The United States once again did not make the list of the top ten freest economies in the world, according to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom just released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. In fact, our country tied its worst ever overall score this year.
Declining economic freedom cannot become the status quo for our great nation. The Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, is prioritizing efforts in the year ahead to restore economic freedom by increasing opportunity and lessening the heavy hand of government.
One of best ways to boost our economy is to fix our complicated, outdated, and unfair tax code to allow Americans to keep more of their own money. We know we have a problem when the tax code makes it easier for people to cheat than to comply. Each year, Americans spend more than six billion work hours on compliance. By reducing this burden, we can keep more resources in the private sector where they can be used more effectively to grow the economy.
With Speaker Paul Ryan at the helm of the House, we have a unique opportunity to advance the work he and Chairman Dave Camp started during their time as chairmen of the Ways and Means Committee to simplify the tax code. Under a new president, I am optimistic we can push this important effort across the finish line.
Another issue we must tackle is Social Security reform. In addition to my assignments on the Ways and Means Trade and Health Subcommittees, I have accepted a new role on the Social Security Subcommittee to work directly on efforts to ensure the program’s long-term solvency.
The Committee has advanced many strategies to close Social Security loopholes, simplify the rules, and save the program billions of dollars. Some of these solutions were included in the budget agreement which passed the House in October 2015. Due to numerous concerns over increased spending levels and the lack of reforms, I could not vote for the budget bill, but I was glad to see Social Security issues addressed. We will continue to work on more reforms in the coming months.
An important marker of economic freedom is the ability to sell our products abroad. We continue to pursue opportunities to open more markets to American producers and fight non-scientific trade barriers. Under the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act passed by Congress last year, we are able to engage in a more transparent review process on trade agreements.
As the Index of Economic Freedom rankings clearly show, other countries are not waiting for us. We need to engage in the global marketplace to keep from falling behind. At the same time, we must be attentive to the details to make sure agreements are in the best interest of American producers and consumers. Our Committee has jurisdiction over trade policy and will be carefully reviewing the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as developments in negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
This is only a small sampling of the issues on our Committee’s agenda. Others such as health care reform, welfare reform, and reducing government regulation are equally important to strengthening our economy and will also be part of our work this year.
As we take on these issues, I hope you will keep in touch with me to share your ideas and questions. We have significant work ahead, but I am encouraged by the opportunities before us and the commitment among our Committee members to restoring America’s economic freedom.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will meet constituents of the Third District during a mobile office hosted by the Falls City Chamber of Commerce on Monday, February 8, in Falls City.
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 in Falls City on Monday, February 8, at the following time and location:
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit 117 E. 17th Street, Falls City, NE 68355 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CST)
For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.Read More
Speaking with nearly 200 young farmers and ranchers from across our state recently reinforced to me how bright the future looks for Nebraska agriculture. At the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers conference in North Platte, future producers shared their ideas for how to keep the industry thriving in the coming years.
Their willingness to lead is an important responsibility, as Nebraska’s Third District is the top-producing agriculture district in the country. With more than 35,000 farms in the Third District alone, agriculture supports one in four Nebraska jobs and contributes more than $23 billion to our state economy. Nebraska is also number two in ethanol production, with the Third District distilling more ethanol than any other congressional district.
These numbers represent great opportunity, but we must be vigilant against unsound policies and burdensome regulations. At the conference, many young people expressed concern about the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, being forced upon producers, land owners, and local officials by the President’s activist Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Though I introduced the resolution of disapproval in the House to block WOTUS, and Congress passed the Senate version, the President unsurprisingly answered with a veto. We will not stop fighting this abuse of power, and the courts will continue to closely examine the legality of the administration’s actions. I have also introduced legislation to cut red tape on ethanol, extending the same waiver to E15 fuel which E10 has already received.
As founder and co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus, I am focused on getting the government out of the way of innovation and promoting scientifically-based policies. The world's population is expected to surpass nine billion by 2050, with food demand projected to grow by as much as 60 percent. Farmers have found ways to increase yields while using fewer resources, and the next generation of producers must be able to further innovate in order to feed the world.
To ensure our future farmers and ranchers have a level playing field in the global marketplace, we must pursue international trade agreements. Our trading partners do not always follow the rules, putting U.S. producers at a disadvantage. Through trade negotiations, we can establish science-based, enforceable standards. Trade also plays an important role in Nebraska’s economy, supporting one in five jobs in our state.
