Bob Goodlatte

Bob Goodlatte




WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte released a statement today following the passing of former Sixth District Congressman M. Caldwell Butler of Roanoke at age 89:

“Maryellen and I offer our sincere condolences to the Butler family. They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  It was a great honor to know, and have the privilege of working for, a man like Caldwell Butler.  Right out of law school, I served as his District Office Manager from 1977-1979 and learned a great deal from him then and over the years, and his guidance and wisdom will be missed by me and many others.  He is remembered for many things, but none more than his service on the House Judiciary Committee at a difficult time in our nation’s history.  He was a strong voice and a sharp legal mind on the Committee and acted with integrity during the Watergate investigation and impeachment proceedings, which ended with the resignation of former President Richard Nixon.    

“Mr. Butler was a public servant in the truest sense of the word.  He has given immeasurably to the Roanoke community, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and our nation. Working for Mr. Butler, I also witnessed first-hand his love and affection for his wife, June, and their four young sons.  That affection was laced with humor. It was not unusual for Mr. Butler to answer a telephone call with ‘Butler's Home for Boys!’  Humor dotted his speeches, as well.  His sharp wit often resonated with listeners a minute or more after the line was delivered.  His willingness to see the humor in what might otherwise be a difficult situation endeared him to his constituents and staffers alike.

“His lifetime of contributions to the betterment of our nation, the Sixth District, and the Roanoke community will surely not be forgotten.” 

Caldwell Butler was a Roanoke native. He attended Roanoke public schools, received his undergraduate degree at the University of Richmond and his law degree from the University of Virginia. After being admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1950, he commenced practice in Roanoke. He also served in the United States Navy.  

Mr. Butler was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from Roanoke, 1962-1971, and served as minority leader from 1966-1971.  He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1972, in a special election, and served there until 1983.  Upon retiring from Congress, he resumed his law practice in Roanoke. His wife of 64 years, June Nolde Butler, passed away one month ago on June 28, 2014.

At this morning’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, Congressman Goodlatte paused to honor the memory of Congressman Butler – Click here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Steve Womack (R-AR) released the following statement today in response to comments made by White House advisor John Podesta regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): 

“Recent comments by a White House advisor implying a future increase in the ethanol mandate run counter to the position expressed by a majority of the House of Representatives. The EPA’s proposal for 2014, which included a reduction in the amount of ethanol blended into the fuel supply, was a positive step forward and acknowledged that the mandate is unworkable, detrimental to the environment, and price distorting to feedstock industries throughout the country. If these comments accurately represent the administration’s intentions, this would be a significant step backwards for American consumers and businesses. We urge EPA Administrator McCarthy and the Obama Administration to carefully consider the concerns of a majority of House lawmakers and take action to reduce the burden of the RFS for 2014.”

218+ House Members have either signed onto a letter or a bill calling for reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard.  

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WASHINGTON – The House on Friday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers, just one week after the Senate approved the same measure. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) coordinated with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) on the issue.  The lawmakers praised Congress’s action to pass the pro-consumer bill, which now goes to the White House for signature.

The legislation approved by the House today, which the Senate unanimously approved last week, reinstates a 2010 rulemaking by the Librarian of Congress so that consumers can transfer, or “unlock,” their cell phones without running afoul of copyright laws. It also directs the Librarian of Congress to consider whether other wireless devices, like tablets, should be eligible for unlocking. 

The chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees began working together on the issue last year after more than 100,000 consumers signed a “We the People” petition calling for a change in cell phone unlocking law. 

“I thank the House for moving so quickly on the bill we passed in the Senate last week and for working in a bipartisan way to support consumers. The bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act puts consumers first, promotes competition in the wireless phone marketplace, and encourages continued use of existing devices,” Leahy said. “Once the President signs this bill into law, consumers will be able to more easily use their existing cell phones on the wireless carrier of their choice.”

“With today’s House passage of the bipartisan Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, this important legislation is headed to the President for his signature,” Goodlatte said.  “This law will protect consumer choice by allowing flexibility when it comes to choosing a wireless carrier.  This is something that Americans have been asking for and I am pleased that we were able to work together to ensure the swift passage of legislation restoring the exemption that allowed consumers to unlock their cell phones.”

