Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after the cancellation of the vote on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, originally scheduled for this afternoon.
“I am disappointed we could not take this first step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Smith said. “Too many Nebraskans are being harmed as Obamacare continues to fail, and I remain committed to doing everything I can in bringing people together, taking action, and delivering the relief we promised.”
Click here for video of Congressman Smith’s remarks on the House floor earlier today in support of H.R. 1628.Read More
Nebraska has a lot to celebrate during National Ag Week. Thanks to the hard work and innovative practices of our farmers and ranchers, the Third District is the top-producing agriculture district in the country. We are grateful for their many contributions to our lives and economy, and committed to ensuring a strong future for the industry.
One in four Nebraska jobs is tied to agriculture. Our state ranks number one in beef exports and the production of red meat, popcorn, and Great Northern beans, and is among the top states for cattle, corn, and soybeans. Because of producers’ daily dedication, Nebraska is a leader in feeding the world.
As we celebrate agriculture, we must also recognize the hardships. Recent wildfires in multiple states, including our own, have led to widespread devastation. More than a million acres have burned, with staggering losses of livestock, homes, farm buildings, feed supplies, and even human life. The thoughts and prayers of the entire agriculture community are with those who have been impacted by these disasters.
For too long, the growing list of federal regulations has threatened agriculture’s future. These burdens come on top of low commodity prices. The Trump administration has taken action to get the government out of the way, including starting to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) dangerous Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS. Nebraska producers are committed stewards of our natural resources and take many steps to keep our water sources clean. I was pleased to join President Trump at the White House last month as he ordered a reset on WOTUS, knowing farmers and ranchers do not need Washington bureaucrats controlling the water puddles and irrigation ditches on their land.
Nebraska ranks number two in the country for ethanol production capacity at more than two billion gallons. This fuel source is a sought-after alternative for consumers and retailers, but outdated EPA regulations inhibit the sale of E15 during the summer months when demand is highest. E10 received a waiver from these regulations decades ago, and I have reintroduced my legislation to extend the same relief to E15.
Sound agriculture policies are a crucial part of ensuring farmers and ranchers have the resources they need to succeed. As Congress prepares to draft a new Farm Bill, I will host listening sessions over the coming months to hear directly from Third District producers. Two sessions are scheduled for April: Monday, April 17, in Scottsbluff, and Thursday, April 20, in Aurora. For more information about these events, please visit my website at AdrianSmith.house.gov/FarmBillTour or call my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900.
Agriculture’s success also hinges on opening new markets to U.S. producers. The Trump administration has made clear its intention to pursue bilateral trade agreements, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I will continue advocating for engagement in the global marketplace.
We are already seeing the results of U.S. inaction on trade. Australia, which recently negotiated a trade agreement with Japan, now enjoys reduced tariffs on many of its agriculture exports while U.S. exports still face costly barriers. Countries around the world will continue to move forward on agreements like this with or without us, so we must be part of the conversation.
Throughout the year, I get to visit with young Nebraskans involved in groups like 4-H and FFA. Our conversations make me even more excited about the future. I am grateful to work with producers of all ages from all parts of the Third District to keep opportunity growing for agriculture.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) spoke on the House Floor today in recognition of National Agriculture Week.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of National Agriculture Week and the farmers and ranchers who have made Nebraska’s Third District the top-producing agriculture district in the country.
One in four Nebraska jobs is tied to agriculture. The hard work and innovative practices of our producers have made our state a leader in feeding the world.
For too long, the heavy hand of the federal government has threatened agriculture’s future.
Thankfully, we have seen important victories under the Trump administration, including the beginning of the end for the EPA’s dangerous Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS.
Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are committed stewards of our natural resources and take many steps to keep our water sources clean.
President Trump ordered a reset on WOTUS, agreeing farmers and ranchers deserve better than having Washington bureaucrats controlling the water puddles and irrigation ditches on their land.
As founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus, I will continue to promote policies designed to get the government out of the way and open more markets around the world for Nebraska producers.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back.Read More
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the rhetoric in our country. National news networks roll footage of contentious meetings between public officials and those they represent. People yelling at one another and calling names has sadly become commonplace.