Despite the positive aspects of trade, the devil is in the details – and it is the responsibility of Congress to carefully review these agreements. We must ensure negotiations remove barriers and open more markets for our producers to sell their products, rather than simply opening our markets to other countries.
Right now, I am carefully vetting the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and gathering feedback from Third District producers and consumers to determine whether it is in their best interest. Negotiations continue on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and the European Union, which provides another opportunity to combat unscientific efforts to keep modern agriculture products out of the marketplace.
As hundreds of young farmers and ranchers prepare to step into their role as the future of Nebraska agriculture, I am confident in their ability to innovate and overcome the challenges they will undoubtedly face. In Congress, I will continue leading efforts to reduce barriers to their success and allow the Third District to remain our country’s agriculture leader.Read More
Due to inclement weather, the February 2 mobile office in Neligh has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 12. Please see the updated information below.
Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will be able to meet with a representative of Congressman Smith’s office at a mobile office on Tuesday, April 12, in Neligh.
A mobile office allows constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s staff members 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 provide his mobile office and a staff member on Tuesday, April 12, at the following time and location:
Antelope County Courthouse County Supervisors Room 501 Main Street, Neligh, NE 68756 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CST)
For additional information, please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.Read More
During my travels around the Third District this week, I thought often of those traveling from our state to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. Despite frigid temperatures and an impending blizzard, this year’s march went on undeterred. I admire this dedication to defending the sanctity of human life and wish I could have been in Washington to meet with participating Nebraskans, as I have had the opportunity to do many times.
About 20,000 people participated in the first March for Life in 1974. Recently, this number has grown into the hundreds of thousands as people flock to the nation’s capital to show their support for a culture of life. Each person marching in D.C. represents many more Americans who believe defending the sanctity of human life is essential to defending freedom.
Abhorrent practices by Planned Parenthood, as shown in a series of videos, remain at the forefront of many people’s minds. I have heard from thousands of Nebraskans in recent months wanting the organization to be held accountable for its atrocities against the unborn and to stop receiving federal funding. Taxpayers should not be forced to compromise their consciences.
Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 annual report reflected a 27 percent drop in cancer screening and prevention services, and an 11 percent drop in services overall. In contrast, by analyzing the organization’s yearly reports, the Susan B. Anthony List found Planned Parenthood has performed nearly one million abortions over the past three reported years alone.
With Planned Parenthood receiving more than $500 million in taxpayer funds annually, the organization’s own reports show why these dollars must be directed elsewhere.
Earlier this month, Congress sent an Obamacare repeal bill to the President’s desk which also defunded Planned Parenthood and redirected those funds to other community health providers. Not surprisingly, President Obama vetoed the legislation. However, getting this bill through Congress and directly to the President was a positive step forward in this effort. I also voted in favor of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act in September and will continue to support legislation to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to this organization.
As one of 12 states which have enacted the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into state law, Nebraska is an example to the rest of the country in its commitment to protecting the unborn. This legislation recognizes an unborn child who has reached a probable stage of development of twenty weeks is capable of feeling pain and prohibits abortions past twenty weeks of pregnancy.
I am proud to be a cosponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at the federal level. This important bill passed the House in May. We also passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in September to enforce stronger criminal penalties on abortion providers who deny medical care to children who survive an abortion procedure.
Respect for human life must be a cornerstone of public policy. To everyone who has devoted their time and effort to the cause of life, including those who braved the threat of a historic snowstorm in Washington, thank you. I will continue to stand with you and defend those who cannot defend themselves.Read More
Constituents of Third District Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will be able to meet with a representative of Congressman Smith’s office for mobile offices on Wednesday, January 27, in Stockville, Elwood, and Beaver City.
A mobile office allows constituents to meet directly with one of Smith’s staff members 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 provide his mobile office and a staff member on Wednesday, January 27, at the following times and locations:
Frontier County Courthouse 1 Wellington Street, Stockville, NE 69042 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (CST)
Gosper County Courthouse 507 Smith Avenue, Elwood, NE 68937 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CST)
Furnas County Courthouse 912 R Street, Beaver City, NE 68926 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST)
For additional information, contact Congressman Smith’s Scottsbluff office at (308) 633-6333.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after President Obama vetoed the resolution passed by Congress to disapprove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Waters of the U.S. rule, known as WOTUS.