“The cell phone unlocking bill has a direct impact on Americans as we become more reliant on our wireless devices.  This bipartisan bill is pro-consumer and pro-competition and allows for greater ease in the portability of devices.  It will provide greater competition and more consumer choice,” Grassley said.  “I appreciate the House’s quick action and look forward to the President signing this bipartisan bill.”

“House passage of the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act now ensures this important bipartisan legislation will be signed into law without further delay and consumers can engage in the phone marketplace flexibly,” Conyers said. “During these tough economic times, consumers deserve to have options in what carriers they choose and what phones they want to use.  I applaud the truly bipartisan efforts of both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees in getting this bill to the President’s desk.”

An outline of the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act can be found here, and text of legislation can be found online.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte will host a Sixth District Women’s Conference in Roanoke on August 1, 2014.  Attendees will hear from leaders in government, business, health care, law, and education on a variety of topics including leadership, jobs, economic development, and human trafficking. Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will be the keynote speaker. This event is free and open to the public.

Goodlatte: “During my travels around the Sixth District, I have had the distinct opportunity to meet many inspiring women. Whether they are a CEO, a teacher, an elected official, a doctor, a stay-at-home mom, a soldier, or a coach, I know that without their contributions our economy and communities in the Sixth District and throughout the nation would falter.  I hope that this conference will be a positive opportunity for women in the Sixth District to engage with others, access valuable resources, and hear more from our speakers about some of the major issues facing our nation today.  I am honored to have Congresswoman Ann Wagner as the keynote speaker.  She is a tireless advocate in the fight against human trafficking, a mother of three, and a public servant. I look forward to hearing her message.”   


Friday, August 1, 2014
Resource Fair: 8:00am – 9:00am
Program: 9:00am – 12:00pm


Virginia Western Community College
Whitman Theater
3099 Colonial Avenue SW
Roanoke, Virginia 24015


Those interested in attending can register in advance online or by calling Congressman Goodlatte’s Roanoke office at 540-857-2672. Additionally, attendees can register in person upon arrival at the event.

Questions? Call Congressman Goodlatte’s Roanoke Office at 540-857-2672 or visit Goodlatte.House.Gov.


Local media is invited to attend. Please RSVP to Beth Breeding at or 202-225-5431.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Judiciary Committee has obtained information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that shows 65% of unaccompanied alien minors’ asylum applications have been immediately approved by asylum officers in Fiscal Year 2014. And this is just the first bite of the apple.  Many more cases can be approved later.  Where an asylum officer does not approve the application, it is then referred to an immigration judge where the applicant can try again.  If that fails, they can continue to appeal their case.  Once individuals are granted asylum, they have access to all major federal welfare programs.

Asylum approval rates overall have increased dramatically in recent years. Approval rates by asylum officers have increased from 28% in 2007 to 46% in 2013 and approval rates by immigration judges in affirmative cases have increased from 51% in 2007 to 74% in 2013.  Combining both of these approval rates, the vast majority of aliens who affirmatively seek asylum are now successful in their claims. This does not even take into account appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals or federal courts. At the same time, an internal Department of Homeland Security report shows that at least 70% of asylum cases contain proven or possible fraud.  

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the statement below on this new information.

Chairman Goodlatte:  “President Obama’s refusal to crack down on rampant asylum fraud is one of the many reasons we are witnessing a surge of Central Americans seeking to enter the U.S. illegally at the border. New data showing that the vast majority of Central Americans’ asylum claims are immediately approved will only worsen the situation along our southern border by encouraging more to come and take advantage of the situation. Our asylum laws are in place to help individuals who are facing truly serious persecution in their countries. However, while I was in the Rio Grande Valley earlier this month, law enforcement officials on the ground said that the vast majority of Central Americans arriving at our border come to meet up with another family member who is already in the United States illegally.

“President Obama has many tools at his disposal to stop this border crisis, including cracking down on fraudulent asylum claims and implementing tougher standards for preliminary asylum screenings. Unfortunately, he refuses to use these tools and instead makes the situation worse by refusing to enforce our immigration laws.”

