The holidays are a time of joy and celebration. Unfortunately, many scammers capitalize on this season to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, especially senior citizens. We can all agree these criminals deserve nothing but coal in their Christmas stockings. Still, the threats of identity theft and scams continue to rise. To fight fraud, each of us must be vigilant to protect ourselves and our families. Scammers often target people around the holidays with stories which tug on heartstrings, trying to exploit the season of giving. Requests from people you have never met in person which ask you to wire or send money should always be met with extreme caution. If you are not sure how to handle a request, please contact your local police department. My office will also do our best to assist you or direct you to the right place. If you choose to donate to a charity, it is important to make sure the charity is properly registered and has implemented security measures to safeguard your donation. When donating online, double check the spelling of the web address before entering your financial information. Many Nebraskans have contacted my caseworkers after receiving fraudulent calls or emails claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), requesting sensitive information or making threats. National Tax Security Awareness Week is held in December, and the IRS offers resources to help taxpayers avoid falling victim to tax scams. The IRS specifically states it will never request any financial information or threaten lawsuits or imprisonment over the phone or through email. If you have any questions about the validity of a request, please do not give out any personal information. Instead, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or forward questionable emails to email@example.com. If it is a legitimate request, your due diligence will be understood and appreciated. My office also regularly hears from Nebraskans who have received mailings from organizations asking for money to ensure their concerns on a piece of legislation or an issue, such as Social Security or Medicare, will be heard by their elected officials. At times, some of these groups have even used my name without my knowledge or permission. You do not need to pay money to make your opinions known to me or your other government representatives – simply pick up the phone or send me a note through my website at AdrianSmith.house.gov. If you have any questions about a mailing you have received, feel free to contact my office. In Congress, we continue to work on legislation to prevent fraud. For example, the House passed a bill in September to require the Social Security Administration to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from mailings when they are not necessary and to justify when mailings need SSNs. Though the government has a role to play in protecting citizens, personal responsibility is still the best defense against scammers and identity thieves. As you enjoy your holiday gatherings, I encourage you to have open dialogues with your family members to share concerns and ensure everyone takes proper precautions with their sensitive information. By working together, we can protect against fraud and enjoy a safer holiday season.Read More
We can look forward to many opportunities to boost our economy through pro-growth policies and regulatory relief under a unified Republican government. Still, as this year draws to a close, a number of important victories are helping to set the stage for greater growth.
On the day before Thanksgiving, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its finalized requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which meet the levels set by Congress. Over the past few years, the EPA has proposed lower volume requirements for biofuels despite record harvests showing supply is not a problem.
To achieve American energy independence, we must utilize every available energy source. Ethanol and other biofuels provide more options for consumers and help lower prices at the fuel pump. It is encouraging to see the EPA following Congress’s lead and opening the doors to higher biofuel production.
President-elect Donald Trump has expressed his support for the RFS, so more opportunities to grow our domestic energy production are likely to come. Under the Trump administration, I am hopeful we will also see movement on my bill to expand the existing waiver of EPA regulations related to the Reid vapor pressure of motor vehicle fuel to include E15.
Though E10 received this waiver decades ago, the same relief has not yet been extended to E15. These regulations prevent many retailers from selling E15 during the summer months when fuel demand is highest. Considering E15 is cheaper and less volatile than E10, there is no reason not to make it available to more retailers and consumers.
Arbitrary regulations have also caused hardships for rural health providers. At the end of November, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which included my provision requiring the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to report on the economic and staffing impacts of physician supervision requirements on Critical Access Hospitals.
Rural providers know best which procedures can be safely performed in their facilities, but the heavy hand of the federal government makes it more difficult for these professionals to serve their patients. Based on discussions I have had with hospitals across Nebraska’s Third District, I expect MedPAC’s findings will make a strong case for repealing the physician supervision rules outright and ensuring quality care remains accessible to rural Americans.
In November, the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda suffered a major setback when a Texas judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, originally scheduled to take effect December 1. This onerous red tape raises the threshold under which salaried employees qualify for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476 per year and sets it to increase every three years. I continue to oppose this executive overreach and have cosponsored legislation to overturn the rule.
Many Nebraskans, both employers and employees, have expressed deep concern to me about potential cuts to hours and wages resulting from these regulations. Employers are understandably confused about how to implement the new requirements and ensure compliance. With the Texas court’s ruling, the rule is on hold and can be modified or blocked by the Trump administration.
As we prepare for the new administration, we should not lose sight of the groundwork being laid now to help build a stronger economy and more opportunity for all.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act. The bill, which passed the House today, contains Smith’s provision requiring the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to report on the economic and staffing impacts of physician supervision requirements on Critical Access Hospitals.
Physician supervision rules require a physician’s presence and supervision over nearly all routine procedures administered in hospitals, which can be especially burdensome for rural hospitals with fewer doctors and resources.
“Today’s passage of 21st Century Cures opens the door to more personalized treatments and brings regulatory relief to rural hospitals to help make quality care accessible to more patients,” Smith said. “Though rural providers know best which procedures can be safely performed in their facilities, the heavy hand of the federal government makes it more difficult for these professionals to serve their patients. Based on discussions I have had with hospitals across Nebraska’s Third District, I expect MedPAC’s findings will make a strong case for repealing these arbitrary rules outright.
