Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

A Spirit of Hope for the Holidays

2014/12/18

From health care, to immigration, and foreign policy – our government faces many challenges as we reflect on 2014 and prepare for 2015.  As we look ahead, President Reagan’s 1981 Christmas Address to the nation inspires a spirit of hope by reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas, and of the greater challenges we have overcome in the past.  I wish all Nebraskans a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, and a very Happy New Year!

 

President Ronald Reagan

Radio Address to the Nation 

December 23, 1981

Tonight, in millions of American homes, the glow of the Christmas tree is a reflection of the love Jesus taught us.  Like the shepherds and wise men of that first Christmas, we Americans have always tried to follow a higher light, a star, if you will.  At lonely campfire vigils along the frontier, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, through war and peace, the twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the American sky.  At times our footsteps may have faltered, but trusting in God's help, we've never lost our way.

...

Like the National Christmas Tree, our country is a living, growing thing planted in rich American soil.  Only our devoted care can bring it to full flower.  So, let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication.  Even as we rejoice, however, let us remember that for some Americans, this will not be as happy a Christmas as it should be.  I know a little of what they feel.  I remember one Christmas Eve during the Great Depression, my father opening what he thought was a Christmas greeting.  It was a notice that he no longer had a job.  Over the past year, we've begun the long, hard work of economic recovery.  Our goal is an America in which every citizen who needs and wants a job can get a job.

...

A few months before he took up residence in this house, one of my predecessors, John Kennedy, tried to sum up the temper of the times with a quote from an author closely tied to Christmas, Charles Dickens.  We were living, he said, in the best of times and the worst of times.  Well, in some ways that's even more true today.  The world is full of peril, as well as promise.  Too many of its people, even now, live in the shadow of want and tyranny.

Once, earlier in this century, an evil influence threatened that the lights were going out all over the world.  Let the light of millions of candles in American homes give notice that the light of freedom is not going to be extinguished.  We are blessed with a freedom and abundance denied to so many.  Let those candles remind us that these blessings bring with them a solid obligation, an obligation to the God who guides us, an obligation to the heritage of liberty and dignity handed down to us by our forefathers and an obligation to the children of the world, whose future will be shaped by the way we live our lives today.

Christmas means so much because of one special child.  But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy.  In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future lies the true meaning of Christmas. 

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Addressing Illegal Immigration

2014/12/12

Illegal immigration is one of the many issues Congress needs to address.  Not only are millions of people in our country without legal status, but there has been a surge of unaccompanied, undocumented children crossing our border this year. 

We are a nation of immigrants.  Nearly every aspect of our nation, our culture, and our economy has been shaped by those who immigrated here and their descendants.  However, illegal immigration poses a risk to our national security, burdens our communities, and threatens children who are often forced to cross an increasingly dangerous border alone.

The President’s recent executive orders are not a solution to the problem of illegal immigration; in fact, they will likely make the problem worse.  History has shown granting amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants only encourages others to break our immigration laws. 

Several states including Nebraska are fighting back by suing the President for overreaching his authority.  I signed an amicus brief this week in support of the case.  I also voted in favor of legislation in the House which would prohibit the President from deferring deportation of undocumented immigrants. 

The House also passed a government funding bill this week which limits funding to the Department of Homeland Security to early next year.  This legislation removes the threat of a government shutdown and will allow Congress to debate the President’s amnesty plan next year when Republicans control both the House and Senate.

The executive orders make it more difficult for Congress to address this problem in a bipartisan way.  The President has made no effort to work with Congress to address this problem.  Instead he has acted unilaterally while insisting the House forgo its role in the legislative process and rubber stamp a Senate-passed bill.

The President’s failure to perform his Constitutional duty to enforce laws undermines our system of government and reinforces the gridlock plaguing Washington.  Solutions will require both sides to work through regular order to come to an agreement.

Until we are able to come to an agreement, there are steps we should take to improve national security and protect the children coming to our country.  For example, providing notification to states when unaccompanied minors are placed there.  There was no notification to the State of Nebraska when more than 200 minors were moved to the state this year – even though the state is responsible for the well-being and education of these children.

