who does what he's supposed to in order to get ahead for himself and his family - the fact that that kind of employee can be fired simply for being a member of a voluntary organization like a labor union, is simply disgusting. That is why I moved for unanimous consent on the Employee Rights Protection Act. We must strengthen our labor laws, not continue to roll-over and allow this anti-worker administration or the anti-worker Republican Party to push back against working class Americans," Seymour stated in an extended interview with the press. He also spoke about the importance of keeping American jobs domestic, and that he would be taking a closer look at ways to promote exports rather than imports, saying: "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this President wants to sacrifice American labor on some ideological altar, the altar of free trade. I will stand opposed to such efforts for as long as I may serve the people of South Carolina's 3rd."

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Seymour Addresses 1988 DNC, Introduces White

 

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PITTSBURGH, PA - Congressman Douglas Seymour (D-SC-3) recently spoke at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, where he introduced Democratic Presidential Nominee and fellow Congressman John White (D-FL-18). Seymour began by stating his real privilege in attending the convention was "being able to speak with the thousands of delegates and alternates who have come here to Pittsburgh from across the United States. You are the backbone of our nation, the supporters of our values, the defenders of our liberties, the frontline of democracy!" Seymour then transitioned to briefly introducing John White's qualifications to serve as the nation's 41st President. Douglas Seymour then began to discuss the man he had grown to know on the campaign trail, saying, "First and foremost, John is a man of intense integrity, deep honor, and a commitment to do what is right. He stands on principle, stands above the fray, and stands for the American people!"

 

Commenting on White's vision for America, Douglas Seymour said, "The New Path Forward calls for investment in the future of our nation without tying our children down with trillions of dollars of debt. The New Path Forward calls for combating crime with 100,000 new police officers and winning the war on drugs. The New Path Forward calls for a stronger and safer America on the global stage, with a strong front against anti-democratic regimes. The New Path Forward calls for defending the equal rights of all Americans and promoting a message of cohesion and national unity.  And the New Path Forward calls for restoring faith in our government and other social institutions." The South Carolina Congressman then addressed the people who supported him in the Democratic Primary, throwing his entire weight behind White. After the convention, Seymour said, "It was a distinct honor to introduce my friend, John White, to the Democratic National Convention. I look forward to joining this inspired leader on the campaign trail in the coming weeks!"

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