Bob Goodlatte

Bob Goodlatte




WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released this statement following the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell.  Today’s decision upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) interpretation of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Specifically, the Court ruled that section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, which was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, allows the IRS to extend tax-credit subsidies to customers who purchase healthcare on federally-created health insurance exchanges within states that have not set up their own insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act

Congressman Goodlatte: “I am deeply offended and troubled by today’s decision of the Court to uphold the IRS’s interpretation of provisions of the Affordable Care Act which makes the plain meaning of the law meaningless. Despite the Court’s ruling, I believe the statute is clear on its face – only customers who purchase insurance on exchanges established by a state under section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act are eligible for subsidies.

“Today’s decision keeps in place a system that allows medical decisions to be dictated from Washington through federal government mandates on employers and individuals. This follows upon the 2012 decision of the Court on the issue of the individual mandate that tramples on the freedom of the American people and the Constitution itself. The Court has thrown out the rights’ of the states and the will of the American people with today’s ruling, and has opened the door for the federal government to be the ultimate deciders of what is best for Americans.

“I remain committed to working with Members on both sides of the aisle to repeal Obamacare and take the steps needed to reform our health care system the right way. We must work together to make health care more affordable and more accessible for all Americans.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Michael Capuano (D-Mass) released the following statement on the Department of Education’s announcement regarding progress on the proposed college ratings plan:

“The Department’s pivot in their approach to the college ratings system is a step in the right direction. It is vitally important to protect students’ free choice in where they seek postsecondary education.  The federal government’s role in preserving that choice can include ensuring access to relevant information so that students and parents can make informed decisions about their higher education. However, rating colleges and universities, with the intent of tying federal aid to those ratings, is not the job of the federal government. Since we first learned of the Administration’s proposal in 2013, we have been deeply concerned about the unintended consequences that would come as a result of this plan. While we are pleased that the Department appears to be dialing back their ratings plan, we anxiously await the new ‘tools’ the Department of Education plans to unveil later this summer.”

On June 16, 2015, Congressmen Goodlatte and Capuano, joined by eight of their colleagues, sent a letter to Secretary Duncan requesting additional information on the ratings framework and metrics. Earlier this year, Congressmen Goodlatte and Capuano introduced H. Res. 26, a bipartisan resolution opposing the President’s proposal to create a college ratings system. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) welcomed Kayla Prillaman, winner of the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia’s 2015 Congressional Art Competition, to Washington today.  Her photograph, Autumn Trails, was taken at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve in Roanoke County. Kayla is a 2015 graduate of William Fleming High School in Roanoke. To view Autumn Trails, please click here.  

“A piece of the Sixth Congressional District is now on display for visitors to the U.S. Capitol to see,” said Congressman Bob Goodlatte. “Congratulations to Kayla on this achievement! Her eye for photography shines clearly in Autumn Trails, and I am pleased that this piece will be on display in the U.S. Capitol to allow others the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Sixth District. Thank you to all of our students who participated in the Congressional Art Competition. I wish Kayla the best of luck as she heads to James Madison University this fall to study kinesiology.”

For photos, please click here. Kayla’s photograph will be featured in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for one year as part of a display of artwork by high school artists from across the nation. Only one piece from each congressional district is selected for display. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015 (H.R. 1927) by a vote of 15-10. Introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act will strengthen federal class action lawsuit rules by helping ensure victims who have experienced actual or comparable injury are justly compensated.  

The bill calls for reforms to the current federal class action lawsuit framework by requiring that classes consist of members with the same type and scope of injury as was intended under the federal class action statute. Under the proposed legislation, uninjured or non-comparably injured parties can still join class actions, but must do so separately from parties that experienced more extensive injury. 

Chairman Goodlatte issued the following statement on the Committee’s approval of the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act:

Chairman Goodlatte: “The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act is a simple, one-page bill that furthers a common sense principle that should apply to class action lawsuits in the future. Only those people who share injuries of the same type and scope should be part of a class action lawsuit. I was proud to help move the Class Action Fairness Act through Congress ten years ago, and I was pleased to introduce this legislation along with Subcommittee Chairman Franks. I believe this bill builds upon the important measures of the original Class Action Fairness Act and enhances the protections afforded to victims in class actions, and further reduces wasteful litigation in our courts.

“People who are seriously injured deserve to have their own class actions, in which they present their uniquely powerful cases, and get the larger recoveries they deserve. This legislation brings us a step closer to ensuring justice for victims.”  

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on the Obama Administration’s new hostage policy that allows families of Americans held by terrorist groups to pay ransom without fear of prosecution by the U.S. government.