“It is not at all surprising the President chose to veto our resolution to block WOTUS given this administration’s legacy of governing through an endless flow of regulation,” Smith said. “We must continue to keep this issue at the forefront, as this rule is one of the largest abuses of executive power in modern history.
“Immediately after the EPA finalized WOTUS, I introduced the resolution of disapproval in the House on behalf of all farmers, land owners, and local officials frustrated by the administration’s refusal to acknowledge their concerns. As the courts continue to closely examine this rule, I will not stop fighting on behalf of Nebraskans to prevent WOTUS from ever being implemented.”
Smith introduced H.J. Res. 59, the House resolution to disapprove WOTUS under the Congressional Review Act, in July 2015. Last week, the House passed S.J. Res. 22, the Senate companion to Smith’s resolution.Read More
The annual State of the Union address is rich in tradition, but the President used this year’s speech to once again defend his failed policies at home and abroad. Though he believes his government-down approach is the answer, I hear from Nebraskans every day who strongly disagree as they shoulder the consequences of an overgrown federal bureaucracy.
In his speech to the nation, President Obama said he recognizes the need to cut red tape. However, his administration has increasingly bypassed Congress and governed through the use of new regulations and executive orders. In fact, I launched my ongoing Regulation Rewind initiative to push back against the Obama administration’s endless flow of burdensome rules.
The President also touted Obamacare. Meanwhile, millions of Americans continue to struggle under rising premiums and tax penalties. Many had their policies cancelled after being told they could keep them. More than half a million Americans lost coverage due to the collapse of Obamacare’s own co-ops, like Nebraska’s CoOportunity Health, which have already squandered more than $1 billion in federal loans.
Additionally, President Obama tried to defend his foreign policy. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found only 34 percent of Americans approve of his foreign policy decisions. As terror attacks continue around the world, including one within our own borders only weeks ago, the President is abdicating his responsibility as Commander-in-Chief by failing to propose a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS and to address provocations by Iran and North Korea.
Mere hours before the State of the Union address, Iran captured 10 American service members at gunpoint and detained them overnight. Once the soldiers were freed, Secretary of State John Kerry thanked Iran for “their cooperation and quick response.” In turn, Iran released humiliating photos and videos of the incident on its state television network.
This State of the Union address was President Obama’s last. Even before he leaves office, we have opportunities to advance sound policies and reverse parts of his failed agenda.
This week, the House voted to pass the Senate companion to my resolution to kill the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS. Under this rule, the EPA would have the power to dictate local land use decisions and farming practices nationwide. The agency tried to push WOTUS forward in defiance of a court-ordered stay and promoted it with, as the Government Accountability Office found, illegal “covert propaganda.”
Immediately after the EPA finalized the rule, I introduced the resolution of disapproval in the House on behalf of all farmers, land owners, and local officials frustrated by the administration’s refusal to acknowledge their concerns. The legislation now goes to the President’s desk.
Earlier this month, Congress sent an Obamacare repeal bill directly to the President for the first time. Though the President issued an expected veto, this path to repeal shows Obamacare is on borrowed time. Either a new president will sign repeal into law next year, or the health care law will eventually collapse – as we have seen with its co-ops – under its own regulatory weight.
The House has also passed numerous solutions to ensure the safety of Americans, such as strengthening the Visa Waiver Program to prevent terrorists from exploiting loopholes, pausing the President’s refugee resettlement plan until updated screening procedures are in place, and imposing stronger sanctions on North Korea in the wake of recent nuclear activity.
Though the President’s State of the Union address was largely out of touch with the challenges our country faces, I remain optimistic we can reverse many of the failures of this administration’s agenda both here at home and around the world.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) today announced his nomination of 10 students to the U.S. Service Academies for the class entering in the fall of 2016.
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.
“It is an honor to nominate these exceptional young people from Nebraska’s Third District to the U.S. Service Academies,” Smith said. “Each one has demonstrated the dedication and drive necessary to succeed at the academies and become a future leader of our military. I am inspired by their excellence in academics and community service, and deeply grateful for their eagerness to serve our country.”