On the other hand, my experiences in the Third District have made me even more proud to be a Nebraskan.
Over the past couple weeks, I have hosted mobile offices in Chadron and St. Paul to answer questions and hear Nebraskans’ thoughts firsthand. I also spoke at a public meeting in Scottsbluff hosted by the Western Nebraska Cattlemen. In each of these gatherings, we discussed issues from health care to tax reform to trade. Those attending have been engaged citizens wanting to share their concerns and opinions.
You may have heard the expression our country is run by those who show up. I am always open to hearing from those who make the effort to be part of a productive discussion. Though there has certainly been some disagreement in my public meetings, in the end Nebraskans have expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be heard. I appreciate their willingness to share their thoughts with me as well.
My interest in politics arose from conversations with my grandfather, and I credit him for instilling in me a desire for constructive, respectful debate. We often disagreed on political topics, but we had a tradition of watching the evening news together and talking about it afterward. He taught me how essential it is to hear all sides of an issue and listen to what others have to say.
Public meetings are an important part of my role as a representative – hearing your stories, receiving direct feedback, and sharing what I am working on every day in Congress. I am in the process of planning Farm Bill listening sessions in mid-April, as well as additional mobile offices in the coming months.
With Congress in session in Washington, D.C. more days this year and 65,000 square miles of the Third District to cover, I unfortunately cannot be everywhere I would like to be at once. To serve more Nebraskans, members of my staff also host numerous mobile offices and provide the feedback to me directly.
My congressional caseworkers hit the road often as well to host Caseworker in Your Community events for Nebraskans who need help dealing with a federal agency on issues such as Social Security, immigration, or veterans’ affairs. On March 22, Caseworker in Your Community events will be held in Ainsworth, Brewster, and Ord. Caseworkers can also be reached daily by calling my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900.
In addition to in-person public meetings, I appreciate the opportunity to engage with Nebraskans through telephone town halls when I am in Washington, D.C. These forums allow me to connect with thousands of Nebraskans across the Third District for live question and answer sessions. If you would like to be included on future telephone town halls, please send me a note through my website at AdrianSmith.house.gov or call my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-6435.
To make sure you receive details about my upcoming public events, as well as events hosted by my staff, I encourage you to sign up for my e-newsletter at AdrianSmith.house.gov/Newsletter. Thank you for engaging with me in the political process.Read More
The House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), today held a hearing to discuss the reauthorization of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, which is currently set to expire at the end of September 2017.
The MIECHV program is an evidence-based program that helps to improve the lives of families in at-risk communities. Unlike most federal social programs, MIECHV funding is tied to real results. House Republicans have long called for more programs to follow this evidence-based approach to ensure limited taxpayer dollars are actually delivering the intended results and helping those most in need. In fact, the House Republican “A Better Way to Fight Poverty” agenda specifically calls for more programs to replicate MIECHV’s approach.
At the beginning of the hearing, Chairman Smith explained how MIECHV evaluates home visiting programs for funding: “For a home visiting model to be funded, an evaluation must show the program has demonstrated significant, positive outcomes in areas such as reducing child abuse and neglect, improving maternal and child health, and improving economic self-sufficiency … States have also been held accountable for demonstrating positive outcomes for children and families. If they don’t show improvements in four of six areas specified in law, they have to explain how they plan to improve their services to get results, which again, provide real help to struggling families.”
Two of today’s witnesses, Beth Russell and Rosa Valentin, shared their own experience working together through the Nurse-Family Partnership program in Lancaster, Pennsylvania—a home visiting program supported by MIECHV.
Rosa was 14 years old when she found out she was pregnant and was unsure how she would be able to take care of her baby while also achieving her education goals. Her nurse, Beth, helped her have a healthy pregnancy, cope with stress, and become a confident mom.
Discussing the steps she took to help Rosa set goals that would make her a successful parent, Beth said: “In every instance, I meet the client where she is and hopefully, I can be a positive force for good in her life amidst often stressful situations … I had Rosa make a list of her needs and goals, and at that first visit made several referrals to get her the right services that she needed to complement our visits.”