“The brutal murders of innocent Americans held hostage by the Islamic State are tragic and sober reminders that the terrorist threat against the United States and its allies is real and ongoing. Unfortunately, President Obama’s decision to change our nation’s longstanding policy against paying ransom demands to terrorists does more harm than good. In fact, it empowers, emboldens, and incentivizes these violent extremists to capture and hold more Americans hostage for ransom. I urge President Obama to reconsider the implications of this policy shift and ensure that our hostage policies will actually serve to protect American lives.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee recently learned that the Obama Administration has begun to implement its Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which replaces the successful Secure Communities program and allows significant numbers of criminal aliens to remain in the United States. PEP is part of the unilateral changes to the U.S. immigration system announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014. 

Although Obama Administration officials claim that they are prioritizing immigration enforcement through executive action to focus on criminal aliens, they scrapped Secure Communities – a congressionally mandated tool that identifies criminal aliens booked in jails across the United States so that federal law enforcement officials can prioritize their removal – and replaced it with an untested, new program that is riddled with loopholes. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on the Obama Administration’s Priority Enforcement Program.

“The only priority contained in the Priority Enforcement Program is to ensure that our immigration laws are not enforced in the interior of the United States.  By scrapping a law enforcement tool that keeps our communities safe and replacing it with a new program that permits the release of criminal aliens, President Obama is needlessly endangering our communities. It’s past time for the Obama Administration to get its priorities straight and protect the American people instead of their political interests. The House Judiciary Committee will examine this new program at next month’s Department of Homeland Security oversight hearing.”

Here are the Facts about the Administration’s “Priority Enforcement Program”:

PEP Permits Significant Numbers of Criminal Aliens to Remain in the United States:  Obama Administration officials claim that PEP will continue to rely on biometric data to identify criminal aliens, but ICE will only be permitted to transfer aliens from the custody of state and local law enforcement through the new program when an alien has been convicted of certain, but not all, of the offenses in the Administration’s new, so-called immigration enforcement “priorities.”  These “priorities” ignore entire categories of removable criminal aliens defined by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act. After the implementation of PEP, DHS will not pursue the vast majority of criminal aliens who commit the following offenses: fraud or material misrepresentation in the immigration process; drug possession offenses; most theft offenses, including identity theft; nearly all crimes involving moral turpitude; and, aliens who have misdemeanors that the Administration does not deem to be “significant.”  

Even Aliens Who Have Been Charged or Arrested for Serious Criminal Offenses Will Not be Pursued under PEP: If an unlawful immigrant commits a crime, but is able to be released from state or local custody before the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, DHS will turn a blind eye to allow the unlawful immigrant to remain on the streets until that alien has an actual conviction.  Note, this is even a departure from the previous priorities issued by former Director Morton.  For DHS, permitting the criminal alien to remain on the streets overrides protecting the community. 

Not Only Does PEP Ignore Criminal Aliens, but PEP Also Ignores Aliens Defined as a “Priority” for Removal by DHS in Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 Memorandum: The “priorities” that DHS created on November 20, 2014 are ignored for the purposes of PEP implementation, meaning that DHS will not attempt to take custody of these individuals if they are arrested by state and local law enforcement:

  • Priority (1)(b) Recent border crossers: “Aliens apprehended at the border or ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States” are not subject to PEP.
  • Priority 2(c) Aliens who enter the U.S. unlawfully or reenter after being removed or returned: “Aliens apprehended anywhere in the United States after unlawfully entering or re-entering the United States and who cannot establish to the satisfaction of an immigration officer that they have been physically present in the United States continuously since January 1, 2014,” are not subject to PEP.  
  • Priority 2(d):  Aliens who “significantly abuse the terms of their visas”: “Aliens who, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, USCIS District Director, or USCIS Service Center Director, have significantly abused the visa or visa waiver programs are not subject to the PEP program.”  When asked, the Administration could not provide a definition of the term “significantly abused the visa or visa waiver programs.” 
  • Priority (3) Aliens with final orders of removal: Even aliens “who have been issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014,” are not subject to PEP.  

Through PEP and the Administration’s Enforcement “Priorities,” DHS Implicitly Asserts that Enforcement of Our Immigration Laws Does Not Serve an Important Federal Interest:  DHS states that nothing in its priority memos, “should be construed to prohibit or discourage the apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens unlawfully in the United States who are not identified as priorities herein.  However, resources should be dedicated, to the greatest degree possible, to the removal of aliens described in the priorities set forth above, commensurate with the level of prioritization identified. Immigration officers and attorneys may pursue removal of an alien not identified as a priority herein, provided, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, removing such an alien would serve an important federal interest.”  This term is not defined anywhere in the guidance that implements PEP, and remains completely open-ended.  Apparently, DHS takes the position that enforcing clearly defined immigration laws enacted by Congress does not serve an important federal interest. 

PEP Authorizes Sanctuary City Policies: Not only does the Obama Administration end the Secure Communities program as we know it, it also ends ICE detainers in nearly all situations, meaning that ICE will no longer have the ability to pick up and process removable aliens encountered by law enforcement.  

