Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

President’s Budget Forces Americans to Shoulder Costs

2016/02/12

President Obama made his final budget request to Congress this week. At $4.1 trillion, it is the most expensive budget proposal in history.  

The President’s 170-page budget increases spending by $2.5 trillion, raises taxes by $3.4 trillion, and adds $9.3 trillion to the national debt over 10 years. In fact, under this proposal, the national debt would be more than double what it was when President Obama took office. As usual, his budget also never balances.

Considering our national debt now exceeds $19 trillion, these numbers are unrealistic enough. However, the truly absurd aspects of the President’s budget are the government-down policies which force Americans to shoulder the costs.

One of the President’s proposals is a $10.25 tax on each barrel of oil, which would mean a 25-cent average increase in the cost of a gallon of gas. When speaking about this new tax, White House economic adviser Jeff Zients said, “We recognize that oil companies will likely pass on some of these costs.” This means passing on the costs to consumers through higher prices, which will hurt the most those who can afford it the least.

The President’s budget also makes no mention of fixing Social Security. Prior to his inauguration in 2009, President-elect Obama said, “We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.” To prevent millions of Americans from seeing reductions in benefits, we need long-term solutions to ensure solvency of Social Security. Although he has included Social Security reform in every prior budget, making the program solvent is regrettably no longer one of the President’s fiscal priorities. On top of this, the Social Security Administration has said increased consumer costs from the President’s oil tax would make Social Security less solvent.

Additionally, the President proposes cutting crop insurance by $18 billion. It is counterproductive to undermine producers who manage risk.  Cuts to this program could lead to increased premiums for producers, which in turn would likely raise the cost of food for consumers. Rather than cutting this fiscally responsible public-private partnership, we should be working to strengthen it while eliminating truly wasteful government spending.

The Ways and Means Committee held two hearings this week on the President’s budget request with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. The billions of dollars in the President’s budget dedicated to funding Obamacare deeply concern me following the collapse of 12 Obamacare Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (co-ops) under HHS’s management, including CoOportunity Health in Nebraska and Iowa.

In our hearing with Secretary Burwell, I again asked her about the circumstances surrounding CoOportunity Health’s collapse and the financial status of the co-ops still operating. I will be requesting more detailed answers from HHS on these inquiries. With more than $1 billion in federal loans already lost due to co-op failures, taxpayers deserve to know whether these funds will ever be recovered.

The President’s final budget is a wish list rather than a serious proposal to deal with our debt and strengthen our economy. The House will soon begin the appropriations process, through which we can conduct needed oversight over federal agencies in addition to determining how government revenue is spent. We must use the legislative process to make hard choices and put our economy on a sustainable path to growth.

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Smith to Hold Mobile Offices in York and Fairbury

2016/02/11

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during mobile offices on Wednesday, February 17, in York and Fairbury.

A mobile office allows constituents to meet directly with Congressman Smith about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol, and booking tours in Washington, D.C.

Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will hold the mobile offices in York and Fairbury on Wednesday, February 17, at the following times and locations:

Kilgore Memorial Library 520 N. Nebraska Avenue, York, NE 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (CST)

Jefferson County Courthouse District Courtroom 411 4th Street, Fairbury, NE 68352 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CST)

For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.

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Smith Announces 2016 Congressional Art Competition

2016/02/11

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) is encouraging high school students in Nebraska’s Third District to submit their artwork for the 2016 Congressional Art Competition by March 15, 2016.

“The Congressional Art Competition is an exciting opportunity to promote the Third District to visitors from around the world through the talents of our young artists,” said Congressman Smith. “I look forward to seeing this year’s entries and showcasing the best of our district in the U.S. Capitol and our congressional offices.”

The Nebraska Art Teachers Association is working with Smith to coordinate the competition. Official rules, guidelines, and submission forms are available online at: www.AdrianSmith.house.gov/ArtCompetition.

The first place artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Smith will display the runners-up in his Washington, D.C. and Third District offices. The Congressional Institute annually sponsors the Congressional Art Competition for high school students from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

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Rep. Smith’s Office to Hold Nine Mobile Offices Feb. 22-24

2016/02/09

Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will be able to meet with representatives of Congressman Smith’s office at one of nine mobile offices across the Third District on Monday, February 22, through Wednesday, February 24.

A mobile office allows constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s staff members about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol and booking tours in Washington, D.C.

Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will provide his mobile office and a staff member at the following times and locations:

Monday, February 22

Sheridan County Courthouse 301 E. 2nd Street, Rushville, NE 69360 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (MST)

Bremer Community Center 1604 L Street, Aurora, NE 68818 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (CST)

Garden County Courthouse 611 Main Street, Oshkosh, NE 69154 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (MST)

Tuesday, February 23

Boyd County Courthouse 401 Thayer Street, Butte, NE 68722 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (CST)

Merrick County Courthouse 1510 18th Street, Central City, NE 68826 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (CST)

Keya Paha County Courthouse 310 Courthouse Drive, Springview, NE 68778 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (CST)

Cherry County Courthouse 365 N. Main Street, Valentine, NE 69201 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST)

Greeley County Courthouse Assembly Room Courthouse Square, Greeley, NE 68842 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST)

Wednesday, February 24

Blaine County Courthouse 145 Lincoln Avenue, Brewster, NE 68821 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CST)

For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900 or his Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-6333.

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Smith Statement on Agreement with Israel to Import Nebraska Beef

2016/02/09

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new agreement with Israel to lift the ban on U.S. beef imports, which has been in place since 2003.

“It is fitting Nebraska’s Third District – the number one agriculture district in the country – will supply Israel with its first U.S. beef shipment after the lifting of this multi-year ban,” Smith said. “This success story exemplifies how important it is for us to work with our trading partners around the world to combat non-scientific trade barriers and open more markets to Nebraska products.”   

WR Reserve in Hastings will send the first significant beef shipment from the United States to Israel. In November, Smith sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking the USDA to assist WR Reserve (referred to in the letter as Nebraska Prime) in acquiring the appropriate certifications to provide kosher meat products for international markets, including Israel. To view the letter, click here.

Smith serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade policy.

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Tri-State Delegations Request Additional Extension of Public Comment Period for Reconfiguration of Black Hills Health Care System

2016/02/08

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) joined members of the Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming congressional delegations in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to request an extension until April 5, 2016, of the public comment period for the VA’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed reconfiguration of the Black Hills Health Care System. The delegations submitted their request on behalf of stakeholders who don’t believe the current comment period provides for adequate time to review such an extensive EIS and provide feedback.     “An inclusive and accessible comment period for the draft EIS is essential for ensuring thoughtful participation by all consulting parties and stakeholders,” wrote the delegations. “Unfortunately, the VA’s postponement of the Hot Springs [National Environmental Policy Act] historic properties consultation and delays in the [National Historic Preservation Act] process may limit constructive contributions. For these reasons, we respectfully request an additional 30-day comment period extension.”

In November 2015, the VA granted the delegations’ first request to extend the comment period.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and U.S. Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.), and Smith.   Full text of the letter can be found below:   The Honorable Robert McDonald Secretary of Veterans Affairs Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20420   Dear Secretary McDonald:   We write to request an additional extension to the comment period for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) concerning the proposed reconfiguration of the Black Hills Health Care System (BHHCS).  While we appreciate the VA granting a 30-day extension after the VA BHHCS National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) historic properties consultation for Hot Springs was rescheduled from December 1, 2015, to January 21, 2016, we believe that a 60-day comment period extension would better allow for thoughtful review and comment in response to this final consultation meeting.   Extending the comment period will also provide additional time to address the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).  Ideally, both the NHPA and NEPA processes would proceed in concert in order to provide detailed analysis and consideration of the draft EIS.  However, we understand that the NHPA process is far behind its NEPA counterpart.  The consultation process may be further delayed because Labat Environmental, Inc. has switched working with SWCA as the consultant leading the Section 106 consultation process and is instead proceeding with R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates, Inc.   Additionally, Section 106 requires that the VA provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) “a reasonable opportunity to comment.”  The ACHP is awaiting a response from the VA to a series of questions posed to the agency in a letter dated December 21, 2015.  This letter was precipitated by requests from the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a Section 213 report to be completed by the National Parks Service (NPS), which will provide detailed recommendations on avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating adverse effects to the historic integrity of the Hot Springs VA.  If the ACHP agrees to request a Section 213 report from the NPS, they will need adequate time to prepare it.   An inclusive and accessible comment period for the draft EIS is essential for ensuring thoughtful participation by all consulting parties and stakeholders.  Unfortunately, the VA’s postponement of the Hot Springs NEPA historic properties consultation and delays in the NHPA process may limit constructive contributions.  For these reasons, we respectfully request an additional 30-day comment period extension.   Thank you for your consideration.  We look forward to your response.     Sincerely,

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Restoring Economic Freedom

2016/02/05

The United States once again did not make the list of the top ten freest economies in the world, according to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom just released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. In fact, our country tied its worst ever overall score this year.

