Bob Goodlatte

Bob Goodlatte

VIRGINIA's 6th DISTRICT

GOODLATTE PRESSES DHS TO DEFEND FAMILY DETENTION POLICIES IN COURT

2015/07/28

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today urged Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Johnson to defend the Department’s ability to detain family units who have crossed the border during the ongoing surge at the U.S.-Mexico border. Last week, the United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled that family detention is in violation of a 1997 settlement with the government regarding the detention of minors. The court gave the Department until August 3, 2015 to show cause why it should not issue the final ruling for DHS to release family units currently in custody and to end family detention. 

In the letter to Secretary Johnson, Chairman Goodlatte points out that the “border surge of unaccompanied alien minors, family units and other unlawful aliens in recent years is a direct result of the current Administration’s many policies aimed at rewarding unlawful aliens by allowing them to remain in the United States.” Additionally, Chairman Goodlatte states that “[d]etention is the best way to ensure that unlawful aliens show up for their immigration court dates,” citing statistics that show that “84% of apprehended unlawful aliens with children who are not detained fail to appear for their court date,” and “46% of apprehended unaccompanied alien minors fail to appear in immigration court.”   

Below is the text of the letter. A copy of the signed letter can be found here.

Dear Secretary Johnson:

I write regarding last Friday’s ruling of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, regarding the immigration detention of certain unlawful alien family units while they await immigration proceedings.  The Court’s decision, if left to stand, will essentially end the detention of family units.  This will no doubt lead to large increases in the already excessively high numbers of aliens surging across the southwestern U.S. border and failing to appear for their removal proceedings. The Court gave you until August 3, 2015, to show cause why it should not rule that you must release family units currently housed in detention and refrain from further detention. I urge you to engage in a vigorous effort to defend the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ability to detain family units.    

As you know, last summer the number of individuals in family units attempting to illegally cross the Southwest U.S. border skyrocketed -- the Border Patrol apprehended over 55,000.  And while that number has fallen significantly during the current fiscal year, as of the end of June it was still around 25,000.      

I have previously concluded, and continue to believe, that evidence proves that the border surge of unaccompanied alien minors, family units and other unlawful aliens in recent years is a direct result of the current Administration’s many policies aimed at rewarding unlawful aliens by allowing them to remain in the United States.  For instance, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 2011 memos regarding priorities for removal put many unlawful aliens on notice that they faced no prospects of being removed.  Even more such aliens got that message pursuant to your November 20, 2014, memo further restricting the types of individuals who could be put into removal proceedings.  And the President’s planned implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program showed unlawful aliens that if they broke the law, this Administration would eventually attempt to reward them with employment authorization and consider them to be legally present.  Such Administration policies hold no one accountable for their illegal actions.  

That said, I do applaud your efforts to increase available detention space for unlawful alien family units apprehended close to the southwestern border by opening detention facilities like those in Dilley and Karnes, Texas.  Such facilities have a positive deterrent effect if unlawful aliens know that they will be detained as opposed to simply released into the U.S.  You were correct on December 15, 2014, when you stated that family detention “is an effective deterrent.”     

Unfortunately the District Court’s Friday ruling may shut down family detention for good.    

Detention is the best way to ensure that unlawful aliens show up for their immigration court dates.  In fact, new statistics from the Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review show that 84% of apprehended unlawful aliens with children who are not detained fail to appear for their court date, and according to Juan Osuna of the Executive Office of Immigration Review, 46% of apprehended unaccompanied alien minors fail to appear in immigration court.   

I understand that to fight this case may be an arduous undertaking in the face of well-funded and very motivated advocacy groups that decry any immigration enforcement.  But your duty is to the American people to prevent and deter unlawful border entries.  

I request that, in your response and in any further proceedings with the District Court, you undertake an aggressive and vigorous defense of DHS authority to engage in detention of family units.  I also request that, should the need arise, you request an emergency stay of any District Court order to do away with detention of family units, and appeal such a decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.    

Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to your response to the Court by August 3, 2015.               

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GOODLATTE SHEPHERDS REINS ACT THROUGH HOUSE

2015/07/28

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved the Regulations From the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act) (H.R. 427) by a vote of 243-165. This bill curbs unnecessary regulations from agencies and holds federal bureaucrats accountable for imposing the heaviest burdens on America's economy. The REINS Act requires that federal agencies submit major regulations (those that cost the economy $100 million or more) to Congress for approval; guarantees that no major regulation becomes effective until Congress approves it; and, requires an expedited up or down vote on major rules within 70 legislative days. 

