Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

Exploring President Trump’s Trade Agenda

2017/06/23

When U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appeared before the Ways and Means Committee on May 22 to discuss President Trump’s trade agenda, I had the opportunity to ask him about a number of agriculture trade priorities.

To start, I emphasized the importance of NAFTA to Nebraska agriculture. Many Third District producers have reached out to me with deep concerns about disruptions to NAFTA, and I have repeatedly taken these concerns to the Trump administration.  

Ambassador Lighthizer’s responses to our Committee showed the administration is listening and gave me confidence in his commitment to not undermine NAFTA’s successes. We can certainly take a look at this 25-year-old agreement to see where modernizations can be made, but the current market access granted to U.S. exporters must be the baseline for any renegotiation.

Much of my questioning focused on how the administration is holding China accountable to the 100-day plan, specifically when it comes to approval of U.S. biotechnology crops. There is great opportunity in biotechnology to feed more people around the world while being good stewards of our finite resources.  

As agreed to under the U.S.-China 100-day plan, China’s National Biosafety Committee recently met to review approval petitions for eight U.S. biotech products which have seen their approvals for the Chinese market delayed by an average of five years. Following the meeting, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture approved only two of the eight pending products.  

China’s lack of approval for these products forces U.S. producers to choose between using the most current seed varieties and continuing access to China’s 1.37 billion consumers. The approval of only two products is disappointing, and I expressed my concern to Ambassador Lighthizer about whether China will honor the spirit of the 100-day plan.  

Knowing China’s Biosafety Committee is set to meet again by the end of this month, I asked what the administration can do to ensure China follows through and approves the remaining six products before the conclusion of the 100-day plan. Ambassador Lighthizer said the administration is continuing to press China. He also agreed with me on the importance of obtaining these approvals because failure to do so, as he recognized, “delays U.S. farmers from implementing a lot of these high-tech techniques in the domestic market as well as internationally.”

Overall, I appreciated Ambassador Lighthizer’s candor in the hearing. It is clear he understands the importance of opening more markets to U.S. agriculture, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and other members of President Trump’s administration to increase opportunity for Nebraska exporters through trade.

Read More

VIDEO: Smith Questions U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer on Agriculture Trade Priorities

2017/06/22

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) questioned U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on agriculture trade priorities in today’s Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Trump’s trade agenda.  Smith focused on China’s approval of U.S. biotechnology products, but he also stressed the importance of NAFTA as well as duty-free treatment of travel goods under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

    Transcript

Congressman Smith Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Ambassador, for your service and for sharing your time here today.  I certainly want to associate my comments and concerns with those of my colleagues who have raised the issue of NAFTA and agriculture, and the progress that has been made with NAFTA.  I know producers across rural Nebraska certainly appreciate the gains that have been made, and I think you’ve heard from us numerous times – they call us the agriculture delegation here on the committee – on how important these issues are, that we not undermine the successes NAFTA has brought to U.S. agriculture.

Shifting gears just a bit, thank you for the work you, the President, and others in the administration have done pressing China on a number of trade issues.  This isn’t just a market access issue for the biotech firms.  The lack of approval for these products also forces U.S. producers to choose between using the most current seed varieties or continuing access to China’s 1.3 billion consumers.  It’s obviously a big deal.  As agreed to under the U.S.-China 100-day plan, China’s National Biosafety Committee (NBC) recently met to review approval petitions for eight U.S. biotech products which have seen their approval for the Chinese market delayed by an average of five years, pretty astonishing.  Following the NBC meeting, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture approved only two of the eight pending products.  Approval of only two of these eight products is disappointing, and I am concerned China will not honor the spirit of the 100-day plan and approve the remaining six products.  I understand the NBC is set to meet again by the end of June, giving us opportunity to have the other six products approved.  What is USTR doing to ensure China follows through and approves the remaining six products before the conclusion of the 100-day plan?

Ambassador Lighthizer Thank you, Congressman.  First of all, I would say that there was some progress made in the 100-day plan, as you suggest, and this is one of the principal areas where there was progress.  We are continuing to press China.  We expect and will require that they, after they follow their process, very quickly approve all eight applications.  This is important not just because of those [applications] but because it actually delays U.S. farmers from implementing a lot of these high-tech techniques in the domestic market as well as internationally.  So I can assure you Secretary Ross, who is very focused on this, is making it very clear that this has to be done.  We’ve been in contact with the Chinese as recently as the last couple days on this, and my feeling is before long we’re going to have all eight of them agreed to.  That’s what we expect, that’s what we think was agreed to, and the Secretary, as I say, who actually had that negotiation at that time is very focused on it.  

