Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith


Beating the Boondoggle


Over the last five years, Nebraska hospitals have lost out on $18.3 million due to a one-sentence Obamacare loophole. Ensuring access to quality care in rural areas is challenging enough without the federal government erroneously diverting needed funds.

This week, I introduced a bill to undo this misguided Obamacare provision, dubbed the “Bay State Boondoggle,” and help hospitals continue to serve our seniors.

Medicare hospital wage reimbursements are adjusted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as required to reflect the geographic area where services are delivered. Prior to Obamacare, if a hospital transitioned from a critical access hospital, to which the CMS wage index does not apply, to an acute care facility in which it does, the necessary funding reallocation would take place within the state.  

However, Obamacare included a provision requiring Medicare wage reimbursements to come from a national pool of money rather than state allocations.

So why is it called the “Bay State Boondoggle?” The issue centers on a 19-bed hospital in Nantucket, Massachusetts, which was purchased by a large health system soon after Obamacare was signed into law and redesignated from a critical access hospital to an acute care hospital. Because this facility transitioned from a program in which the wage index does not apply to one in which it does, its wages set a new floor for all 81 traditional fee-for-service hospitals in Massachusetts.

Allowing Massachusetts to artificially inflate labor costs based on a single hospital with unusually high wages drove up the wage floor on the CMS index. The result was far more Medicare dollars flowing to Massachusetts hospitals - and away from hospitals in most other states.  

By now, more than $2 billion dollars has been diverted from hospitals nationwide. My bill would end this boondoggle and return financial responsibility to the states.

To bring further relief to Nebraska health care providers, I also continue to work on reducing arbitrary and burdensome regulations on rural hospitals. For example, the 96-hour rule requires physicians at critical access hospitals to certify at time of admission Medicare and Medicaid patients will not be there more than 96 hours. Otherwise, the hospital must transfer the patient or face non-reimbursement. I introduced the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act to remove this provision and ensure rural Americans are not placed at a further disadvantage.

This week, CMS announced it is beginning the process of updating its guidance on enforcement of the 96-hour rule. I am eager to hear from Nebraska hospitals and patients on the proposal but also pleased to see the Trump administration agreeing with the need for changes.

Too often when the federal bureaucracy gets involved, it makes situations worse rather than better. We are seeing prime examples of this problem in rural health care, and I am glad to have the opportunity to propose legislative solutions for patients and providers.

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Smith Statement on Reports of NAFTA Withdrawal Proposal


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today in response to reports the Trump administration is considering an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“I strongly oppose withdrawing from NAFTA,” Smith said. “Canada and Mexico are two of our largest trading partners, both representing billion-dollar export markets for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. While there is nothing wrong with taking a look at a 25-year-old agreement to see what has been working and what hasn’t, the current market access granted to U.S. exporters must be the baseline for any renegotiation. I have and will continue to express this position to the Trump administration and look forward to working with the White House to strengthen NAFTA.”

Smith is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus.

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Smith Congratulates Gering High School Students on Winning National Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest


     Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) met with Gering High School students today during their trip to Washington, D.C., for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national awards luncheon. At the luncheon, Gering High School was selected as one of three national winners out of thousands of entries and 10 national finalists. Smith also gave the students a tour of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday evening.

“It is exciting to see young innovators from western Nebraska – especially my alma mater – recognized nationally for their ideas on how to advance agriculture,” Smith said. “I applaud these students and their teacher, Mr. Justin Reinmuth, for the hard work and dedication they put into this winning project. Congratulations on this well-deserved award!”

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Smith Visits with Third District Midshipmen at U.S. Naval Academy


     Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) visited the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, this week and thanked midshipmen from Nebraska’s Third District for their commitment to serving our country.

“I am pleased to see talented Nebraskans preparing to be the next generation of military leaders,” Smith said. “It was an honor to visit with these young men, each of whom I had the privilege of nominating to the U.S. Naval Academy. Their dedication to our country and eagerness to serve is inspiring and deserving of our gratitude.”

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Smith Announces 2017 Congressional Art Competition Winners


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today announced the Third District’s winning artists of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition.  

Smith worked with the Nebraska Art Teachers Association to coordinate the competition. 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., Grand Island, and Scottsbluff offices.  “Congratulations to all of the young artists from across the Third District who shared their talents in this competition, as well as the teachers who have cultivated their creativity,” Smith said. “I am excited to share the winners’ work with visitors to the U.S. Capitol and my offices in Washington, D.C., and Nebraska.”   First Place: “Sophie” by Charles Johnson of Grant Perkins County Schools Charles’s work will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.   Second Place: “River’s Glass” by Leighton Bubak of Arnold Arnold Public Schools Leighton’s work will be displayed in Smith’s Washington, D.C. office.   Third Place: “Geometric Sweetness” by Brooke Jorgenson of Shickley Shickley Public School Brooke’s work will be displayed in Smith’s Grand Island office.   Fourth Place: “Native Lands” by Kelli Sisco of Chappell Creek Valley High School Kelli’s work will be displayed in Smith’s Scottsbluff office.