The REINS Act was passed during the previous two Congresses, and reintroduced this year along with a Senate version of the bill introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Goodlatte: “Unnecessary regulation imposed by federal bureaucrats hinders job creation and hurts millions of Americans who struggle to secure full-time employment. In 2014 alone, unnecessary regulation imposed an estimated burden of $1.88 trillion, which adds up to approximately $15,000 per U.S. household. Americans simply cannot afford to pick up the tab of federal bureaucrats. Americans deserve an accountable regulatory system. 

“The REINS Act frees Americans from unnecessary regulation and offers much-needed relief to the deep economic pain still being experienced by American workers and families. By passing this legislation, the House has approved one of the most powerful measures to check the Obama Administration’s activist regulatory agenda.

“I thank my colleagues for supporting this important legislation and giving Congress, and ultimately the people, a much needed tool to check the Obama Administration and Washington’s regulatory establishment.”

Key provisions of the REINS Act include the following:

Requires agencies to submit major regulations to Congress for approval.

Guarantees no major regulation becomes effective until Congress approves it.

Guarantees fast up or down votes on major rules—Congress must act within 70 legislative days.

Provides more accountability for significant regulations on American economy by requiring the people's elected representatives in Congress to approve or deny those regulations.

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GOODLATTE AT HEARING ON GROWING HEROIN EPIDEMIC

2015/07/28

I am pleased to be here today at this important hearing, to examine the growing epidemic of heroin abuse in our nation.

Over the past several months, we have seen an alarming increase in both the availability and use of heroin. This has, not surprisingly, had profound and tragic consequences. Every day, it seems, brings new stories of overdose deaths occurring across the country, including in my district.  Since January, there have been 11 heroin-related overdoses in the Roanoke Valley, resulting in nine deaths.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported that the legalization and subsequent availability of high-grade marijuana to American consumers has led Mexican drug cartels to increase the amounts of heroin and methamphetamine they are trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border.  Since 2009, heroin seizures along the border have nearly tripled, as law enforcement seized 2,181 kilograms of Mexican heroin last year alone.  

These are alarming statistics.  However, the grim reality is that they should surprise no one.  Drug trafficking is an extremely profitable business, run by criminals who are interested in one thing:  money.  Given the increasing availability of marijuana in the United States, and the related, ongoing epidemic of heroin use, drug traffickers have decided to cash in on the misery of American citizens.

Additionally, the Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that the United States has 600,000 heroin users, which is three times the number in 2012.  Tragically, that number is expected to rise.  That is because there are an estimated 10 million Americans who are currently addicted to prescription opioids, including such drugs as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet.  Once someone is addicted to a prescription opioid, the need to satisfy their addiction outweighs the stigma attached to heroin use.  Additionally, it is far easier to pay $10 for a dose of heroin than $80 for an oxycodone tablet.

It is no exaggeration to say that heroin use has reached epidemic levels across this nation, including in my home state of Virginia.  It is not an urban problem, or a rural problem, but an American public health and safety problem.

However, despite the increase in heroin and meth production, despite the ongoing heroin epidemic, despite the dramatic surge in deaths, and despite the clear evidence that illicit controlled substances, and their purveyors, pose a lethal threat to the American people, the Obama Administration has continued to shirk its duty to protect this nation from dangerous narcotics.  

I firmly believe any solution to the heroin epidemic must have three parts: (1) discouraging the use of this dangerous, highly addictive drug; (2) providing appropriate treatment to addicts; and (3) ensuring law enforcement zealously pursues the criminals who bring this poison into our communities.

I look forward to our witnesses’ testimony today.

VIDEO of Opening Statement - Click Here.

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GOODLATTE SECRET SERVICE REFORM BILL PASSES HOUSE

2015/07/27

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved by a vote of 365-16 the Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 1656). This bipartisan bill – authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) – reforms the United States Secret Service. The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill earlier this month.
 
Over the past few years, a series of scandals and failures have rocked the Secret Service, ranging from the agents’ use of prostitutes while on official presidential travel to Colombia, to the agency’s failure to initially apprehend a fence-jumper who later was arrested deep into the White House residence. The bipartisan legislation approved today implements many of the U.S. Secret Service Protective Mission Panel’s recommendations for improvements at the agency. It strengthens the security of the President, protectees, and the White House complex; enhances Secret Service agents’ training; and improves transparency and accountability at the agency.
 