Declining economic freedom cannot become the status quo for our great nation. The Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, is prioritizing efforts in the year ahead to restore economic freedom by increasing opportunity and lessening the heavy hand of government.

One of best ways to boost our economy is to fix our complicated, outdated, and unfair tax code to allow Americans to keep more of their own money. We know we have a problem when the tax code makes it easier for people to cheat than to comply. Each year, Americans spend more than six billion work hours on compliance. By reducing this burden, we can keep more resources in the private sector where they can be used more effectively to grow the economy.

With Speaker Paul Ryan at the helm of the House, we have a unique opportunity to advance the work he and Chairman Dave Camp started during their time as chairmen of the Ways and Means Committee to simplify the tax code. Under a new president, I am optimistic we can push this important effort across the finish line.

Another issue we must tackle is Social Security reform. In addition to my assignments on the Ways and Means Trade and Health Subcommittees, I have accepted a new role on the Social Security Subcommittee to work directly on efforts to ensure the program’s long-term solvency.  

The Committee has advanced many strategies to close Social Security loopholes, simplify the rules, and save the program billions of dollars. Some of these solutions were included in the budget agreement which passed the House in October 2015. Due to numerous concerns over increased spending levels and the lack of reforms, I could not vote for the budget bill, but I was glad to see Social Security issues addressed. We will continue to work on more reforms in the coming months.

An important marker of economic freedom is the ability to sell our products abroad. We continue to pursue opportunities to open more markets to American producers and fight non-scientific trade barriers. Under the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act passed by Congress last year, we are able to engage in a more transparent review process on trade agreements.  

As the Index of Economic Freedom rankings clearly show, other countries are not waiting for us. We need to engage in the global marketplace to keep from falling behind. At the same time, we must be attentive to the details to make sure agreements are in the best interest of American producers and consumers. Our Committee has jurisdiction over trade policy and will be carefully reviewing the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as developments in negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

This is only a small sampling of the issues on our Committee’s agenda. Others such as health care reform, welfare reform, and reducing government regulation are equally important to strengthening our economy and will also be part of our work this year.  

As we take on these issues, I hope you will keep in touch with me to share your ideas and questions. We have significant work ahead, but I am encouraged by the opportunities before us and the commitment among our Committee members to restoring America’s economic freedom.

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Smith to Hold Mobile Office in Falls City

2016/02/04

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during a mobile office hosted by the Falls City Chamber of Commerce on Monday, February 8, in Falls City.

A mobile office allows constituents to meet directly with Congressman Smith about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol, and booking tours in Washington, D.C.

Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will hold the mobile office in Falls City on Monday, February 8, at the following time and location:

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit 117 E. 17th Street, Falls City, NE 68355 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CST)

For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.

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Young Leaders in Nebraska Agriculture

2016/01/29

Speaking with nearly 200 young farmers and ranchers from across our state recently reinforced to me how bright the future looks for Nebraska agriculture. At the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers conference in North Platte, future producers shared their ideas for how to keep the industry thriving in the coming years.

Their willingness to lead is an important responsibility, as Nebraska’s Third District is the top-producing agriculture district in the country. With more than 35,000 farms in the Third District alone, agriculture supports one in four Nebraska jobs and contributes more than $23 billion to our state economy. Nebraska is also number two in ethanol production, with the Third District distilling more ethanol than any other congressional district.

These numbers represent great opportunity, but we must be vigilant against unsound policies and burdensome regulations. At the conference, many young people expressed concern about the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, being forced upon producers, land owners, and local officials by the President’s activist Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

Though I introduced the resolution of disapproval in the House to block WOTUS, and Congress passed the Senate version, the President unsurprisingly answered with a veto.  We will not stop fighting this abuse of power, and the courts will continue to closely examine the legality of the administration’s actions. I have also introduced legislation to cut red tape on ethanol, extending the same waiver to E15 fuel which E10 has already received.

As founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus, I am focused on getting the government out of the way of innovation and promoting scientifically-based policies. The world's population is expected to surpass nine billion by 2050, with food demand projected to grow by as much as 60 percent. Farmers have found ways to increase yields while using fewer resources, and the next generation of producers must be able to further innovate in order to feed the world.

To ensure our future farmers and ranchers have a level playing field in the global marketplace, we must pursue international trade agreements. Our trading partners do not always follow the rules, putting U.S. producers at a disadvantage. Through trade negotiations, we can establish science-based, enforceable standards. Trade also plays an important role in Nebraska’s economy, supporting one in five jobs in our state.

Despite the positive aspects of trade, the devil is in the details – and it is the responsibility of Congress to carefully review these agreements. We must ensure negotiations remove barriers and open more markets for our producers to sell their products, rather than simply opening our markets to other countries.  

Right now, I am carefully vetting the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and gathering feedback from Third District producers and consumers to determine whether it is in their best interest. Negotiations continue on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and the European Union, which provides another opportunity to combat unscientific efforts to keep modern agriculture products out of the marketplace.

As hundreds of young farmers and ranchers prepare to step into their role as the future of Nebraska agriculture, I am confident in their ability to innovate and overcome the challenges they will undoubtedly face. In Congress, I will continue leading efforts to reduce barriers to their success and allow the Third District to remain our country’s agriculture leader.

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DATE CHANGE: Rep. Smith’s Office to Hold Mobile Office in Neligh

2016/01/28

Due to inclement weather, the February 2 mobile office in Neligh has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 12. Please see the updated information below.

Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will be able to meet with a representative of Congressman Smith’s office at a mobile office on Tuesday, April 12, in Neligh.

A mobile office allows constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s staff members about federal issues and take advantage of the constituent services available through his office, such as assisting individuals with challenges they face while working with a federal agency, ordering flags flown over the U.S. Capitol, and booking tours in Washington, D.C.

Smith, who has offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff, will provide his mobile office and a staff member on Tuesday, April 12, at the following time and location:

Antelope County Courthouse County Supervisors Room 501 Main Street, Neligh, NE 68756 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CST)

For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.

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Smith Voices Concerns on Obamacare's Worsening Economic Impacts

2016-02-02 18:40:15


Smith Calls on Congress to Reject WOTUS Rule

2016-01-13 15:09:45


Smith Defends Second Amendment Rights

2016-01-07 16:19:56


Smith Supports Tax Extenders Package to Provide Certainty

2015-12-17 17:34:52


Smith Supports Customs Bill to Boost U.S. Trade

2015-12-11 18:19:55


Smith Recognizes National Rural Health Day

2015-11-19 19:44:51


Smith Speaks Against Iran Deal on House Floor

2015-09-11 16:22:54


Brown County Hospital CEO Shannon Sorensen Testifies at Rural Health Hearing

2015-07-28 18:03:48


Smith Speaks Against Rural Health Regulations at Hearing

2015-07-28 18:03:41


Smith Questions MedPAC Director About Issues Facing Rural Health Providers

2015-07-22 17:41:15


Smith Speaks Against Continued Federal Government Acquisition of Private Land

2015-07-08 16:30:36


Smith Questions Tennessee Insurance Commissioner on Obamacare's Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans

2015-06-24 20:11:52


Smith Supports Congressional Oversight for U.S. Trade

2015-06-12 20:28:12


Smith Supports his Trade Preferences Provision on House Floor

2015-06-11 17:59:37


Smith Questions Secretary Burwell on CoOportunity Health's Failure

2015-06-10 20:56:07


Smith Speaks on his Northport Irrigation District Bill

2015-06-01 20:24:16


Smith Honors Captain Dustin Lukasiewicz on House Floor

2015-05-20 16:40:02


Smith Applauds Legislation to Block EPA Overreach

2015-05-18 20:53:47


Smith Supports Death Tax Repeal on House Floor

2015-04-16 15:52:09


Smith Presses for Obamacare Mandate Relief for CoOportunity Health Customers

2015-04-14 17:39:25


Contact Information

2241 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6435
Fax 202-225-0207
adriansmith.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Ways and Means

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.


Serving With

Jeff Fortenberry

NEBRASKA's 1st DISTRICT

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