This week, I testified on H.R. 5129, legislation I introduced which would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to give states advanced notice when unaccompanied minors are to be placed in the state.  This legislation would be a small but important step to addressing the problem of illegal immigration, but much more will need to be done to protect children, secure our border, and restore the balance of power in Washington.

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Seizing the American Energy Revolution

2014/12/05

The average price of gasoline has fallen to well below $3.00 per gallon in Nebraska, and for the nation as a whole.  The dramatic drop in price is due to an American energy revolution which is thriving despite federal policy, not because of it.

New drilling techniques and technology have made it possible and economically viable to extract oil from previously unavailable reserves. Because of these advances, oil production in the United States has surged even though the Obama Administration has pursued an agenda to reduce the use of traditional fuels.  The United States is now among the world’s largest producers of petroleum, and our dependence on foreign oil is dropping dramatically.

The massive increase in American oil production has increased global supply, helping to keep up with demand, resulting in price drops which benefit consumers at the pump.  The drop in fuel prices also has profound implications for manufacturing, agriculture, and in reducing the transportation costs built into almost everything we buy.

While these changes are very positive, there is great potential to do more.  The federal government should open more federal lands and waters to drilling.  We also need to expand our energy infrastructure including the approval of more pipelines.  A recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates U.S. oil production could be 1.5 million barrels per day higher if America had greater oil-by-rail and pipeline capacity.  

The most high profile pipeline project waiting approval is the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to connect oil production in Canada and North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast.   The President has not made a decision regarding this project for more than six years even though it would encourage American energy, create thousands of jobs, and according to the State Department would not have a significant environmental impact.

Last month, the House of Representative approved, with my support, H.R. 5682 to authorize the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Despite bipartisan support, Senate Democrats failed to pass the companion bill, once again delaying this project. 

As we enter the 114th Congress, action should support energy policies which most benefit Americans.  Finding solutions to keep the cost of energy and our nation's dependence on foreign oil low must be a priority.

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Smith Collects More than 12,000 Holiday Cards for Troops

2014/12/05

Nebraskans submitted more than 12,000 cards to Congressman Adrian Smith’s (R-NE) offices for the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program, which gives Americans the opportunity to send holiday greetings and thanks to servicemembers, veterans and their families around the world.  Smith’s offices in Scottsbluff and Grand Island served as collection points for constituents to drop off postage free cards.

Many of the cards were collected by Terri Hongsermeier of Grand Island.  Hongsermeier worked throughout the year to provide supplies to help Nebraskans make their own cards and then coordinated their delivery to Smith’s office.

“Third District residents have once again stepped up to show overwhelming support for our troops, veterans, and military families during the holiday season,” said Congressman Smith.  “I am grateful to Terri Hongsermeier and all of the volunteers who collected and wrote cards, and made this achievement possible.” 

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Thank You, Senator Johanns

2014/11/26

As a Governor, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and U.S. Senator, Mike Johanns has been one of the greatest public servants in the history of the State of Nebraska.  While his career in politics will conclude at the end of this year, his legacy, example, and impact will continue.

Mike Johanns’ public service began in 1983 when he was elected to the Lancaster County Board.  In 1988, he was elected to the first of two terms on the Lincoln City Council, before being elected Mayor of Lincoln in 1991.

In 1998, he began as an underdog running for the Republican nomination for governor.  However, his well-organized campaign, focus on solutions, and pragmatic approach to the issues led him to a landslide victory in both the primary and general elections.  These qualities continue to serve him and the people of Nebraska well.

I first met Mike Johanns when he was Mayor and I was a member of the Gering City Council.  Soon after, he was elected Governor and I was elected to the Legislature.  As a member of the Legislature, I saw his strong leadership first-hand.  He always focused on doing what he believed was right for the state in the long run, over what was politically expedient.  He balanced the budget, provided tax relief, and set a record for the number of bills vetoed.