Congressman Smith Thank you.  I know there is great opportunity in being good stewards of our natural resources with biotechnology.  We’ve got a great story to tell with how far we’ve come utilizing biotechnology, and I think it is very promising for the future.

I was pleased to see the President’s budget did include renewal of the GSP program, and this is very important.  More specifically, the recent GSP reauthorization included language to allow consideration for duty-free access for a variety of travel goods.  The previous administration did not provide this consideration for travel goods from all eligible countries as intended by the law and instead only provided it to the least developed and AGOA nations.  I appreciated Ambassador Froman’s deferring that expansion to the current administration.  Could you give us an update on that effort on GSP and travel goods?

Ambassador Lighthizer Yes, well, I don’t actually appreciate him deferring it – I say that just in jest.  We are in the process of looking at it right now.  We’re very close – the documents are in front of me – and I think you’ll see an outcome very soon.  My guess is you won’t be disappointed.  

Congressman Smith Okay, thank you again, Ambassador, and thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Read More

Congressional Caseworker to Visit Alma and Franklin

2017/06/16

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 Thursday, June 29, in Alma and Franklin.

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 Thursday, June 29, at the following times and locations:

Hoesch Memorial Public Library Meeting Room 1114 2nd Street, Alma, NE 68920 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

Franklin Public Library 1502 P Street, Franklin, NE 68939 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.

Read More

Unity

2017/06/16

Following the early morning shooting at the June 14 congressional baseball practice, many on Capitol Hill and around the country spent the day in shock over what had transpired.

Our state delegation was preparing to open the Nebraska Breakfast in the basement of the Dirksen Senate Office Building when we heard the news. I stepped to the podium to share the little information we had with attendees and asked for their prayers. Each member of the delegation offered his or her own reflections as news reports continued to roll in throughout our hour together. It was certainly a comfort to be among fellow Nebraskans as we tried to comprehend what was unfolding. We concluded the breakfast with a prayerful moment of silence.

As I send this column, Majority Whip Steve Scalise is in critical condition, having already endured multiple surgeries with more to come. Matt Mika, a former congressional staff member who now serves as director of government relations for Tyson Foods, has reportedly improved to serious condition. Another congressional staff member, Zack Barth, and one Capitol Police Special Agent, David Bailey, have been treated and released. A second Capitol Police Special Agent, Crystal Griner, remains in the hospital in good condition.

Their stories of heroism inspire us. The rapid actions of Special Agents Bailey and Griner saved many, many lives. Local Alexandria, Virginia, police officers arrived within minutes to help take down the shooter. These brave members of law enforcement remind us to be thankful every day for all the first responders who willingly put their lives on the line to protect us. Members of Congress also rushed to each other’s aid, offering medical support to the wounded.

The horror is still fresh, but what we cannot do is allow the lessons of this attack to fade as time marches on. Unfortunately, it has become commonplace for too many Americans to use words without regard to impact or accuracy. I have never seen so much inflammatory rhetoric based on misinformation as we have experienced in recent months. It elicits emotional responses and can lead to, as in this case, destructive actions.

In a recent column, I mentioned the “gotcha” mentality rampant in politics and how it divides us and prevents real, substantive conversations. People too willingly paint those who disagree with them as not only wrong but even heartless, inhuman, or evil due to their differing beliefs. Threats, or worse, then follow with little thought to consequence. If we truly want to prevent tragedies and bring our country together, this cannot continue.

The heinous attack was made on the Republican baseball team, but we have seen countless examples of unity between both parties in the wake of the shooting. The Democrat baseball team prayed together in their dugout for their colleagues when they heard the news. Members of Congress resoundingly took to the airwaves to disavow the attack. President Trump offered words of reassurance to the nation. As Speaker Paul Ryan said on the House floor, “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” which was met with an extended standing ovation from the entire chamber.  

Notably, the Congressional Baseball Game went on as scheduled, with moving tributes to the injured. Special Agent Bailey threw out the first pitch, and the Republican and Democrat teams prayed together on the field before the game. Numerous players from both teams wore the colors of Steve Scalise’s beloved LSU Tigers. Andrea and I were honored to be part of the record crowd of nearly 25,000 people who came to show support and enjoy the game together.

We are all human beings, and we are all Americans. My hope, prayer, and call to action would be for our interactions with one another to reflect this unifying truth, even when we disagree.  

Or, perhaps, especially when we disagree.