Goodlatte: “Today, the House of Representatives passed a strong, bipartisan bill that will assist Director Clancy in restoring the Secret Service as a first-rate agency. The Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015 provides much needed resources to the Secret Service that enhance agents’ training, strengthen security at the White House, and improve transparency and accountability at the agency. Collectively, these resources and changes will help reform the Secret Service and restore it as a sterling law enforcement agency.”
 
Key Components of the Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015:
 
Strengthens Security
• Clarifies that it is a federal crime to knowingly cause any object to enter restricted buildings or grounds, including the White House and the Vice President’s residence. 
• Requires the Secret Service to evaluate the use of additional weaponry, including non-lethal weapons.
• Amends current law to permit the Secret Service to investigate threats against former Vice Presidents.
• Requires the Secret Service to devise and implement procedures for evaluating threats to the White House and its protectees, including threats from drones and explosives, and to report to Congress its findings.
• Requires the Secret Service to evaluate its technology at the White House, including ways that technology can be used to improve safety at the White House. 
• Requires the Secret Service to evaluate how it retains evidence and to report its findings to Congress. 
• Allows the Secret Service to install necessary security upgrades at the residences of protectees.
 
Enhances Agents’ Training and Increases Manpower
• Directs the Secret Service to increase the number of hours spent training, and directs them to provide joint training between Uniformed Division officers and Special Agents.
• Authorizes the hiring of no fewer than 200 additional Uniformed Division officers and 85 additional special agents.
 
Improves Transparency and Accountability
• Requires the Director of the U.S. Secret Service to be Senate confirmed. 
• Sets up an Office of Professional Responsibility at the agency to ensure greater accountability for misconduct.
• Contains a Sense of Congress that determinations by the Department of Homeland Security or the Secret Service regarding changes to the White House itself for protection reasons should be given significant deference with the many entities that have a role in approving such changes, including the National Capital Planning Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts.

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GOODLATTE PRAISES HOUSE PASSAGE OF BILL TO CRACK DOWN ON SANCTUARY CITIES

2015/07/23

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved by a vote of 241-179 the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act (H.R. 3009). This bill withholds several federal grants from states or localities that refuse to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts and threaten the safety of their communities. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised the passage of this legislation in the statement below: 

“Sanctuary city policies needlessly endanger American lives by refusing to honor the federal government’s authority to enforce immigration laws. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s own foolish policies enable rogue local governments to defy federal immigration laws. All too often, these reckless policies create preventable tragedies. 

“Today, the House of Representatives took a good first step towards addressing this public safety problem, but more must be done. President Obama’s lack of interior enforcement has made the United States a sanctuary nation. As a result of the Obama Administration’s foolish policies, hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens are currently roaming free in the United States. We must pass additional legislation, such as Congressman Gowdy’s interior enforcement bill, so that we stop the President from unilaterally shutting down immigration enforcement.” 

Background: Earlier today, the House Judiciary Committee’s Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee held a hearing to examine dangerous policies adopted by some state and local governments that refuse to honor the federal government’s authority to enforce immigration laws, and the Obama Administration’s complicity in this problem. At the hearing, Jim Steinle, the father of Kate Steinle, testified before the Subcommittee. 

In March 2015, the Committee approved the Davis-Oliver Act (H.R. 1148), a comprehensive interior enforcement bill authored by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). Among its provisions, the bill makes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers mandatory, withholds specific federal grants from jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts, and requires the detention of dangerous criminal aliens. 

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GOODLATTE STATEMENT AT HEARING ON SANCTUARY CITY POLICIES

2015/07/23

Statement of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte | Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security

Hearing on Sanctuary Cities: A Threat to Public Safety

Click here to watch.

Chairman Goodlatte: Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing.  

Last week, this Committee held a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight hearing with Secretary Johnson as the sole witness.  Many Members focused their questions on sanctuary cities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers and criminal aliens.  So we have heard much of what the Administration has to say about these issues.  

But today we will hear perspectives on sanctuary policies that are distinctly different than what Secretary Johnson had to offer.  And I look forward to that testimony.  

I am honored to have the family of Kate Steinle testify today.  Of course their perspective on this issue is one that we wish they never had to contemplate.  