Additional Background: Earlier this month, Chairman Goodlatte led a bipartisan delegation to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to examine this crisis and seek solutions on how best to stop it. During the trip, members of the House Judiciary Committee toured federal facilities and met with those dealing with this problem firsthand at the border, including law enforcement officers and federal officials from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Health and Human Services. Key findings from the trip can be found here. Yesterday, Chairman Goodlatte and Congressman Jason Chaffetz introduced the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, which stops the border crisis by ending many of President Obama’s policies that have caused the crisis and making targeted changes to current laws that have exacerbated the crisis. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since President Obama has refused to take actions to stop illegal crossings at our southern border, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) joined Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) today to introduce a bill to stop the surge of children, teenagers, and families from Central America seeking to enter the United States illegally. The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act (H.R. 5137) ends many of the Obama Administration’s policies that encourage Central Americans to come to the United States, such as weak standards for asylum claims that enable the Administration’s rubberstamping of fraudulent applications and policies that prevent Border Patrol agents from accessing federal lands along the border. Additionally, the bill makes targeted changes to current law, which has worsened the crisis at the border. 

Chairman Goodlatte:  “President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement and administrative legalization programs have encouraged tens of thousands of Central Americans to make the dangerous journey to the United States with the hope of benefiting from the situation. Obama Administration officials claim that violence is the root cause of this surge but an internal Department of Homeland Security memo shows that 95% of those arriving at our border are coming because they think they will get a free pass to stay. And law enforcement agents on the ground say that the majority of these minors are seeking to join up with a family member who is already in the U.S. illegally. This crisis is a disaster of President Obama’s own making and threatens both national security and the rule of law. 

“Although President Obama has many tools at his disposal to stop this surge at the border, he refuses to use them. Since President Obama won’t take actions to quell this activity, the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act stops many of the Administration’s policies that have caused this crisis, such as exploiting weak asylum standards to approve baseless claims and stringent environmental policies that prevent Border Patrol agents from doing their job of securing the border. Additionally, the bill reforms current law to make sure we get these unaccompanied minors home safely and quickly. We must swiftly take action to end this crisis—children’s lives are at stake, and so is the integrity of our immigration system.”

Original cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio).  

Key components of the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act:

  • Fast-tracks the removal of unaccompanied alien minors: Under the bill, all unaccompanied alien minors will be placed in expedited removal proceedings so they can be almost immediately returned home, unless they have a legitimate credible fear of persecution in their home country. Under current law, the Department of Homeland Security is unable to put Central American minors in expedited removal proceedings. As a result, they are released into our communities and are told to appear before an immigration judge years later. Many of them never show up for their hearing. 
  • Makes sure minors are returned home safely: The bill provides that the Secretary of State shall negotiate agreements with other countries regarding the safe repatriation of minors, just as the Secretary does now for countries contiguous to the U.S. 
  • Implements tougher standards for “credible fear” claims: In order to evade expedited removal proceedings, family units caught along the border or at ports of entry often claim a “credible fear” of persecution in their home countries and seek a hearing before an immigration judge.  While awaiting the hearing, they are released into the U.S. and receive work authorization while their case is pending. The Obama Administration granted approximately 92% of all “credible fear” cases decided on the merits in Fiscal Year 2013, many of which were fraudulent and baseless.  In fact, “credible fear” claims have increased 586% from 2007 to 2013 as word has spread about the rubberstamping of applications. The bill tightens the “credible fear” standard to weed out baseless claims. It also tightens the standard for release from detention under parole authority so that the Obama Administration doesn’t automatically release them before their claims are proved legitimate. 
  • Cracks down on asylum fraud: Under the bill, unaccompanied alien minors will not have preferred access to asylum that is not available to others. To reduce fraud, they are required to apply for asylum within a year of entry into the U.S. and are placed in removal proceedings. 
  • Protects our communities from gang members: The bill makes members of violent criminal gangs inadmissible to the United States and ineligible for asylum so that unaccompanied alien minor gang members can be more easily removed.
  • Gives Border Patrol access to federal lands: Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector cite restrictions that bar access to federal lands as a significant stumbling block to securing the border. The Departments of Interior and Agriculture currently have rules that prevent Border Patrol agents from accessing federal lands near the border under the guise of environmental preservation. As a result, federal lands along the border provide drug traffickers, human smugglers, and unlawful immigrants effective routes and hiding places where Border Patrol agents cannot reach them.  The bill contains language from Rep. Rob Bishop’s legislation to stop this foolish policy and give Border Patrol access to federal lands along the border. 
  • Protects American taxpayers: The Obama Administration wants American taxpayers to foot the bill for lawyers for unaccompanied alien minors in removal proceedings. While the law currently prohibits taxpayer dollars being used to pay for lawyers for unlawful immigrants, the bill makes this prohibition even more explicit to stop the Administration’s plan. 
  • Provides additional immigration judges and ICE prosecutors: The bill provides a temporary allotment of immigration judges and ICE prosecutors in order to deal with the surge at the border. 
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement today announcing an agreement that will allow DirectTV customers in Page County to receive WHSV content. Currently, Page County customers can only receive ABC content from WJLA in Washington, D.C. Congressman Goodlatte has been working tirelessly to ensure the availability of local channels for satellite subscribers in the Sixth District. 