“Mindful of our country’s $19 trillion debt, I am pleased these advancements will be made without increasing mandatory spending. This bill is an important step toward better care and greater choice for all patients.”Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) led floor debate in the House of Representatives today and spoke in support of H.R. 5458, the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2016. The House passed the bill this afternoon to give veterans more choices in their health care coverage.
I rise today in support of H.R. 5458, the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2016.
This legislation, introduced by my colleague Chris Stewart of Utah, addresses a gap in current law which prevents veterans and their families with TRICARE coverage who also choose to participate in a high deductible health plan from utilizing a health savings account, or HSA.
While veterans or their family members who participate in TRICARE may also have private health insurance coverage, including high deductible plans, they are prohibited from contributing to an HSA affiliated with the high deductible plan.
In order to contribute to an HSA under current law, an individual must permanently renounce their TRICARE eligibility because no mechanism to allow re-enrollment currently exists.
H.R. 5458 addresses this issue by allowing certain TRICARE-eligible individuals to voluntarily pause their TRICARE coverage for a period of time in which they choose to contribute to an HSA. The bill also creates special enrollment periods should these individuals choose to re-enroll in TRICARE at a later date.
Our veterans devoted their lives to defending our freedoms. We should not allow arbitrary bureaucratic obstacles to stop them from making the best health care coverage choices for themselves and their families.
This bill creates a mechanism to improve veterans’ health coverage options and provides them greater opportunities to save toward their own health care needs.
It also ensures patients can be more engaged in their own care while eliminating the inconsistency in our tax code.
I applaud the gentleman from Utah, Mr. Stewart, for bringing us this good idea today. I urge support, and I reserve the balance of my time.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) encourages residents of Nebraska’s Third District interested in attending the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Friday, January 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C., to contact his office for information on obtaining tickets.
Each congressional office receives a limited number of tickets, which Smith will distribute to interested residents of Nebraska’s Third District on a first-come, first-serve basis. To submit a ticket request, please visit AdrianSmith.house.gov/Inauguration2017 or contact Smith’s Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-6435.
Note: Tickets can only be provided to residents of Nebraska’s Third District. Due to limited supply, submitting a request does not guarantee receiving tickets.Read More
Americans recently gathered together to enjoy their Thanksgiving meals and express gratitude for their many blessings. Many families have a tradition of discussing all they have to be thankful for, which is a mindset we should adopt not just at this time of year but every day.
We are blessed to live in this great country which serves as a beacon of freedom and democracy for the world. The Constitution safeguards our liberties and sets out a system of representative government which empowers people to pursue greater opportunity.
This year’s presidential election demonstrated the power Americans have to directly impact their government. Americans said they wanted a different direction. Donald Trump became the president-elect, despite nearly every poll and national media outlet counting him out.
The American people determined the outcome of the election. This is a much too rare right and privilege in our world.
Following the election, we watched Hillary Clinton concede to Donald Trump. Right now, the Obama and Trump administrations are in the midst of a peaceful transition of power. We take this phenomenon for granted in America, but other nations are amazed by it.
In December 2000, I participated in an exchange to India. Everyone was riveted by the nonstop coverage of the contested election results between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Several local individuals commented to me how remarkable it was to see so much controversy but no violence. It was yet another example of the greatness of America.
In this country, we are also blessed to have the freedom to openly practice our faith and live in safety. Stories continue to flow out of the Middle East about the persecution of Christians and other faiths by ISIS. Human rights abuses are rampant in countries from Syria to North Korea to Cuba. We live in a dangerous world and face many global threats we must take seriously, but our day-to-day lives in America are marked by peace and stability.
We enjoy this safety and freedom because of the men and women serving in our Armed Forces. Many of them will not have the opportunity to spend the holidays with their families because they are stationed around the world, answering the call of duty. We must make it a priority to show our gratitude for their many sacrifices.
To thank our troops and our veterans, I am again helping to collect cards for the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Through this effort, we can send gratitude and holiday greetings from Nebraska to our service members, veterans, and their families.
My offices in Grand Island and Scottsbluff are serving as collection points for Nebraskans to drop off postage-free cards through Monday, December 5, 2016. Please use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member” or “To an American Hero,” and do not include your personal contact information or inserts of any kind. For more information and official guidelines for the program, please visit my website at AdrianSmith.house.gov/HolidayMailforHeroes.
Despite the challenges we face, I firmly believe we live in the greatest country in the world. It is an honor to represent you in Congress, and I am grateful to be both a Nebraskan and an American.Read More
Obamacare’s open enrollment season has begun, and the news for consumers is not good. Premiums for 2017 are an average of 25 percent higher, insurers in many states have left the exchanges, and the six Obamacare co-ops still in existence continue to lose money.
President-elect Donald Trump named health care one of his top three priorities and has repeatedly called for repealing and replacing Obamacare. This will not be an easy task, and it must be undertaken carefully to allow for a smooth transition for consumers.