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Smith Statement on Senate Confirmation of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

“Today’s confirmation of Secretary Perdue is great news for Nebraska agriculture,” Smith said. “At my Farm Bill listening sessions last week, Third District producers made it clear they wanted to see Secretary Perdue confirmed as soon as possible so we can hit the ground running on agriculture policy. With his wide range of experience as a farmer, businessman, and governor, Secretary Perdue is well-positioned to lead the USDA in helping create more opportunity for U.S. producers.”

Smith is founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus.

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Congressional Caseworker to Visit Falls City and Auburn


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 Friday, April 28, in Falls City and Auburn.

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 Friday, April 28, at the following times and locations:

Falls City Library and Arts Center – First Study Room 1400 Stone Street, Falls City, NE 68355 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

Auburn Memorial Library 1810 Courthouse Avenue, Auburn, NE 68305 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CDT)

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

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Investing in Infrastructure


One issue most Americans agree on is the importance of investing in our infrastructure. Significant repairs are needed to keep our country strong and competitive.  

In Nebraska, we know infrastructure is crucial to connecting rural communities. U.S. News & World Report included Nebraska in its April 2017 “10 Best States for Infrastructure” ranking, but there is still a lot of work to do.

President Trump made infrastructure one of his top priorities on the campaign trail, and for good reason. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, an additional $2 trillion in investment will be needed by 2025 to get our country’s infrastructure to “a state of good repair.”  

During his address to Congress in late February, President Trump reiterated his support for revitalizing America’s infrastructure. “Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our very, very beautiful land,” he said.  

In discussions on infrastructure, the President has pointed out the need for better negotiations to ensure we do not simply sink more money into the same number of projects. We also must prevent any infrastructure package from expanding unrelated programs or permanently growing the federal government. We saw this problem in full force in President Obama’s “stimulus” package – in the end, only around three percent went to infrastructure.

As the White House works with Congress to make President Trump’s revitalization vision a reality, irrigation infrastructure must be part of the conversation. Today, 55.3 million acres are irrigated in the U.S. using shared systems of canals and pipelines which are part of our nation’s broader water management infrastructure. Through irrigation, we can produce higher yields using less land, while also improving crop quality.  

Producers, especially in the west, rely on irrigation to meet the ever-growing demand for food. Unfortunately, irrigation infrastructure has lagged behind other technological advancements in the industry.

At the Farm Bill listening sessions I hosted in Scottsbluff and Aurora this week, concerns were raised about the state of irrigation infrastructure in Nebraska and around the country. President Trump’s commitment presents an opportunity to modernize our outdated irrigation infrastructure and increase our global competitiveness in agriculture. I am currently circulating a letter among my House colleagues to send to the President requesting irrigation projects be included in his infrastructure plan.

Since the release of President Trump’s initial budget proposal, I have also heard numerous concerns about the future of the Essential Air Service (EAS). Access to reliable air service is vital for rural travelers and businesses. Though the President’s budget is presented as a guideline, budgeting decisions lie with the legislative branch. I am committed to ensuring no final budget disproportionally impacts rural areas.  

Last year, Congress included my legislation to help small airports in the FAA reauthorization bill, which shows an understanding of the need to support rural commercial air service. Senator Deb Fischer also provided crucial leadership in the Senate on these issues. Rather than ending the EAS program, we should examine potential reforms to ensure travelers are being well-served and taxpayer dollars are being spent as effectively as possible.

There is extensive work to be done to ensure our infrastructure can meet the modern needs of our country. I am optimistic about the opportunities to bring Americans together around fulfilling this important function of government.

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Time for Tax Reform


Each year, Tax Day is an unpleasant reality check on how complicated and outdated our tax code has become. Tax reform is next on our legislative agenda, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lessen the burden on American families and businesses.  

When Washington last undertook comprehensive tax reform, Ronald Reagan was president, the average price of a new home in the U.S. was $111,900, and a gallon of gas cost 89 cents. Much has changed in our country since 1986, but our tax code has only become more complicated.

House Republicans rolled out a tax reform blueprint last year to start the conversation on how to make the tax code simpler, flatter, and fairer for all. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I had the opportunity to participate in tax working groups and help craft this proposal. I appreciate the feedback I have received from Nebraskans since the release of the blueprint and share your eagerness to get this important work done.

In early April, the Tax Foundation released a detailed analysis on how the blueprint would impact Americans. According to the report, the proposal would lead to 1.7 million new full-time jobs and raise household incomes in every state, allowing families to save an average of $4,917 more of their annual income.  