And the same is true for the countless other victims of criminal aliens that this Committee has heard from over the past several years.  People like Jamiel and Anita Shaw, whose son was murdered by a criminal alien gang member who had been released from jail by Los Angeles law enforcement pursuant to Los Angeles’ sanctuary policy. 

And people like Sabine Durden whose son Dominic was killed in a car accident by an illegal immigrant who had two prior DUI convictions.   

These tragedies were preventable. This Administration must reverse its wholesale and unprecedented shutdown of immigration enforcement.    

Because the result of that shutdown is that millions of unlawful and criminal aliens are not considered high enough “priorities” for deportation, they are left in American communities.    

In fact, in the last year the number of administrative arrests of criminal aliens has fallen by a third.  And the Department continues to release thousands of such aliens onto our streets.  ICE admitted to releasing 30,558 aliens with criminal convictions in 2014.  Last week we publicized ICE data showing the recidivist activity of those criminal aliens ICE released in 2014 -- 1,423 have already been convicted of new crimes like vehicular homicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, DUI, burglary and assault, among many others. And no doubt even more have been arrested for, and charged with, additional crimes.    

Secretary Johnson’s solution, the Priorities Enforcement Program - is a failure.  Even the Secretary admitted last week that five of ICE’s “Priority A” – meaning the worst offending – jurisdictions have refused to participate in PEP.  And while 33 of the 49 “Priority A” jurisdictions have apparently agreed to participate in PEP, it remains to be seen how fully they will participate.  The Administration has admitted that when it says a jurisdiction has agreed to participate, that could encompass compliance with only a very small part of PEP.   

There is a clear answer to this problem.  Compliance with ICE detainers must be mandatory.  Jurisdictions that violate that policy must suffer consequences.  And most importantly – Congress must no longer allow the President the ability to simply turn off the immigration enforcement switch.  

This Committee has passed a bill that addresses all three of those principles – H.R. 1148, the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act.  

While I look forward to consideration of H.R. 1148 on the Floor, later today the House will vote on legislation to address one part of the solution to sanctuary cities.  That bill is a good first step, and I will support it. I also appreciate the Majority Leader’s commitment to me that we will take additional action to ensure compliance with our immigration laws in the future.  

Today, I look forward to hearing the witness’ thoughts on how to prevent sanctuary policies and the overwhelming number of crimes committed pursuant to those policies.   

I yield back the balance of my time.

For more on today’s hearing, click here.

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GOODLATTE PRESSES FOR INFORMATION ABOUT DANGEROUS FEDERAL INMATES AWAITING RELEASE

2015/07/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pressed Attorney General Loretta Lynch for information about the thousands of federal prison inmates who will be released in November as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s decision to lower federal sentencing for all drug trafficking and distribution crimes. Those expected to be released include inmates with violent criminal histories, who have committed crimes involving assault, firearms, sodomy, and even murder. These releases would include inmates convicted of crimes in the Western District of Virginia.   

In early 2014, the Sentencing Commission promulgated Amendment 782, which imposed a two-level reduction in the base offense levels for all drug trafficking and distribution offenses, including trafficking offenses that involve drug quantities substantial enough to trigger mandatory minimum sentences. The Commission made those reductions retroactive, applying them to all inmates in the Bureau of Prison’s custody who are serving a sentence for a drug offense. Over the past year, thousands of federal inmates have filed motions with their courts of jurisdiction for sentence reductions.

In their letter to Attorney General Lynch, Chairmen Goodlatte and Grassley note that their concerns about violent offenders being released were ultimately ignored by the Sentencing Commission. They request that Attorney General Lynch provide the House and Senate Judiciary Committees with detailed information about the federal inmates who will be released on November 1 or thereafter. 

Below is the text of the letter. A copy of the signed letter can be found here.

Dear Attorney General Lynch:  

Beginning on November 1st of this year, over 10,000 federal prison inmates will be released early from Bureau of Prisons (BOP) custody. This includes inmates with violent criminal histories, who have committed crimes involving assault, firearms, sodomy, and even murder.  

In early 2014, the Sentencing Commission promulgated Amendment 782, which imposed a two-level reduction in the base offense levels for all drug trafficking and distribution offenses, including trafficking offenses that involve drug quantities substantial enough to trigger mandatory minimum sentences.  The Commission made those reductions retroactive, applying them to all inmates in BOP custody who are serving a sentence for a drug offense.  Over the past year, thousands of federal inmates have filed motions with their courts of jurisdiction for sentence reductions.