Read More

Smith Applauds Trump Administration Agreement to Send U.S. Beef to China

2017/06/12

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after the Trump administration finalized an agreement to restore trade access for U.S. beef to China for the first time since 2003.

“We know opening more markets for Nebraska agriculture producers is crucial to their continued success in feeding the world, and restoring access to China is an incredible step forward,” Smith said. “There is no doubt consumers in China will be pleased with the quality of Nebraska beef. I applaud President Trump and his administration for their leadership in this effort, and I will continue to stress the importance of strong trade policy which benefits U.S. agriculture and consumers around the globe.”

Smith serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade, and is the founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus.  

Smith also recently introduced a resolution in the House calling on the Trump administration to negotiate a trade agreement with Japan.

Read More

Unleashing Greater Opportunity

2017/06/09

As happens too often when the federal government gets involved, a seemingly well-intentioned bill hastily signed into law in 2010 wreaked havoc on economic opportunity in America.  

You may be surprised to learn this is not a column about Obamacare. Instead, I am talking about a piece of legislation which has become known as “Obamacare for banks.”

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, more commonly known simply as Dodd-Frank, has unnecessarily expanded the federal government and hurt consumers and job-creators. On May 8, the House voted to comprehensively roll back Dodd-Frank’s regulatory stranglehold on our economy and replace it with the Financial CHOICE Act.

Dodd-Frank was passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Rather than addressing the lack of accountability for institutions whose decisions drove the crisis, Dodd-Frank compounded the problem by creating a duplicative, unaccountable bureaucracy, mandating more than 27,000 new regulatory restrictions, and making permanent taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts for banks deemed “too big to fail.”

The damage to our economy caused by Dodd-Frank is undeniable. Big banks have actually benefitted while compliance costs crush smaller financial institutions. On average, we have lost one community bank or credit union a day due to overregulation. Monthly banking fees have increased by 111 percent, and the number of banks offering free checking accounts has been cut in half.  These consequences make it more difficult for American families and small businesses to access the financial services and startup capital they need.

I voted against House passage of Dodd-Frank, and after talking with Nebraskans across numerous industries about its growing consequences, I introduced a bill in 2015 to repeal it. When Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling introduced the Financial CHOICE Act this year to replace Dodd-Frank’s regulations with real reforms, I was pleased to cosponsor the legislation.

The Financial CHOICE Act lifts the regulatory burden on community banks while increasing accountability and ending taxpayer bailouts. Banks must keep 10 percent in cash reserves or submit themselves to stronger oversight, and penalties for fraud are strengthened. It also implements the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which I have long supported to make costly rulemaking by the executive branch subject to congressional approval. Additionally, it cuts the deficit by $24 billion over the next 10 years and requires a full audit of the Federal Reserve.

Importantly, the bill also restructures the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to subject it to congressional oversight and the appropriations process. This federal agency created by Dodd-Frank has been allowed to run rogue for too long, collecting consumers’ information without their knowledge and issuing sweeping regulations with no accountability. Under the Financial CHOICE Act, the agency will no longer be able to exercise unilateral authority and will instead have to demonstrate whether it can properly fulfill its intended purpose of protecting consumers.

Many provisions in Dodd-Frank had nothing to do with the financial crisis but simply rode along with the bill to passage. Some of these items included onerous requirements on companies to amass and disclose employee compensation information, restrictions on the use of arbitration to reduce legal costs, and an unrealistic mandate on manufacturers to certify the origin of minerals used in production regardless of how far down the supply chain they fall. The Financial CHOICE Act repeals these and other unrelated provisions to keep the focus on strengthening our economy.

Dodd-Frank has impeded economic growth for too many years without delivering the protections it claimed it would create. Now is the time to prioritize Main Street over Wall Street and unleash greater opportunity for Americans.

Read More

Congressional Caseworker to Visit Beatrice

2017/06/09

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 on Wednesday, June 14, in Beatrice.

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, June 14, at the following time and location:

Beatrice Public Library Sargent Conference Room 100 N. 16th Street, Beatrice, NE 68310 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

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

Read More

Smith Calls for Angels in Adoption Nominations

2017/06/05

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) opened nominations today for the 2017 Angels in Adoption Award for Nebraska’s Third District.

Angels in Adoption, a project of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, provides Members of Congress the opportunity to honor an individual or entity from their districts for extraordinary contributions on behalf of children in need of homes.

“Many individuals, families, and organizations in the Third District deserve recognition for all they do to ensure children have safe, loving homes,” Smith said. “I look forward to receiving nominations for the 2017 Angels in Adoption Award to honor those who positively impact young lives through adoption and foster care.”

