Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“TPP was not a perfect agreement, but it established a framework for U.S. exporters to pursue greater economic opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region,” Smith said. “Our country should be a leader in writing the rules of the global economy, rather than allowing other world powers to take our place. Moving forward, I hope we can pursue bilateral agreements with these TPP countries to open more markets to U.S. agriculture producers and manufacturers.”Read More
An overwhelming number of Nebraskans have expressed their support for the upcoming repeal of Obamacare. After losing their doctors, suffering repeated price spikes, and seeing their choices for care dwindle, they are ready for relief.
At the same time, I have received some calls and notes from Nebraskans wondering what Obamacare repeal will mean for them. A few have suggested rather than repealing and replacing this law, we should fix it. The problem is Obamacare is already broken beyond repair and collapsing under its own regulatory weight.
The failure of Obamacare’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, is a case in point. The law created 23 co-ops, but today only five remain. CoOportunity Health was the first to fold, costing 120,000 Nebraskans and Iowans their health coverage. Premiums were set too low, encouraging more people to sign up. When the co-op started paying out benefits, the shortfall became clear. It was too late.
These problems are rampant throughout Obamacare’s marketplaces. In the employer-sponsored market, on average, individual premiums have increased 27 percent, deductibles for individual plans have increased 60 percent, and annual family premiums have increased by about $4,300. At the same time, insurers are dropping out of the exchanges due to skyrocketing costs. Nebraska is down to two insurers on the exchange, and five states have been forced into monopoly situations with only one provider.
It is clear this law does not work, and the situation is only getting worse. With time ticking and Americans’ health care hanging in the balance, we must act now to establish a new, patient-centered system.
We passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution in the second week of the 115th Congress, which was the first step toward repeal. Americans currently insured through Obamacare will not be left without insurance once we repeal the law. There will be a transition period to protect consumers as we work on replacement.
A few people have claimed Congress is exempt from Obamacare and can easily make health care decisions for others without being impacted themselves. This is false, as Members of Congress and most of their offices, including my own, are on the Obamacare exchange. Congress will feel the results of these changes.
Some Nebraskans who have contacted my office are concerned about coverage for preexisting conditions once Obamacare is repealed. House Republicans laid out our commitments for health care last year in our Better Way plan, which includes coverage for those with preexisting conditions. It also provides more flexibility and choices for all Americans, including allowing consumers to take their coverage with them rather than being tied to a job or a state exchange.
Prior to Obamacare, Nebraska already had numerous protections in place for consumers in need of health care assistance. The state’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool was available to help people with preexisting conditions get the treatments they needed. Another provision required insurers offering family policies to allow children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 31, rather than Obamacare’s requirement of 26. The heavy hand of the federal government has worked to our detriment under Obamacare, and we must roll it back and return control to the local level – primarily to patients themselves.
Obamacare is failing, and we need to act now to deliver the relief we promised. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with your questions as we go through this process. My goal will continue to be empowering patients through a robust health care marketplace built on the foundations of higher quality, lower cost, and personal choice and responsibility.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after the Obama administration announced it would take no action on the extension of preference for travel goods to all GSP beneficiaries.
"After several months of review, I am disappointed to learn USTR will be taking no action on the extension of preference for travel goods to all GSP beneficiaries," Smith said. "This decision harms U.S. businesses and ensures China's continued dominance of the industry. It is frustrating to see the administration move forward with so many concerning decisions in its waning hours, including opting not to fully implement a policy which it signed into law with strong bipartisan support. It is my belief the Obama administration should act immediately to extend preference to all GSP beneficiaries."
Click here for video of Smith's June 2015 remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 1295, the Trade Preferences Extension Act. This package included the GSP UPDATE Act (H.R. 681), for which Smith served as the lead sponsor on the Ways and Means Committee and the Obama administration signed into law (P.L. 114-27) on June 29, 2015.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after voting in favor of the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution, which contains language establishing the process for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“This is an important first step toward repealing Obamacare,” Smith said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I am glad to help start the process of bringing relief to Nebraskans and people across the country facing higher costs and fewer choices under this unworkable law. It is time for new, patient-centered health care policy, and I will work closely with my fellow Members of Congress and the Trump administration to make sure repeal and replace is done right.”
