Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith


To Protect Americans, Stop Underestimating ISIS


A series of terrorist attacks by ISIS militants have taken hundreds of innocent lives in the past few weeks alone. The Nov. 13 attack in Paris, which killed at least 129 people, came one day after more than 40 people were murdered in a double suicide bombing in Beirut. On Oct. 31, a bomb on a Russian jet killed all 224 people on board. As I prepare to send this, a hotel in Mali is under siege by gunmen, though the terrorist group responsible has not yet been confirmed.

My prayers and deepest condolences continue to be with the grieving families of the victims in each of these attacks. The callous taking of innocent lives by terrorists is a heartbreaking reality our world must face head-on. Not only has ISIS attacked one of our closest allies in its horrifying assault on Paris, but these terrorists now threaten to attack the United States.

The federal government has no greater responsibility than keeping Americans safe. However, President Obama and his administration continue to underestimate ISIS and downplay the threat posed by this brutal terrorist group, even as their attacks increase and become more sophisticated.  

On the morning of Nov. 13, mere hours before the Paris attack, ABC’s Good Morning America aired an interview with President Obama in which he said about ISIS: “I don’t think they’re gaining strength” and “we have contained them.” Even after the attack, the President referred to the atrocities as a “setback.”  

In reality, it was an act of war by radical Islamic terrorists.

The attacks in France, Egypt, and Lebanon have brought renewed focus to the reach of ISIS beyond their original areas in Syria and Iraq. As the New York Times reported this week, “ISIS is likely responsible for nearly 1,000 civilian deaths outside Iraq and Syria” this year.  The article also noted, “The Islamic State has declared official provinces – or wilayat – in areas of Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen that had networks loyal to ISIS, many of which have adopted the organization’s signature brutality.”  

Clearly, ISIS is not contained or losing strength. One of the most visible outcomes of the Obama administration’s failing strategy against ISIS is the massive refugee crisis.  

At least one Paris attacker used a fake passport to enter Europe in a wave of refugees. While we are called to demonstrate empathy to those fleeing war, we must ensure refugees are thoroughly vetted to prevent Americans’ compassion from being exploited by those who would do us harm.  

I support a freeze on President Obama’s refugee resettlement plan until we have a better understanding of the individuals seeking refuge and the means to comprehensively screen them. Congressional approval should also be required before any refugee resettlement efforts resume.

To address these concerns, this week the House passed H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, of which I am a cosponsor. The bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence to unanimously certify to Congress any proposed Syrian or Iraqi refugee does not represent a security threat before admission to the United States can be granted.

With growing dangers to our country due to violent extremism, the federal government must first and foremost ensure the safety of American citizens. President Obama must also make our national security his top priority and present a comprehensive plan to destroy ISIS. Together with our allies, we can triumph over terror.

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VIDEO: Smith Recognizes National Rural Health Day


In recognition of National Rural Health Day, Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives this afternoon to bring attention to the challenges rural Americans face in maintaining access to quality health care.


Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the fifth annual National Rural Health Day.

The third Thursday in November is set aside each year by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health to recognize the unique health care needs of and challenges facing rural Americans and their communities. 

These challenges include fewer health care providers and longer travel distances. 

The hospitals serving rural communities continue to be burdened by arbitrary regulations such as physician supervision and 96-hour certification rules which we need to address.

This year, rural consumers in twelve states also face the challenge of finding a new insurance plan because the Consumer Oriented and Operated Plan, or co-op, created by Obamacare from which they purchased coverage has failed. 

This includes 120,000 Nebraskans and Iowans who bought coverage through CoOportunity Health.

Consumers and taxpayers deserve to know what went wrong with the co-ops and whether the $2.4 billion in federal loans to this failing program will be repaid.

I will continue to fight for these answers, and I yield back.

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Congressional Caseworker to Visit Burwell and Loup City


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 Tuesday, November 24, in Burwell and Loup City.

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 Tuesday, November 24, at the following times and locations:

Garfield County Courthouse Commissioners Room 250 S. 8th Avenue, Burwell, NE 68823 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CST)

Sherman County Courthouse 2nd Floor Commissioners Board Room 630 O Street, Loup City, NE 68853 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST)

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

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Smith Announces Congressional App Challenge for High School Students


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) has announced the second annual Congressional App Challenge for Nebraska’s Third District. This nationwide competition is designed to promote innovation and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among high school students who will compete by creating and exhibiting a software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.

“The Congressional App Challenge celebrates innovation and encourages our students to pursue the boundless opportunities in STEM fields,” Smith said. “I look forward to seeing the apps Third District students create for this year’s competition.”