It was no surprise when President George W. Bush nominated Governor Johanns to serve as his Secretary of Agriculture in 2004.  As President Bush stated when making his announcement, “Governor Johanns is a man of action and of complete integrity.  He knows how to bring people together to achieve results.  He has been a superb leader for the people of Nebraska.”

While we were sorry to see then-Governor Johanns leave, it was significant to have a Nebraskan in such an important post for our state’s ag economy.  He also left the state government in good hands:  Governor Dave Heinemann is now completing 10 years in this role.

Secretary Johanns left the Department of Agriculture in 2007 to return to Nebraska and run for the United States Senate.  He easily won in 2008.  By then, I was serving in the House of Representatives and it was a pleasure to work with Senator Johanns, this time in Washington.

Senator Johanns has been a model of leadership, integrity, and statesmanship in the Senate.  He sought solutions, not the spotlight.  He has remained true to his conservative convictions, but always tried to find agreement and common ground with the other side. 

I am deeply thankful for Senator Johanns and his wife Stephanie for their service to our state and our nation.  I join all Nebraskans in wishing them Godspeed as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.

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Addressing Challenges to Rural Health

2014/11/21

Nearly one in five Americans, or 62 million people, live in rural and frontier communities.  As the representative of one of the most rural Congressional districts in the country and as Chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus, I am focused on addressing the unique challenges facing rural Americans.

This week I joined health advocates throughout Nebraska and across the country in recognizing National Rural Health Day.  Rural hospitals are vital to rural areas.  Nebraska’s Third District is home to more than 50 Critical Access Hospitals.  These facilities provide critical care to some of the most vulnerable and elderly populations in the country.

This year, rural health care delivery is facing its greatest challenge.  Forty-three rural hospitals have closed since 2010; 283 more are on the brink of closure.  Because of Obamacare, we are seeing deep cuts to Medicare beneficiaries, a major patient population for these rural facilities.

In addition to cuts to Medicare, rural Nebraskans are facing steep hikes in their insurance premiums due to Obamacare.  New data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirms insurance premiums for the lowest-priced plans on Nebraska’s federally operated Obamacare exchange will increase in every county in Nebraska’s Third Congressional District. 

This new data confirms what Nebraskans have told me all along.  Obamacare is making health insurance more, not less, expensive and out of reach for hardworking families.  The President promised health care premiums would go down under his plan, but history continues to show more government control of the health care system results in higher costs.

To address these problems we need market- and patient-centered solutions to actually reduce costs and expand access to care.  This will first require the President and his allies in Congress to acknowledge their law isn’t working as they intended.

Rural hospitals also have to face arbitrary regulations such as physician supervision requirements, and a 96-hour precertification rule. Physician supervision rules require a physician’s presence and supervision over nearly all routine procedures administered in hospitals. The 96-hour rule requires physicians at rural hospitals to certify Medicare and Medicaid patients will not be at the hospital for more than 96 hours.  These facilities frequently do not have the resources to abide by these unnecessary regulations while continuing to provide affordable and efficient health care.

I have introduced legislation to address both of these arbitrary regulations.  This week, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health announced it has included the legislative text of both of my bills as part of a larger package of health care reforms.  I am hopeful this plan will be considered early next year to provide relief to rural health providers.

I will continue to fight to make sure our rural communities maintain access to quality care, and we address the government imposed burdens to rural health. 

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Smith Responds to President’s Amnesty Plan

2014/11/20

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today released the following statement regarding President Obama’s planned executive orders to provide amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants without the consent of Congress:

“We have already seen how the President’s youth amnesty encouraged tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors to pour across the border.  Providing amnesty to millions of additional undocumented immigrants will only encourage others to break our laws and make it more difficult to fix our broken immigration system. 

“Worse than the specific policy is the precedent President Obama continues to set by ignoring Congress and the will of the American people.  Failing to perform his Constitutional duty to enforce laws undermines our system of government and reinforces the gridlock plaguing Washington.  Solutions will require both sides to work through regular order to come to an agreement.”

