Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

Growing Nebraska Agriculture Through Trade

2015/01/30

Nebraska’s Third District is now the number one agricultural district in the nation. This designation is no surprise to the hardworking Nebraska producers helping feed the world. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture reported this month the state’s beef exports reached a record high $1 billion in sales during the first 11 months of 2014. With growing demand from foreign markets, I believe we will see more agricultural trade opportunities in the coming years.

For our rural economy, international trade is a proven way to generate growth. Customers in 193 countries buy Nebraska-made products. In 2013, $4.2 billion of Nebraska’s goods went to U.S. trading partners. Overall, Nebraska’s exports to these countries have increased by 152 percent since 2003.

Opening new markets benefits all Nebraskans. Trade-related employment in the state grew nearly four times faster than total employment in the last 10 years, while small- and medium-sized businesses constituted 82 percent of Nebraska’s exporters.  

In my role on the House Ways and Means Committee, I have the opportunity to help ensure trade initiatives keep Nebraska competitive in our global economy. Expanding American trade is a top priority for the Committee this year, and for good reason. Trade already supports one in five Nebraska jobs and more than 38 million American jobs. Growing our customer base around the world means creating more opportunity here at home.  

On Tuesday, I participated in a Ways and Means Committee hearing on the U.S. trade policy agenda. During the hearing, I spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman about preventing the use of regulatory barriers to unduly restrict market access for U.S. products. Biotechnology and other advances in farming techniques have enabled American farmers to increase yields while using less soil and water. As world leaders in productivity, it is vital we ensure China and the European Union engage so consumers are not prevented access to Nebraska agriculture products. 

While I have serious concerns about most of what President Obama proposed in his State of the Union address, he did express support for expanding trade opportunities. I am optimistic this is one area where we can find a solution. By passing Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, we can ensure all parties are on the same page and help our nation secure the best possible outcome at the global negotiating table.  

Directly negotiating objectives and requiring the administration consult with Congress provides necessary guideposts and gives Congress the final say. This process reflects the checks and balances our Founders intended. 

Trade agreements are crucial to leveling the playing field for Nebraska’s producers, manufacturers and consumers. In upcoming TPA bill discussions, I will pursue solutions which benefit Nebraska exporters as demand continues to grow around the world.

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Smith Seeks Answers for Nebraskans on CoOportunity Health Liquidation

2015/01/28

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell with questions about how the potential liquidation of CoOportunity Health will impact Nebraskans.

“Nearly 120,000 people, mostly Nebraskans, are facing coverage cancellations due to CoOportunity Health’s collapse,” said Congressman Smith.  “This is an extremely unfortunate situation and one more example of how President Obama’s health care law is failing.  Americans were falsely promised if they liked their insurance, they could keep it.  Now, after complying with Obamacare’s mandates, many Nebraskans are being told they cannot even keep the insurance this law created.  

“I am very concerned about this situation for consumers who purchased health coverage and for the taxpayers who have seen millions of dollars lost and millions more at risk.  My letter asks Secretary Burwell to shed light on options available to those impacted by a liquidation and how further risks to taxpayers can be avoided.”

CoOportunity Health, which services beneficiaries in Iowa and Nebraska, is one of 23 Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Programs (CO-OPs) created through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and received approximately $146 million in federal loans.  On December 23, 2014, the Iowa Insurance Commissioner submitted a petition for an Order of Rehabilitation for CoOportunity Health.  The company was taken over by the State of Iowa and now faces liquidation.

To view the full letter, click here.

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Smith Stands for Nebraska Agriculture at Trade Hearing

2015/01/27

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) participated today in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the U.S. trade policy agenda.  In the hearing, Smith raised concerns to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman about workforce disputes at West Coast ports causing perishable goods such as beef and pork to spoil prior to shipping.  He also asked about U.S. efforts to elevate biotechnology issues in ongoing discussions with China and negotiations through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).

“During this Congress, expanding American trade will be one of our top priorities on the Ways and Means Committee,” said Congressman Smith.  “Today I had the opportunity to speak with Ambassador Froman about the importance of making agricultural issues including innovation a priority in U.S. trade initiatives.  Nebraska’s Third District is the number one agricultural district in the nation, and I will continue working to open new markets for Nebraska’s agriculture products starting with a Trade Promotion Authority bill that reflects these priorities."

Click here for video of Congressman Smith's exchange with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

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A Bold Agenda for America’s New Congress

2015/01/23

The annual State of the Union Address is a great tradition and an excellent opportunity for the President to lay out his agenda to the Congress and more importantly to the American people.  However, the agenda presented by the President during this year’s speech is out of sync with the clear message sent by voters in the November elections.