William Barelman of Coleridge, son of Laura and Dave Dendinger and Ward Barelman, is a senior at Laurel-Concord-Coleridge High School. He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
Emmanuel Cabello of Alliance, son of James and Elizabeth Lewis, is a senior at Alliance High School. He has been nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
Elijah Kennedy of Brownville, son of Stephen and Chris Kennedy, is a senior at Auburn Senior High School. He has been nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Edward Li of Cook, son of Lyle and Lan Fisher, is a senior at Johnson County Central High School. He has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Nicholas Lindblad of Hastings, son of Bradley and Susan Lindblad, is a senior at Adams Central Junior-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.
Gregory McCallum of Chadron, son of Henry and Janice McCallum, is a senior at Chadron High School. He has been nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
Brett Menuey of Hyannis, son of Robert Menuey, is a graduate of Hyannis High School attending the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He has been nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
James Swanson of Grand Island, son of John and Rachel Swanson, is a graduate of Grand Island Senior High School attending the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Rhode Island. He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
Taylor Wilson of Imperial, son of Doug and Tonya Wilson, is a senior at Chase County High School. He has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Calvin Wineland of Cambridge, son of Calvin and Desiree Wineland, is a graduate of Cambridge High School attending Syracuse University in New York. He has been nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado, and 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.Read More
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after the House passed S.J. Res. 22, the Senate companion to Smith’s resolution to disapprove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Waters of the U.S. rule, known as WOTUS. This legislation will now go to the President’s desk.
“Today’s bipartisan vote to kill the EPA’s WOTUS rule sends a strong message to President Obama and his administration about Americans’ opposition to this abuse of executive power,” Smith said. “When the Obama administration pushed forward with WOTUS in defiance of a court-ordered stay, I introduced this resolution of disapproval in the House on behalf of all farmers, land owners, and local officials frustrated by the administration’s refusal to acknowledge their concerns. Following the President’s comments in his State of the Union address about the need to cut red tape, I hope he will listen to the American people and do away with this dangerous rule which exceeds the EPA’s statutory authority.”
Smith introduced H.J. Res. 59, the House resolution to disapprove WOTUS under the Congressional Review Act, in July 2015. The Congressional Review Act provides for an expedited process for Congress to overturn executive rulemaking, including expedited Senate consideration of legislation to block newly finalized rules.
House floor remarks:
I rise today in strong support of this legislation.
I certainly appreciate clean water. However, the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, is one of the largest abuses of executive power in modern history and poses a significant threat to America’s economy.
Under the rule, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers will have the power to dictate land use decisions and farming practices of agriculture producers and business owners across the country.
To give you an idea of the scope of the overreach and to illustrate why my colleagues from urban districts should also be concerned about this rule, I want to share with you an example of EPA and Army Corps abuse in Douglas County, Nebraska, with a population of over 500,000 in my home state.
The President also happens to be visiting this county today.
In 2005, the county began the process of submitting the proper environmental permit applications needed to extend a section of road about one mile. The project was designated as having the lowest level of environmental impact.
However, construction is not slated to begin until at least 2019. Why the delay?
There is a small ditch which runs adjacent to the proposed project. Within the ditch there is a small rut about six to eight inches wide and no more than an inch deep. It has no ordinary high water mark and there are no wetland plants growing in the ditch. However, the Corps declared this ditch a water of the United States, costing the county thousands of dollars and numerous years.
This was never the intent of Congress when the Clean Water Act was passed.
The act clearly limits federal jurisdiction to navigable waters. In fact, the term navigable appears more than 80 times in the Clean Water Act.
There is no way one can tell me an inch-deep ditch is a navigable water.
Congress has a responsibility to guard against these bureaucratic power-grabs by executive agencies.
This is why I introduced the companion bill to this legislation immediately after the rule was finalized. My resolution gained more than 70 cosponsors with supporters from both sides of the aisle.
Thanks to the expedited procedures established under the Congressional Review Act, after we vote on this legislation, the bill will proceed immediately to the President’s desk.
My hope is the President will listen to the American people and roll back this new rule.
I thank the Speaker, and I yield back.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
Retweeted by repadriansmith
Retweeted by repadriansmith
Retweeted by repadriansmith