Background:

President Obama has regularly admitted he does not have the authority to bypass the legislative process and change laws on his own.  The Speaker’s office has compiled a list of 22 times the President specifically said he could not ignore or create his own immigration law.   

During a 2010 speech to students at American University, the President explained why giving amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants would be “unwise and unfair.”  In the President’s own words:

“For example, there are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws.  And often this argument is framed in moral terms:  Why should we punish people who are just trying to earn a living? 

“I recognize the sense of compassion that drives this argument, but I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair.  It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision.  And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration.  And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. 

“Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship.  And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable.” Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-comprehensive-immigration-reform.  

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Obamacare Premiums Rise in Every Third District County

2014/11/20

New data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms insurance premiums for the lowest-priced plans on Nebraska’s federally operated Obamacare exchange will increase in every county in Nebraska’s Third Congressional District.   

“This new data confirms what Nebraskans have told me all along.  Obamacare is making health insurance more, not less, expensive and out of reach for hardworking families,” said Congressman Smith.  “The President promised health care premiums would go down under his plan, but history continues to show more government control of the health care system results in higher costs.

“Obamacare is not working.  We need market- and patient-centered solutions to actually reduce costs and expand access to care.”

Insurance premiums for the lowest cost plan available on the Obamacare exchange will increase in Third District counties by the following:

Adams , +11.9%

Antelope, +11.9%

Arthur, +17.1%

Banner, +17.1%

Blaine, +11.9%

Boone, +11.9%

Box Butte, +17.1%

Boyd, +11.9%

Brown, +17.1%

Buffalo, +11.9%

Cedar, +11.9%

Chase, +17.1%

Cherry, +17.1%

Cheyenne, +17.1%

Clay, +11.9%

Custer, +11.9%

Dakota, +11.9%

Dawes, +17.1%

Dawson, +11.9%

Deuel, +17.1%

Dixon, +11.9%

Dundy, +17.1%

Fillmore, +7.5%

Franklin, +11.9%

Frontier, +17.1%

Furnas, +11.9%

Gage, +7.5%

Garden, +17.1%

Garfield, +11.9%

Gosper, +11.9%

Grant, +17.1%

Greeley, +11.9%

Hall, +11.9%

Hamilton, +11.9%

Harlan, +11.9%

Hayes, +17.1%

Hitchcock, +17.1%

Holt, +11.9%

Hooker, +17.1%

Howard, +11.9%

Jefferson, +7.5%

Johnson, +7.5%

Kearney, +11.9%

Keith, +17.1%

Keya Paha, +11.9%

Kimball, +17.1%

Knox, +11.9%

Lincoln, +17.1%

Logan, +17.1%

Loup, +11.9%

McPherson, +17.1%

Merrick, +11.9%

Morrill, +17.1%

Nance, +11.9%

Nemaha, +7.5%

Nuckolls, +11.9%

Pawnee, +7.5%

Perkins, +17.1%

Phelps, +11.9%

Pierce, +11.9%

Red Willow, +17.1%

Richardson, +7.5%

Rock, +11.9%

Saline, +7.5%

Scotts Bluff, +17.1%

Sheridan, +17.1%

Sherman, +11.9%

Sioux, +17.1%

Thayer, +7.5%

Thomas, +17.1%

Valley, +11.9%

Wayne, +11.9%

Webster, +11.9%

Wheeler, +11.9%

York, +7.5%

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Rep. Smith to Hold Mobile Office in Arthur

2014/11/18

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during a "mobile office" on Friday, November 21, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. MST in Arthur.

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 on Friday, November 21 at the following location:

  • 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. MST; Arthur County Courthouse, 205 Fir Street, Arthur, Nebraska.

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

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Rep. Smith to Hold Mobile Office in Tryon

2014/11/18

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during a "mobile office" on Friday, November 21, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. CST in Tryon.

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 on Friday, November 21 at the following location:

  • 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. CST; McPherson County Courthouse, 5th and Anderson Streets, Tryon, Nebraska.

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

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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

Lee Terry

NEBRASKA's 2nd DISTRICT

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