One of the tools available to us to repeal Obamacare is called reconciliation. Created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the reconciliation process requires designated congressional committees to find a certain amount of savings within their jurisdictions by a specified date if mandated by the annual budget resolution. Once the committees submit their recommended spending cuts, the Budget Committee produces one reconciliation bill for a vote.
Only provisions which impact spending or revenue can be included in a reconciliation bill. Because many parts of Obamacare may not have a budgetary effect to qualify them for reconciliation, there are likely to be numerous provisions left intact which would have to be amended or repealed in a piecemeal manner outside this process.
In order to begin the reconciliation process, Congress must first pass a budget. We will have opportunities to pass budgets for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018 in the new year, which also provide two avenues to pursue reconciliation.
A reconciliation bill has important advantages. It cannot be filibustered in the Senate and only needs 51 votes to pass rather than the usual 60. When Democrats forced Obamacare through Congress on a purely party-line vote, they did so by utilizing the reconciliation process. Considering Republicans may only have a 51-vote majority in the Senate next year, reconciliation presents one of the most effective avenues for repealing the law.
Earlier this year, Congress passed an Obamacare repeal bill using reconciliation and sent it to President Obama’s desk, where it was unsurprisingly vetoed. However, this process did show reconciliation works – and with a Republican president in the White House in 2017, we can anticipate a much different final result.
Though it is a promising option, reconciliation is not the only avenue for repealing Obamacare. We could also repeal pieces of the law until it is dismantled in an effort to minimize potential impacts on consumers transitioning out of the exchanges. Congress and the Trump administration will need to work closely together to determine the best path forward.
Many Americans are relieved by the prospect of finally repealing Obamacare, but it is crucial we also replace this failed law with new, patient-centered policy. This year, Republicans laid the groundwork by rolling out our proposed replacement for Obamacare called A Better Way.
Our plan eliminates more than $1 trillion in health care taxes and mandates. It provides more coverage options and restores Americans’ ability to make their own health care choices with their doctors. Consumers could even take their coverage with them rather than being tied to a job or state exchange to keep their insurance.
For too long, bureaucrats in Washington have dictated Americans’ health care options to them. By repealing and replacing Obamacare, we can lower costs and increase choices while empowering patients to make their own decisions about their care.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after voting in favor of H.R. 5982, the Midnight Rules Relief Act. This legislation amends the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to allow Congress to pass CRA resolutions to roll back multiple “midnight rules” issued at the end of a presidential term.
“Too often, outgoing presidential administrations will hastily finalize costly, agenda-driven regulations during their final weeks in office,” Smith said. “These rules have no time to be analyzed and can be very difficult to get rid of, even under a new administration. Today’s bill not only discourages midnight rulemaking but also provides Congress an important tool to quickly overturn these regulations and return the power to create laws to the legislative branch.”
Since 2014, Smith has led his Regulation Rewind initiative to fight back against government overreach and red tape. Earlier this year, Smith led efforts in the House to use a CRA resolution to block implementation of the Obama administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS). More information is available at AdrianSmith.house.gov/RegulationRewind.Read More
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 30, in Lexington and Trenton; Thursday, December 1, in Pawnee City and Geneva; and Friday, December 2, in Stapleton and Broken Bow.
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 at the following times and locations:
Wednesday, November 30
Lexington Public Library Board Room 907 N. Washington, Lexington 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (CST)
Trenton Public Library 406 Main Street, Trenton 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (CST)
Thursday, December 1
Pawnee City Public Library Meeting Room 735 8th Street, Pawnee City 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (CST)
Geneva Public Library Small Meeting Room 1043 G Street, Geneva 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CST)
Friday, December 2
Logan County Courthouse Meeting Room 317 Main Street, Stapleton 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CST)
Custer County Courthouse Commissioner’s Room 431 South 10th Street, Broken Bow 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CST)
For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) presented at a briefing today featuring Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to discuss the research being conducted by the agency and how it impacts the future of agriculture. After the briefing, Smith released the following statement. “By 2050, the world’s population is projected to reach ten billion people,” Smith said. “ARS’s research is crucial to finding ways to feed the world with finite resources.
“The Third District is home to ARS’ Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), a world-renowned research leader in animal science having a meaningful and practical impact on the industry. For example, research conducted at MARC has improved food safety by strengthening our understanding of E. coli, enhanced animal health and welfare through research on respiratory diseases in cattle and sheep, and boosted production efficiency through efforts to increase the survival rate of newborn piglets.
“On more than one occasion, I have had the opportunity to tour MARC and always come away inspired by the dedication of the ARS scientists and employees. In Congress, I will continue to promote the work conducted by MARC and ARS as vital to agriculture’s success.” Smith is the founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus.Read More
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.
Retweeted by repadriansmith
'Tis the season of joy, giving ... and, unfortunately, holiday scams. Here are some tips to protect against fraud: https://t.co/V5lVtwO3b3
Retweeted by repadriansmith
Retweeted by repadriansmith
On this "date which will live in infamy," we remember the brave Americans who gave their lives in defense of our na… https://t.co/O5zaAfQD1w
Retweeted by repadriansmith