The Tax Foundation also examined how residents of each state would benefit from the blueprint. Nebraskans would be able to save an estimated $5,261 more in after-tax income each year. Clearly, simplifying our tax code is one of the best ways we can grow our economy and create greater opportunity in our state and nationwide.

Americans currently spend six billion hours preparing their tax returns, with an average of 15 hours for each return. Understandably, 90 percent of taxpayers hire outside professionals or use computer software to help them file. Our overly complicated tax code makes it easier for those who want to cheat to do so and harder for the majority of Americans, who are trying to do what they are supposed to do, to comply.

Under the blueprint, nine out of 10 Americans could file their taxes on a form the size of a postcard. The proposal would flatten the tax code, reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three and lowering rates.  

Additionally, the blueprint restructures the IRS to make customer service its top priority. Stronger protections would be put in place to safeguard confidential taxpayer information, and an IRS commissioner could only serve two three-year terms.

Repealing the Death Tax remains a top priority for Nebraskans. This onerous tax doesn’t penalize the wealthiest Americans – they can plan their estates and give away their wealth as they see fit. It penalizes those who have worked all their lives and reinvested in their family businesses, such as Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers.  

Our blueprint would eliminate the Death Tax, ending this threat to family farms, ranches, and small businesses once and for all.

A comprehensive overhaul of our tax code would make filing less cumbersome and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. As we face another Tax Day, this is welcome news for all taxpayers.

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Smith’s Office Announces Mobile Office Hours for April 25 – May 2


Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) are invited to meet with a representative of his office at mobile offices from April 25 to May 2 in Imperial, Kearney, Hebron, Elwood, Stockville, Harrison, Tecumseh, and Fairbury.

At mobile offices, Third District residents can meet directly with one of Smith’s staff members about federal issues and take advantage of the services available through his office.

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

Tuesday, April 25

Chase County Courthouse 921 Broadway Street, Imperial, NE 69033 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (MDT)

Buffalo County Courthouse – Commissioners Room 1512 Central Avenue, Kearney, NE 68847 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CDT)

Wednesday, April 26

Thayer County Courthouse 224 N. 4th Street, Hebron, NE 68370 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

Gosper County Courthouse 507 Smith Avenue, Elwood, NE 68937 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CDT)

Frontier County Courthouse – Conference Room 1 Wellington Street, Stockville, NE 69042 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (CDT)

Monday, May 1

Sioux County Courthouse 325 Main Street, Harrison, NE 69346 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (MDT)

Tuesday, May 2

Johnson County Courthouse – District Courtroom 3rd & Broadway, Tecumseh, NE 68450 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (CDT)

Jefferson County Courthouse – Commissioners Room 411 4th Street, Fairbury, NE 68352 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CDT)

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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Rep. Smith and Rep. Fortenberry Honor Amb. Clayton Yeutter

2017-04-05 20:02:05

Smith Speaks in Support of First Step to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

2017-03-24 21:03:07

Smith Recognizes National Agriculture Week

2017-03-20 18:30:07

Smith Celebrates 150 Years of Nebraska Statehood

2017-03-01 16:17:36

Smith Supports Empowering States to Incentivize Benefits Recipients to Stay Drug-Free

2017-02-16 22:21:20

Smith Raises Concerns About Hot Springs VA Downsize at Hearing

2017-02-16 17:00:46

Tammy Slater of Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska Testifies at Ways and Means Hearing

2017-02-15 18:52:12

Smith Convenes Ways and Means Subcommittee Hearing on the Geography of Poverty

2017-02-15 18:51:28

Smith Votes to Protect Second Amendment Rights of Social Security Beneficiaries

2017-02-02 21:35:58

Smith Supports Greater Health Care Choices for Veterans

2016-11-29 20:43:26

Smith's Closing Statement on Co-Op Consumer Protection Act

2016-09-27 21:00:11

Smith's Co-Op Consumer Protection Act Passes House

2016-09-27 20:59:32

Smith Honors Former Congressman Bill Barrett

2016-09-22 14:58:00

Smith Supports Rural Hospital Relief Bill

2016-09-21 19:05:31

Smith Highlights IT Concerns of Rural Hospitals

2016-09-15 20:53:45

Smith Speaks on His Bill to Provide Relief for Americans from Obamacare Co-Op Failures

2016-09-08 16:11:45

Smith Discusses Benefits of Digital Trade for Agriculture

2016-07-13 20:27:48

Smith Frustrated by Higher Costs and Fewer Choices for Nebraskans Under Obamacare

2016-07-13 18:24:36

Smith Calls for Regulatory Relief for Rural Hospitals

2016-07-08 16:18:42

Smith Stresses Need to Act Now to Ensure Social Security Solvency

2016-06-22 20:24:48

Contact Information

2241 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6435
Fax 202-225-0207

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


Don Bacon


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