“I am pleased to announce that DirectTV customers in Page County will soon be able to receive WHSV.  Many constituents in Page County have asked me to help ensure they can access the local ABC station in Harrisonburg instead of the Washington, D.C. station they currently receive.  Last week, I held a meeting to bring together the involved parties on behalf of my constituents.  They all agreed that Page County residents should be able to receive WHSV on DirecTV.  It is anticipated that folks in Page County will be able to receive this content in the coming months.  This is the perfect example of companies working together on behalf of their customers, and I am happy to have helped facilitate these conversations.  I also want to thank WHSV for their willingness to work with me to ensure that my Page County constituents can receive their channel.  Now that DirectTV has taken this important step, I will continue working with other cable and satellite carriers to bring WHSV to Page County viewers.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), by a voice vote. This broadly bipartisan legislation permanently bans states from taxing Internet access or placing multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce.

Original legislation that temporarily banned Internet access taxes, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), was first enacted in 1998 and extended three times with enormous bipartisan support. In the history of the bill’s extensions, only five “no” votes were ever cast in the House and Senate. 

The most recent extension of ITFA expires on November 1, 2014. By striking the 2014 expiration date, PITFA makes the ban on Internet access taxes permanent instead of requiring reauthorization every few years.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) praised the House passage of PITFA in the following joint statement:

“We applaud the passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act today in the House. PITFA is a necessary measure to keep Internet access free of taxation. This permanent ban is crucial for protecting access and opportunity for Americans in our growing digital economy. We hope that the Senate promptly acts on this vital legislation before the November 1st deadline.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved by voice vote the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5036), a bipartisan bill authored by Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.) to extend, for five years, the expiring provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) of 2010 which governs satellite companies’ ability to retransmit broadcast television. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D- Mich.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.), and Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) praised the Committee’s approval of this legislation in the joint statement below. 

“Today’s passage of the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act by the House Judiciary Committee ensures that our constituents have full access to network programming no matter where they live for another five years.  Our constituents depend upon this license for entertainment, news, and sports.  We look forward to working with our colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and in the Senate to ensure that legislation to protect satellite consumers is in place before the December 31, 2014, expiration of STELA.” 

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) joined Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.) today in introducing the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 5036) to extend the expiring provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) of 2010 which governs satellite companies’ ability to retransmit broadcast television. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark-up H.R. 5036 on Thursday, July 10, 2014.     

There are three statutory licenses that enable copyrighted video content to be made available without permission, two of which are permanent as a matter of law and one that will expire on December 31, 2014, unless renewed by Congress.  First enacted in 1988 and renewed most recently in 2010 with the passage of STELA, the expiring statutory license permits a satellite carrier to retransmit distant over-the-air television broadcast stations to its subscribers for private home viewing.  Without this license, satellite companies would need to negotiate with the limited number of distant network stations for carriage rights in order to deliver that distant content to its rural subscribers who live in areas not served by local content.  H.R. 5036 simply extends the expiring statutory license permit, contained in STELA, for five years.  

Below is a statement from Chairman Goodlatte on the bill’s introduction:

“The vast majority of Americans have relied upon satellite and cable services for access to a wide variety of video content, ranging from nighttime entertainment for their families; educational shows for their children; local and national news with information that informs them; and public access channels that empower Americans to see their local, state, and federal representatives in action. Without Congressional action to renew the expiring video license, access to these services could be in jeopardy, especially for rural Americans.  I look forward to working with members of the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Leadership to ensure swift passage of a reauthorization of STELA.”     

Text of the bill can be found here

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Contact Information

2309 Rayburn HOB
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, age 61, 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


Eric Cantor


Morgan Griffith


Frank Wolf


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