The Congressional App Challenge is open to all high school students who live in – or are eligible to attend public schools located in – Nebraska’s Third Congressional District. Students may participate individually or in teams of up to four. Students entering the competition must provide a YouTube or Vimeo video explaining their app and what they learned through the competition process.

The winning app in each participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website and displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.  

More details on submitting a contest entry, the rules of the competition, and helpful programming resources can be found at or by contacting Congressman Smith’s Washington, D.C. office. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2016.

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A New Chapter for the U.S. House


It has been a historic season in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last month, we elected a new Speaker of the House. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin had the role thrust upon him when Speaker John Boehner unexpectedly retired from his post mid-term. To answer the call, our new Speaker chose to give up what he has often referred to as his “dream job” as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.  

While serving with him on the Committee, I saw firsthand Mr. Ryan’s ability to lead, listen, and thoughtfully craft solutions on pressing issues such as trade, tax reform, and entitlement reform. As Speaker, he is already demonstrating his commitment to creating a more open process in the House to ensure everyone participates and works together. He correctly recognizes “we are in a generational defining moment,” as he says, to get our country moving in the right direction.

Republicans in Congress have lacked unity. Independent thinking is a hallmark of conservatism, but it can be difficult to corral. Speaker Ryan is the right conservative leader to move the House forward and help us start thinking bigger as we tackle the issues facing our country. I am encouraged by the potential for substantial reforms under his leadership.

With Speaker Ryan’s departure from the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas has been selected as the new chairman. I have enjoyed serving with Chairman Brady on the Health Subcommittee, which he most recently chaired, and look forward to working with him in his new capacity.  

As chairman of the Health Subcommittee, Chairman Brady has partnered with me in seeking answers from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Obamacare’s failed consumer operated and oriented plans, known as co-ops. Since the failure of CoOportunity Health in Nebraska and Iowa nearly one year ago, I have made numerous requests to HHS and CMS for information on why there was not more oversight of these co-ops and what these agencies are doing to prevent further damage. As I impressed upon CMS chief of staff Dr. Mandy Cohen in last week’s subcommittee hearing, called by Chairman Brady, I continue to await these answers – and the Committee will continue to push for them.

We are also committed to furthering our work on tax reform. Families and businesses need certainty, which requires an overhaul of our complicated, outdated, and uncompetitive federal tax code. Temporary tax extenders are detrimental to economic growth and jobs. Making some of these tax provisions permanent, such as enhanced Section 179 expensing levels which allow small businesses and producers to invest in equipment, is an important step toward simplifying the tax code. Speaker Ryan and his predecessor Chairman Dave Camp laid the groundwork for substantial tax reform during their time as chairmen, and I look forward to continuing this process under Chairman Brady with Speaker Ryan at the helm of the House.   

Despite significant transitions in the U.S. House, my commitment to serving Nebraska’s Third District and making your voice heard has not changed. It is an honor to represent you in Congress, and I am optimistic about the opportunities to engage in meaningful debates and accomplish conservative solutions in this new chapter.

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Congressional Caseworkers to Visit York, Clay Center, Hebron, and Superior


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, November 18, in York and Clay Center, and on Thursday, November 19, in Hebron and Superior.

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.

Wednesday, November 18

York County Courthouse Commissioners Room 510 North Lincoln Avenue, York, NE 68467 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (CST)

Clay County Courthouse 1st Floor DMV Office 111 West Fairfield Street, Clay Center, NE 68933 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CST)

Thursday, November 19

Hebron Secrest Library Meeting Room 146 N. 4th Street, Hebron, NE 68370 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CST)

Superior Public Library Meeting Room 449 N. Kansas Street, Superior, NE 68978 1:30 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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Tri-State Delegation Requests Extended Public Comment Period of Reconfiguration of Black Hills Health Care System


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) joined colleagues from South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska in sending a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to request an extension of the public comment period in the wake of the VA’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed reconfiguration of the Black Hills Health Care System (BHHCS). The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-SD), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and U.S. Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Smith.

“The time constraints imposed by the current 60-day comment period may present a significant challenge for veteran stakeholders given that many may be traveling or spending time with family throughout the holiday season,” wrote the Members. “The VA’s public comment meetings also overlap the holiday season, which may further limit stakeholder involvement.  For these reasons, we respectfully request that the VA extend the comment period to February 5, 2016.”