Click here for Smith’s “Repealing Obamacare” column from November 18, 2016, which details the reconciliation process.Read More
Casting a vote on behalf of the people of Nebraska’s Third District is a great privilege. Much of the work to dig deeper into legislative issues and prepare bills for votes on the House floor takes place in committees. Since 2011, I have had the opportunity to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee, which puts me on the front lines of the debate on how to create jobs, promote economic growth, and impact tax policy. My priority in Congress has always been to secure greater opportunity for Nebraskans. I am honored to be taking on a new role as chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, which has jurisdiction over a wide range of anti-poverty, welfare, and social services programs, as well as foster care and adoption. The Subcommittee will examine our country’s anti-poverty programs to ensure the end goal is helping people meet their potential through independence and productivity. Rewarding work and addressing reverse incentives in these programs is crucial to helping Americans escape poverty. I look forward to leading our efforts to demand positive results which break the cycle of government dependency and empower people with greater freedom and economic opportunity. This new role also provides another avenue for Nebraska producers to help shape America’s agriculture policy. The Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee works closely with the House Agriculture Committee on issues related to the Farm Bill, namely the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We must look carefully at the program’s effectiveness, ensuring it is focused on those in need while enabling our agriculture producers to provide more Americans with nutritious food. As we begin work on the next Farm Bill, I look forward to many conversations with producers throughout the Third District to seek their input and expertise. I will also be collaborating with Nebraska’s new Second District Representative Don Bacon in his role on the House Agriculture Committee. Additionally, I will continue working on the Ways and Means Committee to open new markets for Nebraska agriculture producers, simplify our tax code, and pursue patient-centered health care reforms. Under a unified government, I am optimistic we can come together on these issues and overhaul our regulatory system to provide needed relief. I have also been selected to join the Committee on House Administration for the 115th Congress. The focus of the Committee is to make government work for the people through its oversight of the House’s daily operations as well as federal elections. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on this important panel to ensure efficient and responsible operations in the House and help preserve the integrity of our election system. We have an exciting and productive year ahead, and I hope you will keep in touch with me as we tackle a full slate of issues in Congress. If you have not joined my e-newsletter list to receive regular updates, I encourage you to sign up at AdrianSmith.house.gov/Newsletter. Thank you for sharing your ideas, stories, and questions to help me better represent you.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) has been selected to serve as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Resources, which has jurisdiction over a wide range of anti-poverty, welfare, and social services programs, as well as foster care and adoption.
“I am honored to lead the important work of the Human Resources Subcommittee,” Congressman Smith said. “My priority in Congress has always been to secure greater opportunity for Nebraskans. Now, I look forward to leading our efforts to improve our country’s anti-poverty programs by demanding positive results which break the cycle of government dependency and empower people through freedom and economic opportunity.
“I will continue working on the Ways and Means Committee to open new markets for Nebraska agriculture producers, simplify our tax code, and pursue patient-centered health care reforms.”
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, “Since joining the Ways and Means Committee six years ago, Adrian has been an integral part of our efforts to combat poverty and help Nebraskans and Americans from all walks of life. Adrian will be a thoughtful and effective chairman of our Human Resources Subcommittee, guiding our efforts to unleash opportunities that help all Americans thrive. I’m very grateful for his service and leadership.”
Smith has also been named to the Committee on House Administration for the 115th Congress. For more information, click here.Read More
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb) and Congressman Adrian Smith (NE-3) released the following statement today on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decision to close a large part of the Hot Springs facility:
“Veterans in western Nebraska rely on the Hot Springs facility for the quality care they deserve. Today’s decision from the VA is disappointing, and it leaves unanswered questions for Nebraska families who have sacrificed for our country. Despite this decision, we are committed to working together with the new administration to find innovative solutions to meet the medical needs of our panhandle veterans.”
In November 2015, Senator Fischer and Congressman Smith joined members of the Wyoming and South Dakota delegations in a letter to 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).
Currently, the Black Hills facility covers the following nine counties in Nebraska: Box Butte, Cherry, Dawes, Garden, Grant, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, and Sioux.Read More
While we prepare to inaugurate a new president, Congress is laying the foundation for significant regulatory relief. Throughout the Obama presidency, a main focus of our work in Congress has been pushing back against the administration’s endless roll of red tape.
From a rule allowing the federal government to control puddles on farmers’ land to regulations preventing rural health providers from determining how best to serve their patients, overreach by the executive branch has harmed far too many Nebraska families, industries, and communities.
According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, federal agencies issued 3,853 regulations last year alone. This equals 18 rules for every one law passed by Congress. We cannot continue to allow unelected bureaucrats at federal agencies to issue thousands of costly, complex regulations unchecked.
President-elect Donald Trump has called for an overhaul of the regulatory system, which I am eager to work on to help restore freedom and opportunity in America. Since 2014, I have led a Regulation Rewind initiative to fight government overreach. I recently released a report on the legislative actions I have taken, with input from Nebraskans, and I invite you to view it at AdrianSmith.house.gov/RegulationRewindReport.
After years of executive abuses by the Obama administration, the House passed two bills – the Midnight Rules Relief Act and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act – in the first week of the 115th Congress to limit the executive branch’s regulatory power. For too long, congresses under both parties have ceded too much legislative authority to the executive branch. These bills will ensure Congress is the primary writer of federal rules and regulations.
The Midnight Rules Relief Act amends the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to allow Congress to pass CRA resolutions rolling back multiple “midnight rules” issued at the end of a presidential term. Often, outgoing presidential administrations will hastily finalize costly, agenda-driven regulations during their final weeks in office. These rules have no time to be analyzed and can be very difficult to get rid of, even under a new administration.