By using the evidence-based Nurse-Family Partnership model, Beth successfully helped Rosa through her pregnancy and continues to guide her through her first two years of motherhood. Today, Rosa is a 16-year-old junior in high school, is on track to graduate next year, and is a loving mom to a healthy 20-month-old daughter.
Ways and Means members on both sides of the aisle are working to reauthorize the MIECHV program and replicate its success so children and families receive real help that improves their lives.
Click here to learn more about today’s hearing.
Click here for Smith’s full opening statement.
Click here for a press release on Smith's recent visit to Panhandle Public Health District Healthy Families America in Scottsbluff, NE, to learn firsthand about how MIECHV is improving outcomes for Nebraska families.Read More
Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) who need assistance dealing with a federal agency are invited to attend Caseworker in Your Community events on Wednesday, March 22, in Ainsworth, Brewster, and Ord.
Caseworker in Your Community is an opportunity for constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s congressional caseworkers. Caseworkers may be able to assist constituents who are having problems dealing with a federal agency such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security, Medicare, passports and visas through the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the Internal Revenue Service.
Caseworker in Your Community will be held on Wednesday, March 22, at the following times and locations:
Brown County Courthouse – Meeting Room 148 W. 4th Street, Ainsworth, NE 69210 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (CDT)
Blaine County Courthouse – Clerk’s Office 145 Lincoln Avenue, Brewster, NE 68821 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (CDT)
Valley County Courthouse – County Courtroom 125 S. 15th Street, Ord, NE 68862 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (CDT)
For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.Read More
After nearly 18 hours of debate in the Ways and Means Committee, we passed the American Health Care Act on Thursday to begin the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. This was the first step in a longer process to unravel Obamacare's taxes and mandates, and reset our health care system.
Compared to the 10.3 million Americans paying for plans on the Obamacare exchanges, many of whom had coverage prior to the law, 19.2 million have chosen instead to pay the penalty or seek an exemption. When nearly two times the number of Americans are opting out of Obamacare as opting in, it is a clear indication the system is not providing what people want and need.
It makes little sense for the IRS to punish taxpayers for choosing not to purchase a product which does not work for them. The American Health Care Act repeals Obamacare's individual mandate, allowing people to decide how best to care for themselves without facing threats from the IRS. At the same time, it keeps important patient protections in place, such as prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions.
Options for quality care have dwindled under Obamacare. Nebraskans only have two insurers to choose from on the exchange. Elsewhere, some rural areas are down to only one or even zero providers on their exchanges. Many Nebraskans have had to leave their doctors, faced deductibles in the tens of thousands of dollars, and for those impacted by the CoOportunity Health debacle, been forced to find new plans multiple times.
The American Health Care Act changes the tax treatment of health care to provide more flexibility through policies which have been touted for years by conservative organizations including the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. It also ensures those who do not receive health care coverage through their employer can receive the same tax benefits as those who do. Overall, the bill establishes a market-based system, driving down costs and increasing quality through competition. Under Obamacare, the heavy hand of the federal government dictating Americans' care has killed competition, evidenced by insurers leaving the exchanges and premiums continuing to rise.
Because the American Health Care Act is a reconciliation bill, it cannot be filibustered and only requires a simple majority in the Senate. This is why we must seize this opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare through this process. While we held our nearly 18-hour markup in the Ways and Means Committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a simultaneous 27-hour session on their portions of the bill. Following consideration by the Budget Committee, expected next week, the bill will proceed to the Rules Committee and then to a vote by the full House and eventually the Senate.
This reconciliation bill is only the first step. Secondly, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will make changes at the agency level to stabilize the marketplace. There are more than 1,400 instances where Obamacare gives discretionary authority to the HHS Secretary. With his background as an orthopedic surgeon and Budget Committee chairman, Secretary Price can carefully untangle the red tape. The third step is to pass additional bills in Congress to lock in patient-centered solutions, such as the ability to purchase insurance across state lines.