During the Commission’s consideration of Amendment 782, we sent a letter to Sentencing Commission Chairwoman Patti Saris, expressing concerns that the Commission would “choos[e] to fulfill its mandate to ‘minimize the likelihood that the federal prison population will exceed the capacity of the federal prisons’ by reducing sentences for violent drug traffickers,” and that the effect of this amendment would be “to reduce sentences for some of the most egregious drug traffickers and distributors.”  That letter is attached for your reference.  Unfortunately, our concerns were ignored and Amendment 782 went into effect on November 1, 2014.  It is our understanding that tens of thousands of federal inmates are eligible for early release as a result, and that the BOP inmate population will fall by more than 12,000 inmates by the end of fiscal year 2016. Overall, the Sentencing Commission has estimated that 46,376 prisoners are eligible for early release under Amendment 782 – with nearly 8,000 offenders eligible for immediate release on November 1, 2015.

As Chairmen of the two Congressional Committees with oversight of the Department of Justice, it is imperative that we have a complete understanding of the impact the release of these drug traffickers will have on the public safety of our communities. It is also important for us to know the impact that an inmate release of this magnitude will have on the federal prison system. Accordingly, we request that you provide our Committees with information on each federal offender who will be released on November 1 or afterward pursuant to Amendment 782.  That information should be broken down by judicial district, and should include:

1. The number of offenders who are eligible to be released from BOP custody pursuant to Amendment 782, and the number of offenders who have projected release dates;

2. Each offender’s full name, as well as any known aliases;

3. A description of the offense for which the offender is presently incarcerated; 

4. The length of the offender’s present sentence, including the amount of time the offender has served and the amount of time the offender will not serve as a result of the early release;

5. The offender’s country of citizenship, and whether BOP has notified or intends to notify ICE about the release of any unlawful criminal aliens;

6. The offender’s projected release date, and

7. A description of the criminal history for the offender, including dates of prior convictions and prison terms served for those convictions.

Please provide this information, in a searchable electronic format, no later than August 15, 2015. Thank you for your attention to this important request.  We appreciate your prompt reply.

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GOODLATTE & FRANKS CALL ON DOJ TO INVESTIGATE PLANNED PARENTHOOD

2015/07/17

WASHINGTON, D.C.— House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) today demanded further investigation by the Department of Justice into potential violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act by Planned Parenthood. 

Chairman Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Franks detailed their initial concerns in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch after several reports and a video surfaced of an executive from Planned Parenthood describing the group’s procedures to retrieve body parts of unborn children.

Chairman Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Franks call on the Department of Justice to “provide a summary of all actions your Department has taken to ensure compliance with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act,” and to launch its own investigation into any potential violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce also sent a letter today to Planned Parenthood, demanding answers on the organization’s practices.

Below is the text of the letter sent by Chairman Goodlatte and Subcommittee Chairman Franks. A copy of the signed letter can be found here.

 July 17, 2015

The Honorable Loretta Lynch

Attorney General

United States Department of Justice

Washington, DC 20530

 Dear Attorney General Lynch:

 In a recently released video Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describes actions taken during abortions to produce intact organs for fetal tissue brokers.  

 In the course of the conversation she references several actions that abortionists can take to produce the requested organs.  These include using graspers to crush the unborn child above and below the thorax so that organs such as the liver, heart and lungs are not damaged. 

However, she notes that an intact head is the hardest to deliver.  To address this problem, she says “some people will actually try to change the presentation so it’s not vertex” (so the baby is breech instead of head first).  She goes on to explain that “if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium [head] at the end.” 

When discussing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and how abortionists take the law into consideration, Nucatola goes on to say “the federal abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation.  So there are some people who interpret it as intent.  So if I say on Day One I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.  Because I didn’t intend to do this on Day One so I’m complying with the law.”

Both the references to the process of breech conversion and the interpretation of intent raise serious questions about whether abortionists and particularly abortionists in the Planned Parenthood organization are complying with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

With this in mind, please provide a summary of all actions your Department has taken to ensure compliance with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Further, we urge you to act swiftly to launch an investigation into any potential violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of which your Department has become aware, or does become aware, including potential violations by Planned Parenthood.

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GOODLATTE'S BIPARTISAN SECRET SERVICE REFORM BILL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED BY JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

2015/07/15

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by voice vote the Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 1656). This bipartisan bill – authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) – reforms the United States Secret Service. 