In electing Republicans to take control of the U.S. Senate, and to an historic majority in the House of Representatives, the American people rejected the President’s agenda of bigger government, higher taxes, more red tape, and enormous debt.  The mandate was to change course; however, the President continues to argue for more of the same.

For example, the President called for massive tax increases to pay for more government programs and mandates.  This plan is not serious because the President knows this would hurt our fragile economy, and has no chance of being passed in either the House or Senate.  This proposal was simply a political stunt.

Meanwhile, I have been working with my colleagues on the Committee on Ways and Means to overhaul our outdated, uncompetitive, and unfair tax code.  A plan which simplified the code would allow us to lower rates and reduce the massive cost of compliance, which would benefit our entire economy especially middle class families.

The President also used the address to promise more “free” giveaways to the American people such as two-years of community college.  The House of Representatives has been working for years to reduce the costs of higher education, and to make it more affordable.  Not only is the President’s plan unaffordable when our nation has more than $18 trillion in national debt, federal money is never “free” - there are always strings attached.  

At a time when the American people want to reduce the role of government in their lives, this proposal would expand the grasp of federal education regulations further into higher education.  The plan could also hurt college savings accounts which allow individuals to save for higher education tax free.  About 65,000 Nebraskans currently use college saving plans.  The President’s plan would tax these accounts in order to help pay for higher education for those who haven’t saved.  This is incredibly unfair to those who have been responsible, and we must do better.

Nebraskans tell me they want Congress to work.  They are tired of the politics of endless confrontation and showdown, and they expect their representatives to find common ground and agree on solutions.  While I was disappointed the President focused his State of the Union on policies I believe divide us rather than bring us together, I am optimistic we can make progress on finding solutions during divided government.   

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Smith Reacts to the State of the Union

2015/01/21

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) issued the following statement regarding the President’s State of the Union address:                                            

“Nebraskans tell me they want Congress and the President to work together to find solutions to our national challenges.  Unfortunately, the President’s State of the Union address focused on the same partisan policies which divide us rather than bring us together.

“Rather than seeking common ground with the new Republican Congress, the President suggested more taxes, more spending, more regulations, and more executive power.  The American people flatly rejected this agenda in the last election.  I hope the President will choose to work with us on serious proposals to empower individuals and families, encourage economic growth, and put our country on a better, more sustainable path.”

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Smith Announces Nominees to U.S. Service Academies

2015/01/16

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today announced his nomination of 14 students to the U.S. Service Academies for the class entering the fall of 2015.

Members of Congress have the privilege of nominating young people for admission to the U.S. Service Academies, which includes the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  The Service Academies offer a unique opportunity for motivated students to serve their country while undergoing a rigorous academic and physical regimen.  In exchange for tuition, students agree to serve in the U.S. military after graduation.                                          

“The students I am nominating for the U.S. Service Academies this year represent the best of the Third District,” said Congressman Smith.  “Each has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and a strong commitment to their communities.  I am grateful for their willingness to serve our nation at the academies and as future officers in the U.S. military.”

Seth Adams of Henderson, son of Larin and Pamela Adams, is a senior at Grace International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Zachary Evans of Hastings, son of Mark Evans, is a senior at Hastings Senior High School. He has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Brandt Florell of Kearney, son of Clint and Melissa Florell, is a senior at Amherst Public School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Adam Keating of Kearney, son of Matt and Jill Keating, is in his first year at the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Christopher Lantz of South Sioux City, son of Jeff and Carrie Lantz, is a senior at South Sioux City Senior High School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Jesus Maese of Grand Island, son of Russell and Luz Keene, is in his first year at the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Matthew Mickey of Scottsbluff, son of Kristen and Tammy Mickey, is a senior at Scottsbluff High School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Connor Russell of Curtis, son of Christopher and Starlin Russell, is in his first year at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Logan Spencer of O’Neill, son of Wendell and Sharon Spencer, is a senior at Saint Mary’s High School in O’Neill.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

James Swanson of Grand Island, son of John and Rachel Swanson, is a senior at Grand Island Senior High School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

David Trierweiler of North Platte, son of Michael and Deanna Trierweiler, is a senior at Saint Patrick High School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Jacob Whisenhunt of Maxwell, son of Doug Whisenhunt, is a senior at Maxwell Public Schools.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Calvin Wineland, Jr. of Cambridge, son of Calvin and Desiree Wineland, is a senior at Cambridge High School.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Logan Woodward of Gering, son of Kevin and Kolene Woodward, is a freshman at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Applicants met personally with Smith’s Academy Advisory Committee and were evaluated on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, career motivation, personal traits, letters of recommendation, essays, and personal interviews.  Each Academy will make a determination regarding appointments by April.