To make a nomination, please visit AdrianSmith.house.gov/AngelsinAdoption. Nominations must be received by Friday, June 30.

For more information on Angels in Adoption, please contact Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.

Read More

Changing the Tone

2017/06/02

When I travel the Third District, one of the most common questions I receive from Nebraskans is whether I have hope for Republicans and Democrats to come together and get things done. I do have examples of bipartisanship to cite, as it occurs more often in Congress than people think, but the overall tone in our country must change to allow for meaningful work to take place.

As an example, I recently went on NPR to talk about President Trump’s budget proposal. I saw the interview as an opportunity to explain the importance of crop insurance to food security to urban listeners who are not frequently engaged on the issue. After briefly discussing the need to prevent cuts to crop insurance, the conversation shifted to food stamps.  

In response to the host’s continual questioning on whether Americans are “entitled to eat,” I said nutrition is essential and stressed the importance of caring for the vulnerable among us – and my belief there are multiple ways to do so. Still, attacks from the media and activists followed because I did not label food an entitlement or agree with the host on food stamps being the “ultimate guarantor.”

Of course everyone needs to eat, and I have long been concerned about the cost of food. This is one of the main reasons as co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus I have championed innovations which help to make food affordable and accessible to more people.  

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a necessary safety net to help those in need, but when more working-age adults are receiving benefits than low-income households with children and seniors, we know the program needs to be reformed. “Entitled” is a loaded word when speaking about government programs because it has come to mean someone is guaranteed to receive a benefit regardless of circumstances. This is how we ended up with the federal government handing out SNAP benefits to tens of millions of Americans every month.  

Simply putting more and more people on food stamps is not a long-term solution. We need to take a closer look at the program to determine how we can best assist those who need it while also ensuring we do not incentivize Americans to depend on the government indefinitely.

However, my larger concern about this situation is it exemplifies why our country has been unable to come together to address the pressing issues we face. The “gotcha” mentality rampant in politics divides us and prevents the real, substantive conversations we so desperately need.

None of my colleagues, Republicans or Democrats, want to see Americans go hungry. We disagree on the best ways to ensure people have access to nutritious food, but we all share the desire to help those in need. The bickering around these kinds of topics for political gain must end to make way for actual collaboration on policies which can improve Americans’ lives.

My goal in Congress remains being a solution-oriented representative who listens and looks for common ground. I want to be part of bringing our country together, and I will continue this work in every way I can on behalf of Nebraskans.

Read More

Smith’s Office Announces June Mobile Office Hours

2017/05/31

Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) are invited to meet with a representative of his office at mobile offices throughout the month of June in Minden, Clay Center, Geneva, Mullen, Holdrege, Ord, Springview, and Greeley.

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, June 6

Kearney County Courthouse – Assembly Room 424 N. Colorado Avenue, Minden, NE 68959 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CDT)

Tuesday, June 13

Clay County Courthouse – Extension Office 111 W. Fairfield Street, Clay Center, NE 68933 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

Geneva Public Library 1043 G Street, Geneva, NE 68361 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CDT)

Wednesday, June 14

Hooker County Courthouse 303 NW 1st Street, Mullen, NE 69152 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (MDT)

Tuesday, June 20

Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce 504 4th Avenue, Holdrege, NE 68949 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

Tuesday, June 27

Valley County Courthouse 125 S. 15th Street, Ord, NE 68862 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CDT)

Keya Paha County Courthouse 310 Courthouse Drive, Springview, NE 68778 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CDT)

Greeley County Courthouse – Assembly Room Courthouse Square, Greeley, NE 68842 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.

Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

Smith Supports Bipartisan Bill to Help Welfare Recipients Get Back to Work

2017-06-23 14:30:52


Smith Questions USTR Lighthizer on Agriculture Trade Priorities

2017-06-22 17:45:24


Smith Asks Sec. Price about Evidence-Based Funding for HHS Programs

2017-06-08 18:18:39


Smith on Leveling Playing Field for Ag Producers through Tax Reform

2017-05-23 17:59:26


Smith Honors Nebraska Farm Bureau Centennial

2017-05-22 19:31:50


Smith Talks Tax Reform on Fox Business

2017-05-19 16:16:09


Smith Pushes for Swift Action on Tax Reform

2017-05-18 16:43:50


Smith Congratulates Gering High School on National Contest Win

2017-05-03 17:58:41


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


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

Don Bacon

NEBRASKA's 2nd DISTRICT

Recent Videos