PEP ratifies sanctuary jurisdictions by allowing states and localities to ignore detainer requests: Rather than defending its detainer authority and clarifying that detainers are mandatory, ICE will instead issue “Requests for Voluntary Notification of Release of Suspected Priority Aliens” to state and local law enforcement jurisdictions. This effectively leaves states and localities responsible regarding the decision of immigration enforcement: they can refuse to comply with the requests for notification should they choose to do so.  Indeed, ICE has engaged in a significant campaign to bring sanctuary jurisdictions on board with any form of PEP, with little success.  So far, only Los Angeles County has agreed to join – and it is unclear to what extent they plan to adhere to PEP.

PEP only permits the issuance of an actual detainer in extremely limited circumstances: In extremely limited circumstances, ICE can issue a detainer and then issue a form entitled “Immigration Detainer - Request for Voluntary Action.” However, this document contains a stringent checklist, which requires DHS to tell a state or local jurisdiction which of DHS’s enforcement priorities the alien fits into – as if it has to explain to state and local jurisdictions why it wants to enforce federal immigration law. 

Learn more about the Obama Administration’s lax immigration record here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement reacting to the agreement allowing Sweet Briar College to remain open next academic year: 

“This is great news for the Sweet Briar community! It has been a long, arduous process, but the outcome is evidence of the tenacity of Sweet Briar alumnae, students, and employees as well as the network of supporters in Amherst County and across the nation who stood loudly in support of the school. I look forward to working with the College’s new leadership, and I urge them to take the necessary steps to implement long-term solutions that will ensure this institution remains open to young women for many generations to come."

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Friday, June 19, 2015 – Congressmen Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) today issued the following statement after receiving the attached letter from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) responding to the Congressmen's request for an additional Mountain Valley Pipeline scoping meeting in Roanoke County:

"We are disappointed in FERC's decision.  However, we encourage people to submit their comments on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline to FERC.  Once the draft Environmental Impact Statement is issued, FERC will hold additional meetings to allow individuals with concerns to be heard.”

Those wishing to submit comment to FERC on this proposed pipeline may continue to do so at, docket number PF15-3.  

Griffith and Goodlatte on May 1, 2015 sent a letter to FERC requesting an additional public scoping meeting in Roanoke County. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) congratulated Matthew Higgs of Roanoke on receiving the Congressional Award Gold Medal as a part of the Annual Congressional Award Gold Medal Ceremony held at the United States Capitol. In order to earn this honor, youth must perform “over 400 hours of voluntary service, 200 hours of personal development and physical fitness hours respectively and a four consecutive night expedition or exploration.” The Congressional Award was established by Congress in 1979 to recognize initiative, achievement, and service in young people. Matthew is an Eagle Scout, and earned many of his service hours through his work as a member of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Congressman Goodlatte released the following statement praising Matthew’s achievements: 

“By accepting Congress’ challenge and undertaking the lengthy requirements of this award, Matthew has experienced firsthand the value of achievement, initiative, and service. Throughout this process, Matthew has performed over 600 hours of voluntary service! He had the opportunity to perform service projects at the local zoo, develop and practice leadership skills, and even led a sailing expedition to the Bahamas. It is an honor to present him with this well-deserved award, and I hope Matthew’s service to the Roanoke Valley will encourage other young adults to do the same in their communities.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) announced an economic development agreement that will bring ITFederal, LLC to Front Royal. 

The $40 million project involves the construction of an office complex that includes three individual, but interrelated buildings, built on a 30.11 acre lot located on the former Avtex site, currently owned by the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA). The final details of the contract to purchase land are currently being worked out between the EDA and ITFederal, LLC and should be completed within the next week. 

When completed, the Project will include approximately 67,000 square feet of a mixed-use office complex that includes approximately 37,000 square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet of retail space, and a 10,000 square foot cloud data center, which will support ITFederal, LLC. The project will create over 600 high paying jobs for the community. 

Construction will last for an estimated 36 months with the construction of the first building (Phase-1a) starting in the third quarter of 2015 and to be completed in November 2016. The second building (Phase-1b) is expected to be fully operational in October 2017, and the third building (Phase-1c) is anticipated to be completed in September 2018.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte: “Today’s announcement is welcome news for Warren County and Front Royal. I am greatly encouraged by ITFederal's decision to invest in the Sixth Congressional District. Innovation and technology are driving economic growth nationwide, and I hope this will spark a trend that brings more businesses and jobs to our region. I am happy to have supported the efforts leading up to this announcement and commend Front Royal and Warren County officials for their hard work to ensure it came to fruition. I’m especially happy that the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority was able to so quickly attract the first new business to the former Avtex site.”