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Defunding the President’s Amnesty Plan

2015/01/16

Our nation’s immigration system is broken.  Millions of people have illegally crossed into our country through a porous border or overstayed visas with no repercussions.  Meanwhile, those who attempt to come here legally are met with a massive bureaucracy, years of waiting, and are still unlikely to be approved. 

President Obama’s selective enforcement of the law, including a decision late last year to give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants without the consent of Congress is making this crisis worse not better.  As history has shown, amnesty only encourages more individuals to break our immigration laws.

Worse than the specific policy, not enforcing laws on the books sets a bad precedent which undermines our constitutional form of government.  Our founders intended the executive branch to enforce the law – not to rewrite or ignore the laws it does not like.  If the President wants to change immigration law, he should seek support in Congress to pass legislation.

Last month, the House, the Senate, and the President agreed to a bill funding the government through September of this year with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security which was only funded through February.  In doing so, we delayed debate on the President’s immigration executive orders until Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate. 

Now we are making good on our promise to address the President’s overreach.  This week, the House passed H.R. 240, the Homeland Security Appropriations bill – which would fully fund the department with five amendments.  Two of these amendments would specifically prohibit appropriated funds or user fees from being used to enforce the President’s executive actions or similar programs.

Another amendment to the bill would make clear the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should stop putting the interests of unlawful immigrants ahead of legal immigrants.  Due to the President’s amnesty actions, law-abiding immigrants, permanent residents, and U.S. citizens are waiting longer for service at USCIS centers including the Nebraska Service Center in Lincoln.  For example, a replacement citizenship certificate is currently taking eight months or longer to process.

This issue is far from resolved, and our bill with amendments cannot become law without being passed by the Senate and signed by the President.  We cannot solve this problem on our own.  Solutions will require both sides to work through regular order to come to an agreement.  However, stopping the President’s overreach would be an important first step in this process.

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Smith Announces 2015 Congressional Art Competition

2015/01/15

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) is encouraging high school students in Nebraska’s Third District to submit their artwork for the 2015 Congressional Art Competition by March 2, 2015

“The Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity for students to share their talent, and to promote the Third District to visitors from around the world,” said Congressman Smith.  “I hope all interested students will submit their work so we can share the best our district has to offer in the U.S. Capitol and our congressional offices.”

The Nebraska Art Teachers Association is working with Smith to coordinate the competition.  Official rules, guidelines and submission forms are available online at: http://www.nebraskaarteducators.org/congressional-art-caucus---grades-9-12.html.

The first place artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.  Smith will display the runners-up in his Washington, D.C. and Third District offices. The Congressional Arts Caucus annually sponsors the Congressional Arts Competition for high school students from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. 

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Ansley Mick to Serve as Smith’s Agriculture Liaison

2015/01/14

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today announced Ansley Mick, a native of Bayard, has been promoted to Agriculture Liaison in his Scottsbluff district office.  In her new role, Mick will be actively engaged in statewide agriculture issues, and will meet regularly with producers, agriculture groups, and other stakeholders.  

“The Third District is the largest agriculture district in America, and it is critical my office have a strong point-person to work with this critical sector of our economy,” said Congressman Smith.  “As a Nebraskan, and with her strong background in agriculture policy – Ansley is perfect for the job.  I look forward to continuing to work with Ansley to serve producers and all Third District residents.”

Mick previously served as a Legislative Assistant in Congressman Smith’s Washington, D.C. office overseeing agriculture, trade, energy, and natural resources policy.  She is a graduate of Chadron State College.    

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Smith Votes to Defund President’s Amnesty Actions

2015/01/14

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today voted in favor of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill which defunds the President’s attempt to bypass Congress to grant amnesty to millions who are illegally in the U.S.

“The President’s executive actions on immigration make it more difficult to fix our broken immigration system because amnesty encourages people around the world to violate our laws,” said Congressman Smith.  “As promised late last year, the House has acted to stop this unilateral power grab and now it is up to our friends in the Senate to do the same.”

H.R. 240, the FY 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill fully funds the Department of Homeland Security with five amendments.  These amendments would completely defund President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration to grant de facto amnesty to millions.

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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

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