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Sen. Tim Scott goes ‘undercover’ to gain job experience

First District US Congressman Tim Scott, Republican, South Carolina. Handout photo

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said he tried out a number of low-wage jobs to help collect experiences for his recently drafted economic empowerment reform package.

Bagging groceries, waiting on tables, riding on a public bus through Charleston and sweeping the floor at a fast-food restaurant were all part of his low-key research, he said.

“I learned I don’t sweep as well as I need to,” Scott, R-S.C., said Wednesday of his cleanup skills.

He also worked at a California Dreaming restaurant to understand the challenges of a working mother.

The details came as Scott held a conference call with South Carolina reporters to address some of his 2014 legislative goals.

He has introduced two pieces of legislation he says is part of what he is calling his “opportunity agenda.”

His Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education Act covers expanding school choice opportunities for children with disabilities, children who live on military bases and children living in impoverished areas.

The Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act is targeted at helping low-income workers, individuals with disabilities who are in the job market, and at-risk youth. It emphasizes job training and streamlining services.

Scott said some similar efforts are being pushed in other forms by other lawmakers, and that ranking Republicans and other members of the S.C. delegation have been generally supportive of what he’s backing. The stumbling block, he said, are opposition Democrats in Washington.

“The real question is: How we can get Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev., the Senate leader) to allow a vote to go forward on anything,” he said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.

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