Doing nothing about Obamacare's failures is not an option. There is going to be disagreement over any solution, but this is why the American Health Care Act is moving openly through regular order in four committees before it even comes to the House floor. Unlike with Obamacare, when Nancy Pelosi said we would have to pass the bill to find out what's in it, the American Health Care Act is posted online for all to read at ReadTheBill.gop.
Americans sent a clear message in November, and they do not want partisan bickering in Washington to delay this effort any longer. The Trump administration has endorsed the American Health Care Act, and we are working together to finally bring relief.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement this morning after voting to pass the American Health Care Act out of the Ways and Means Committee as the first step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare. The Committee’s markup of the bill lasted nearly 18 hours.
“For years, Nebraskans have called on us to provide relief from Obamacare’s rising premiums and dwindling choices,” Smith said. “Too many Americans have been hurt by this failing law, and now we finally have the opportunity to reset our health care system. Today’s Ways and Means Committee vote is the first step.
“Unlike with Obamacare, when Nancy Pelosi said we’d have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it, the American Health Care Act is posted online for Americans to read. We used an open process in Committee in which Members from both sides of the aisle could offer amendments and ideas. Unfortunately, Democrats chose to stall our work for hours by playing political games, but we stayed until the work was done.
“We know Obamacare is unsustainable, and Americans’ health care is hanging in the balance. We must come together to put patients first.”
In addition to the Ways and Means Committee’s action on the bill, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a simultaneous markup on their sections of the American Health Care Act. Following consideration by the Budget Committee, expected next week, the bill will proceed to the Rules Committee and then to a vote by the full House.
The American Health Care Act can be viewed online at ReadTheBill.gop.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during a mobile office on Monday, March 13, in St. Paul.
A mobile office allows constituents to meet directly with Congressman Smith about federal issues and take advantage of the services available through his office.
Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will hold the mobile office in St. Paul on Monday, March 13, at the following time and location:
Howard County Courthouse – Assembly Room 612 Indian Street, St. Paul, NE 68873 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CDT)
For additional information, please contact Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding the passing of Ambassador Clayton Yeutter.
“Ambassador Yeutter was a true statesman who generously shared his time and expertise. No one understood the importance of trade to Nebraska agriculture better than he did, and his many years of public service benefited generations of agriculture producers across the country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”Read More
2241 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Adrian Smith has earned praise for his leadership, hard work and dedication to Nebraska commonsense. Smith has tackled issues ranging from biofuels and other forms of domestic energy to transportation research and development to fashioning legislation promoting rural America.
Smith has consistently voted against tax increases, massive government bailouts, and was unwavering in his opposition of the misguided health care bill now creating massive uncertainty for our nation’s job creators.
Smith, a co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment and a supporter of a Congressional earmark moratorium, has earned a reputation as a solid conservative through his votes to protect the rights of gun owners, efforts to limit the scope of government, and his strong pro-life voting record.
Smith, who serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, actively promotes access for Nebraska agriculture products in Asia, South America, and throughout the world. Nebraska’s $4 billion in worldwide agricultural exports creates $6.7 billion in additional economic activity. Smith supports trade agreements which will continue to create new opportunities for our agriculture producers and their products to keep Nebraska’s economy strong.
Smith’s assignment on the Ways and Means Committee also puts the Nebraskan on the front lines in the debate on how to create jobs, promote economic growth, and directly impact tax policy – such as the Death Tax which threatens family farms and ranches.
Smith’s also has introduced the bipartisan Small-Scale Hydropower Enhancement Act which would help stimulate the economy of rural America, empower local irrigation districts to generate revenue, and decrease reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging the use of small-scale hydropower projects.
The Gering native, whose family has called Nebraska home for six generations, was first introduced to politics by his grandfather. Prior to his election to Congress, Smith served his hometown as a member of the City Council. He then represented District 48 for eight years in the Unicameral.
He continues to reside in Gering.
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Too many Nebraskans being harmed as #Obamacare continues to fail. I remain committed to coming together, taking action & delivering relief.
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