Patricia S. Wines, Chairman, Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority: “I can say on behalf of the EDA that this is a very exciting moment for us indeed! We remained steadfast during the long, arduous process of remediation and now we can announce to our Town that a great company will become an anchor at this site in a positive start of our redevelopment initiative. We look forward to working with ITFederal on bringing quality jobs to this community that will help bring some of our commuting population back home to work.”

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Goodlatte Speaks in Support of COOL Repeal

2015-06-10 19:07:32

Goodlatte Speaks in Support of Commodity End-User Relief Act

2015-06-09 20:15:35

Goodlatte Urges Senate to Pass USA Freedom Act Without Amendment

2015-06-01 21:45:38

Goodlatte on CNN's New Day: Pass USA Freedom Act Today

2015-05-31 12:25:10

CNN's New Day: Goodlatte Urges Senate to Act on USA Freedom Act

2015-05-18 14:17:39

Goodlatte Supports Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

2015-05-13 19:44:13

Goodlatte Statement at Hearing on Stakeholder Perspectives on ICANN

2015-05-13 14:51:36

Goodlatte Speaks in Support of the National Blue Alert Act

2015-05-12 21:32:28

House Judiciary Committee Marks-Up USA Freedom Act

2015-04-30 14:23:38

Goodlatte Discusses DEA Administrator's Decision to Step Down

2015-04-22 13:13:38

Goodlatte on DEA Misconduct: What is Being Done to Hold Them Accountable?

2015-03-27 13:38:45

Goodlatte Questions FCC's Net Neutrality Rule

2015-03-25 19:11:40

Goodlatte: Wrecking the Internet to Save It? The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rule

2015-03-25 18:48:17

Goodlatte: There is a serious morale/discipline problem at the Secret Service

2015-03-17 12:40:24

Goodlatte Testifies Before House Budget Committee

2015-02-25 19:39:23

Goodlatte: President's Actions a Clear Violation of Constitutional Responsibility

2015-02-25 15:36:48

Goodlatte Speaks in Support of Victims of Alzheimer's

2015-02-12 21:54:12

Goodlatte Questions Secretary Vilsack on Ethanol Mandate, Dairy

2015-02-11 17:44:05

Goodlatte Discusses ISIS & War on Terror

2015-02-09 15:31:35

Goodlatte on Lack of Immigration Enforcement

2015-02-03 17:07:24

Contact Information

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Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5431
Fax 202-225-9681

Committee Assignments



Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.

Bob’s service to the people of the Sixth District began in 1977 when he became District Director for former Congressman Caldwell Butler. He served in this position for two years until 1979, and was responsible for helping folks across the District seeking assistance with or encountering problems from various federal agencies. In 1979, he founded his own private law practice in Roanoke. Later, he was a partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman, working there from 1981 until taking office.

In the 113th Congress, Bob was elected to serve as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  He is the first Judiciary Committee Chairman from Virginia in the last 125 years.  Bob has been an active Member of the Judiciary Committee since arriving in Congress, serving in a variety of leadership positions on the Committee including Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet in the 112th Congress, Vice Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member of the Task Force on Judicial Impeachment in the 111th Congress, Ranking Member of the Antitrust Task Force in the 110th Congress, and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property in the 109th Congress. Additionally, Bob also served on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

The House Judiciary Committee will certainly be at the forefront of some of the most significant issues facing Virginia and the Sixth District, including protecting Constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, oversight of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, legal and regulatory reform, innovation, competition and anti-trust laws, terrorism and crime, and immigration reform.  It is likely that many of these issues will be the deciding factors in determining the future direction of our nation.  The jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee is well-suited to many of Bob’s legislative priorities such as protecting Constitutional rights, including private property and Second Amendment rights, securing our borders through immigration reform, strengthening our criminal laws, decreasing health care costs through medical malpractice reform, and oversight of the Judicial branch and Administration.  One of Bob’s top legislative initiatives is his Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget so that Congress will be forced to control spending.  The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over all proposed amendments to the Constitution.

In addition to serving on the House Judiciary Committee, Bob serves on the House Agriculture Committee.  He is a member of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, which is of particular importance to the Sixth District since it is one of the leading turkey and poultry producing districts in the nation.  He also serves on the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition.  Bob has served the Agriculture Committee in a variety of leadership roles including Chairman of the Agriculture Committee (2003-2007), Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee (2007-2008), Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee (2011-2012), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry (1997-2003), and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research (2009-2010).

During his time in Congress, Bob has made a name for himself as a leader on Internet and high-tech issues. He is Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus as well as Chairman of the House Republican Technology Working Group.

Bob is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Government was earned at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He resides in Roanoke with his wife, Maryellen.  He and Maryellen have been married since 1974 and have two adult children, Jennifer and Rob.

Serving With

Rob Wittman


Scott Rigell


J. Randy Forbes


Robert Hurt


Dave Brat


Morgan Griffith


Barbara Comstock


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