Scott Peters is a civic leader with a proven track record of working with everyone to achieve commonsense solutions and get things done. Since becoming a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, his priorities have been to fix a broken Congress, create high-quality jobs, keep America safe, keep our promises to our veterans, and make college more affordable for middle-class families. Scott currently serves on the House Energy & Commerce Committee as well as the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Within these committees, Scott continues to advocate for commonsense healthcare reforms, better care for our veterans, and investments in today’s global economy.
Since his time on the City Council, and as a Port Commissioner, Scott has developed a solid reputation as someone who is willing to reach across the aisle and achieve bipartisan solutions to tough problems. While so many in Washington seem interested only in political gamesmanship and blaming others for the problems we face, Scott has forged a different path; he’s introduced multiple bills to make college more affordable, become a nationally recognized leader in the fight to reduce gun violence, has been a strong voice for our nation’s military, and has repeatedly stood up to attempts in Congress to take away a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.
Standing Up for What’s Right
Scott learned the importance of standing up for what’s right from his father, a Lutheran minister, who worked for housing desegregation and improved race relations after riots had ravaged Detroit in the 1960s. He's taken those values to Congress - standing up for Voting Rights, women's rights, and full LGBT equality. He was recognized as one of the most articulate voices on the House Judiciary committee arguing against Republicans who tried to defund Planned Parenthood and allow employers to deny coverage for basic women’s health care, like birth control. He’s also been a staunch and outspoken advocate for getting the vast sums of special interest money out of politics, limiting the influence of secret Super PACs and returning government to We The People.
For his work towards true equality, Scott has received endorsements from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Equality California, and more.
Fixing Congress / Government Reform
Scott believes that like the rest of America, if Congress can’t do its job, it shouldn’t get paid. Scott helped pass the "No Budget, No Pay" law that stops Congress from being paid until it passes a budget and is working to make it permanent. He also refused to keep his paycheck during the government shutdown, and voted to stop Congress from giving themselves a raise. He’s proposed a “Fix Congress Now” plan to force members to do their job – work five days a week, actually vote on bills that have been proposed, and ban the wealthy and big corporations from spending unlimited money in secret on campaigns. Scott knows the only way to fix a broken Congress is to get the vast sums of special interest money out of politics with transparency and enforcement. Scott wants to limit secret Super PACs and disclose the names of wealthy anonymous donors. He believes America has the right to know who is influencing our politicians and that we need a government of the people to make progress for the middle class.
Making College More Affordable
As the son of a minister and a secretary who needed student loans and work-study programs to get through college, Scott has worked to expand educational opportunities by helping to pass a law to keep student loan interest rates lower and putting forward a bill to provide tax breaks to employers who help their employees pay off their debt. Scott introduced a bill to allow all Purple Heart recipients, regardless of how long they served, to gain access to full GI Bill benefits. The legislation was included in the "Forever GI Bill,” which became law in 2017. Scott also continues to push for increasing STEM opportunities for women and minorities, preparing youth for work in today’s economy, and making sure our children are being taught by high quality teachers.
Greater Economic Opportunity for All
In Congress, Scott has been a leading voice for more investment in San Diego's science, engineering, biotechnology, and research to create the high-wage jobs of the future.
Scott helped pass a $2 billion increase in funding for basic scientific research through the National Institutes of Health, which funds research at many San Diego labs and universities, and voted to extend tax credits that incentivize private sector investment in wind and solar energy to support San Diego’s renewable energy industry and reduce harmful emissions.
Scott also forced a delay of the medical device excise tax, which would hurt San Diego innovators, and led Democrats and Republicans to secure almost $450 million for the San Diego border crossing that regional business leaders called San Diego's top priority for job creation. The improved crossing will strengthen border security and create thousands of jobs by improving the flow of trade and commerce. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Downtown San Diego Partnership, who advocate for job creation and supporting San Diego’s innovation economy, have endorsed Scott’s campaign for reelection.
Before being elected to Congress, Scott served as chair of the San Diego Unified Port District – a major economic engine that produces tens of thousands of high-skill, high-wage jobs for San Diegans. The Port manages the state tidelands in and around San Diego Bay, which produces $3.3 billion in direct economic impact to the region and supports middle class jobs for more than 40,000 San Diegans.
Scott served at the Port after completing two terms on the San Diego City Council, where he was San Diego’s first City Council President, elected to the role three years in a row by his colleagues. While at the City, Scott pursued greater accountability and efficiency in government, with a results-oriented approach. He led the creation of a new council/mayor form of government with an independent budget review function; created an independent audit function; hired the City’s first independent budget analyst; completed over $2 billion in downtown redevelopment including a new major league ballpark that generated more than 19,000 jobs; delivered an 80% reduction in sewer spills and beach closure days; set new standards for energy and water conservation in new development; and completed major district infrastructure, including Highway 56.
Prior to entering public service, Scott had a 16-year legal career in private practice, specializing in environmental law. He worked as an associate at large law firms, as a Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Diego, and then had his own small law firm for a number of years.
Scott has also worked extensively as a community leader to grow our economy, improve education, and protect the environment – including service as a member of the boards of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, CleanTECH San Diego, and the UCSD Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, and as Chair of the Climate Initiative at The San Diego Foundation.
Scott earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and worked as an economist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before attending New York University School of Law. He and his wife of 30 years, Lynn, are 27-year residents of the 52nd District. They live in La Jolla and have a grown daughter and son.