“As you know, we continue to have concerns about the impact the VA’s proposal to reconfigure the BHHCS will have on access to care for our region’s rural veterans, veteran mental health services, the assumptions made about a future partnership with the Fall River Hospital, and data used to support this proposal,” wrote the Members. “Unfortunately, there also remains an underlying distrust among veterans and Hot Springs stakeholders that the VA has proceeded with a predetermined decision to vacate the Hot Springs VA hospital and domiciliary.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

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Smith Statement on AGOA Status of South Africa


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement on the potential revocation of duty-free status of South African agriculture exports to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). On November 5, President Obama notified Congress South Africa had not made sufficient progress in lifting unscientific sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions on U.S. beef, pork, and chicken, leading the administration to end duty-free treatment of AGOA-eligible agriculture goods in 60 days.

“While trade agreements provide important tariff and non-tariff trade benefits for producers and consumers, they also prove their importance by ensuring we have a codified means to address concerns when our trade partners don’t follow the rules,” Smith said. “I appreciate the ongoing work of the U.S. Trade Representative to address these issues and support the decision to pursue this remedy permitted under AGOA.”

Smith is a member of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. In September he joined with colleagues from the Ways and Means Committee writing to Ambassador Michael Froman in support of reviewing AGOA eligibility. To view the full letter, click here.

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Smith Statement on President's Keystone XL Pipeline Disapproval


Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after President Obama announced his decision not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Extended reviews of the law and the science by the Obama administration have demonstrated Keystone XL would provide needed infrastructure with little or no environmental impact.  Plain and simple, the President’s decision today is a purely political move which will hurt the middle class.  Not everyone can afford to buy a hybrid car as a means to deal with an uncertain national energy policy.  Unfortunately, the President’s narrow agenda continues to hurt the very people he says he wants to help.”   

The Keystone XL Pipeline would have run through Nebraska’s Third District, which Smith represents.

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Keeping Our Commitment to Nebraska Veterans


Nebraska is home to more than 140,000 veterans who have demonstrated their selfless commitment to the cause of freedom. As we honor their service on Veterans Day, we must also recognize the challenges they face and renew our own commitment to caring for these heroes.

The Veterans Administration (VA) recently released a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the reconfiguration of the VA Black Hills Health Care System. Since the VA first proposed closing its Hot Springs facility years ago, I have been working to ensure Nebraska veterans maintain access to the care they need. I am troubled by the VA’s insistence on pressing forward with a plan veterans have clearly shown they do not want.

Travel time and access to care continue to be foremost concerns for veterans in rural areas. Reducing services at Hot Springs would require many Nebraska veterans to drive upwards of six hours roundtrip for care, forcing many to delay seeking services – or to not seek care at all.  Failing our veterans in this way is unacceptable.

Sandra Horsman, director of the VA Black Hills Health Care System, said the Hot Springs decision does not come down to costs but quality of care, adding “our number one concern is our veterans.” If this is true, I hope the VA will listen to the thousands of Nebraska veterans opposing further restrictions on their already limited access to care.

The VA is hosting a series of public meetings on the future of Hot Springs, including three in the Third District:

Wednesday, December 2, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Chadron State College (Ballroom in Student Center) in Chadron

Thursday, December 3, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Newberry’s in Alliance

Thursday, December 3, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Gering Civic Center (Oregon Trail Room) in Gering

In addition to attending these meetings, I encourage Nebraska veterans to make their voices heard by submitting comments to the VA before January 5, 2016, online at, by email at, or by mail at the following address:

Staff Assistant to the Director VA Black Hills Health Care System 113 Comanche Road Fort Meade, SD 57741

Given the large number of veterans impacted by this potential closure, I am working with my colleagues in neighboring states to try to extend the public comment period. The Environmental Impact Statement is a long, complex document, and veterans deserve sufficient time to review it. As chairman of the Congressional Rural Veterans Caucus, I will continue fighting to keep Hot Springs open for veteran care.

As the holiday season approaches, we have the opportunity to express our gratitude and greetings to service members, veterans, and their families around the world by participating in the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. In 2014, Third District residents collected more than 12,000 cards. If you wish to join us in this effort, please drop off your cards (without postage) to my district offices located in Grand Island and Scottsbluff by Tuesday, December 1. More information is available on my website at

On Veterans Day, we honor and remember those who served our country and defended our freedoms. We must keep our commitment to these heroes every day by ensuring they have access to the care and resources they deserve.

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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

Smith Supports Death Tax Repeal

2015-03-25 21:01:37

Smith Celebrates Nebraska Agriculture on House Floor

2015-03-19 18:14:39

Smith Questions Secretary Lew on President Obama’s Budget Plan

2015-02-03 18:23:16

Smith Speaks on CoOportunity Health’s Potential Liquidation, Another Obamacare Failure

2015-02-03 00:32:38

Smith Stands for Nebraska Agriculture at Trade Hearing

2015-01-27 21:52:22

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


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