Rather than watching the Obama administration drop more costly rules on Americans in its final days, the House passed this legislation to discourage midnight rulemaking and enable Congress to quickly overturn these regulations.
The CRA is an important tool for Congress to reduce regulatory burdens. It provides a streamlined process to overturn executive rulemaking, including expedited Senate consideration of legislation to block newly finalized rules.
In July 2015, I introduced a CRA resolution in the House to stop implementation of the Obama administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS. The Senate companion to my resolution passed both the House and Senate and was sent to President Obama’s desk, where it was unsurprisingly vetoed. When President-elect Trump takes office, I am optimistic we will see much greater success with our CRA efforts.
Moving forward, we must return lawmaking powers to the legislative branch. The REINS Act requires new federal regulations with an annual economic impact of more than $100 million to be voted on by Congress and signed by the president before they can take effect. This bill, which I have cosponsored since 2011, reinstates the checks and balances our Founders intended and holds federal agencies accountable.
To ensure America remains the land of opportunity, we must get government out of the way. Though the overgrown federal bureaucracy has stifled our economy, I am optimistic we will seize this chance to cut it down to size.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) announced today he has been named by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to the Committee on House Administration for the 115th Congress. The Committee’s principal functions include oversight of daily operations of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as federal elections.
“The focus of the Committee on House Administration is to make government work for the people,” Smith said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on this important panel to ensure efficient and responsible operations in the House and help preserve the integrity of our election system.”
Committee on House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS) said, “I am so honored to welcome Rep. Adrian Smith as he begins his service on the Committee on House Administration. This panel is charged with overseeing the operations of the House, and ensuring each Member has the tools they need to effectively communicate with their constituents. Adrian’s contributions will be extremely important as our panel conducts needed oversight, acts as a resource for all of the new and returning Members, and provides training and education to Member and Committee offices. Together, we will help ensure the House runs efficiently throughout the 115th Congress.”
To learn more about the Committee on House Administration, click here.
Smith will also continue to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) joined U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) today in writing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to ask about the VA’s preferred alternative to drastically cut services at the Hot Springs VA facility despite it being rated by the VA as one of only 14 “five star” facilities across the country.
“As you continue to overhaul the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) through the MyVA plan, we believe that it is essential to use VA’s top performing facilities as models for others to follow as opposed to targeting them for closure,” wrote the delegation. “Now more than ever, the VA needs to leverage its top medical centers for best practices and lessons learned to replicate their performance throughout VHA. This is critical as the VA continues to rebuild trust with veterans following the high profile scandals of recent years. As one of only 14 rated five-star facilities, we feel that significantly reducing services at Hot Springs would be a grave mistake and a disservice to the veterans it serves.”
Full text of the letter is below:
Dear Secretary McDonald:
We write to you regarding the recent press publication of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) internal quality “star ranking” metrics for its medical facilities. It is with great pride that we note the Hot Springs campus of the Black Hills Health Care System (BHHCS) is one of only 14 “five-star” facilities out of a total of 146 medical centers. As you are aware, the Hot Springs campus takes great pride in the care and services it provides to veterans, a mission that it has admirably accomplished since the U.S. Civil War. It is therefore no surprise for us to learn that Hot Springs is one of the VA’s top performing facilities.
This revelation makes the VA’s proposed BHHCS realignment and corresponding reduction in services at Hot Springs all the more concerning. Since the start of the realignment process over five years ago, we have expressed concern about the VA using this process to accomplish a pre-determined outcome, as opposed to conducting an honest and fair assessment to determine the best way to serve veterans in the Black Hills and surrounding areas. The VA’s release of a preferred alternative that drastically cuts veterans services at Hot Springs at the same time that we learn it is one of the VA’s premier medical facilities casts significant doubt upon the integrity of the entire realignment process.
We therefore ask that you provide our offices with specifics as to the role that these previously unreleased quality metrics play in the VA’s realignment decisions. As you continue to overhaul the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) through the MyVA plan, we believe that it is essential to use VA’s top performing facilities as models for others to follow as opposed to targeting them for closure. Now more than ever, the VA needs to leverage its top medical centers for best practices and lessons learned to replicate their performance throughout VHA. This is critical as the VA continues to rebuild trust with veterans following the high profile scandals of recent years. As one of only 14 rated five-star facilities, we feel that significantly reducing services at Hot Springs would be a grave mistake and a disservice to the veterans it serves.
As you consider the final outcome for the Hot Springs campus and the BHHCS, we hope that you keep these considerations in mind. We look forward to working with you to serve our nation’s veterans and we thank you for your timely consideration of this urgent and important matter.
2241 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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Did you catch it? Pres. Trump referenced Nebraska in his inaugural address. https://t.co/Ash04EBf4b
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