Over the past few years, a series of scandals and failures have rocked the Secret Service, ranging from the agents’ use of prostitutes while on official presidential travel to Colombia to the agency’s failure to initially apprehend a fence-jumper who later was arrested deep into the White House residence. The bipartisan legislation approved today implements many of the U.S. Secret Service Protective Mission Panel’s recommendations for improvements at the agency. It strengthens the security of the President, protectees, and the White House complex; enhances Secret Service agents’ training; and improves transparency and accountability at the agency. 

Chairman Goodlatte: “The Secret Service is comprised of many outstanding men and women who do excellent work every day.  However, after a series of embarrassing security failures and instances of poor judgement and wild behavior, the American people have lost confidence in the Secret Service’s ability to protect the President from threats from outside entities and from within the agency itself. 

“Today, the House Judiciary Committee took action that will assist Director Clancy in restoring the Secret Service as a first-rate agency. The Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015 provides much needed resources to the Secret Service that enhance agents’ training, strengthen security at the White House, and improve transparency and accountability at the agency. Collectively, these resources and changes will help reform the Secret Service and restore it as a sterling law enforcement agency. I urge the House of Representatives to take up this legislation as soon as possible.”

Key Components of the Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015:

Strengthens Security

Clarifies that it is a federal crime to knowingly cause any object to enter restricted buildings or grounds, including the White House and the Vice President’s residence.  

Requires the Secret Service to evaluate the use of additional weaponry, including non-lethal weapons.

Amends current law to permit the Secret Service to investigate threats against former Vice Presidents.

Requires the Secret Service to devise and implement procedures for evaluating threats to the White House and its protectees, including threats from drones and explosives, and to report to Congress its findings.

Requires the Secret Service to evaluate its technology at the White House, including ways that technology can be used to improve safety at the White House.  

Requires the Secret Service to evaluate how it retains evidence and to report its findings to Congress.  

Allows the Secret Service to install necessary security upgrades at the residences of protectees.

Enhances Agents’ Training and Increases Manpower

Directs the Secret Service to increase the number of hours spent training, and directs them to provide joint training between Uniformed Division officers and Special Agents.

Authorizes the hiring of no fewer than 200 additional Uniformed Division officers and 85 additional special agents.

Improves Transparency and Accountability

Requires the Director of the U.S. Secret Service to be Senate confirmed.  

Contains a Sense of Congress that determinations by the Department of Homeland Security or the Secret Service regarding changes to the White House itself for protection reasons should be given significant deference with the many entities that have a role in approving such changes, including the National Capital Planning Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts. 

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GOODLATTE ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION INTO HORRIFIC ABORTION PRACTICES

2015/07/15

WASHINGTON, D.C.— House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today announced a Committee investigation into allegations that Planned Parenthood abortion doctors altered abortion procedures in order to harvest the organs and body parts of aborted children for money. 

The Committee’s investigation will focus on the inhumane acts detailed by an executive of Planned Parenthood in several reports and a video

Chairman Goodlatte: "Every human life is sacred and should be protected from the atrocities allegedly undertaken by Planned Parenthood. The House Judiciary Committee is investigating these horrific acts including ascertaining how Congress might act.

“The prospects of altering an abortion procedure in order to preserve intact the organs of aborted children, including their brains, reminds us yet again of the horrors of late-term abortions, and the need for the Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

“Members of the House Judiciary Committee have been committed to the preservation of human life, including the lives of unborn children. We will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn.” 

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Goodlatte at Hearing on Growing Heroin Epidemic

2015-07-28 14:22:57


Goodlatte Bill Advances Secret Service Reforms

2015-07-27 20:11:08


Goodlatte Speaks in Support of the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act

2015-07-23 18:31:43


Goodlatte Gives Opening Statement at Sanctuary City Hearing

2015-07-23 14:39:14


Goodlatte Questions Homeland Security Secretary at Oversight Hearing

2015-07-14 15:18:38


Goodlatte Speaks in Support of Amendment to Protect States' Rights

2015-07-08 16:36:34


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


Contact Information

2309 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5431
Fax 202-225-9681
goodlatte.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Agriculture

Judiciary

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

VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT

Scott Rigell

VIRGINIA's 2nd DISTRICT

J. Randy Forbes

VIRGINIA's 4th DISTRICT

Robert Hurt

VIRGINIA's 5th DISTRICT

Dave Brat

VIRGINIA's 7th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Barbara Comstock

VIRGINIA's 10th DISTRICT

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