Bob Goodlatte

Bob Goodlatte

VIRGINIA's 6th DISTRICT

GOODLATTE: ADMINISTRATION'S POLICIES CREATE SANCTUARY FOR CRIMINAL ALIENS

2016/04/28

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The House Judiciary Committee has obtained detailed information about the criminal aliens released by the Obama Administration during Fiscal Year 2015. This new information shows that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released thousands of criminal aliens convicted of offenses involving dangerous drugs, assault and domestic violence, stolen vehicles, robbery, sex offenses, sexual assault, kidnapping, voluntary manslaughter and other homicide-related offenses.

According to information provided by ICE to the House Judiciary Committee, the agency released 19,723 criminal aliens with a total of 64,197 convictions in Fiscal Year 2015. ICE often claims that the Supreme Court’s decision in Zadvydas v. Davis forces it to release aliens that it would otherwise detain.  However, the total number of convicted criminal aliens released based on the Zadvydas decision totaled 2,166 in Fiscal Year 2015, representing only 11% of the releases. In addition, officials at the Department of Homeland Security have refused to support legislation, such as H.R. 1148, the Davis-Oliver Act, introduced by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), that would allow, consistent with Zadvydas, for the continued detention of dangerous aliens who cannot be removed.

Among the convictions of criminal aliens released in Fiscal Year 2015 are 101 homicide convictions, 216 kidnapping convictions, 320 sexual assault convictions, 352 commercialized sexual offenses, 1,347 domestic violence convictions, 1,728 assault convictions, and 12,307 driving under the influence of alcohol convictions.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on this information:

“The Obama Administration’s immigration policies have created a sanctuary for tens of thousands of criminal aliens. The American public has been misled by the enforcement priorities, deferred action, and executive action policies of this Administration, which categorize only certain so-called ‘serious’ criminal aliens as worthy of detention and then removal.  Despite its rhetoric, the fact remains that the Obama Administration continues to willingly free dangerous criminal aliens, allowing them to continue to prey upon communities across the United States. 

“Just last week, the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee heard from some of the families that have lost loved ones at the hands of criminal aliens that the Obama Administration could have detained and deported. When will the Obama Administration end its reckless policies that wreak havoc on our communities and all too often claim Americans’ lives? The Administration could end preventable tragedies if it simply enforced our nation’s immigration laws.”

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GOODLATTE APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF BILL TO PROTECT 4TH AMENDMENT IN THE DIGITAL AGE

2016/04/27

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The House of Representatives today approved by a vote of 419-0 the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699) to protect Americans’ privacy and public safety in the digital age. 

Nearly 30 years ago, Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 to provide a fair balance between the privacy expectations of American citizens and the legitimate needs of law enforcement agencies. The law sets forth a system to protect the privacy rights of customers and subscribers of computer network service providers and governs requests to obtain stored content, records, or other information, which includes stored emails, text or instant messages, documents, videos, or sound recordings stored in the cloud. ECPA applies not only to federal criminal investigations and prosecutions, but to state and local investigations and prosecutions, public safety requests, and civil investigations in which stored communications of these types of information are sought. 

There is broad consensus that ECPA is outdated and contains insufficient protections for Americans’ privacy. The Email Privacy Act, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), modernizes ECPA to protect Americans’ privacy and provide law enforcement with tools needed for its investigations. It has 314 cosponsors. 

Below is a statement from Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, applauding House passage of the Email Privacy Act:

“The U.S. Constitution protects Americans’ property from unreasonable searches and seizures and we must ensure that this principle continues to thrive in the digital age. As technology has far-outpaced the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, the Email Privacy Act modernizes this decades-old law to establish a uniform warrant requirement to acquire stored electronic communications in criminal investigations. These updates to the law will better protect Americans’ constitutional rights without impeding law enforcement’s efforts to protect public safety. With a vast majority of the House supporting this bill, I urge the Senate to take up and pass the bill quickly.”

Key Provisions of H.R. 699:

Warrant requirement: The bill creates a uniform warrant standard for law enforcement to obtain the content of communications in criminal investigations. ECPA warrants will continue to be executed with the provider since, as with any other third-party custodian, the information is stored with them. It allows the provider to notify its customers of receipt of a warrant, court order, or subpoena, unless the provider is court ordered to delay such notification. 

Remote Computing Services: The bill maintains current law that delineates which remote computing service providers – or cloud providers – are subject to the warrant requirement for content in a criminal investigation.  ECPA has traditionally imposed heightened legal process and procedures to obtain information for which the customer has a reasonable expectation of privacy, namely emails, texts, photos, videos, and documents stored in the cloud.  

Allows Law Enforcement to Access Public Information: ECPA currently makes no distinction between content disclosed to the public, like an advertisement on a website, versus content disclosed only to one or a handful of persons, like an email or text message.  The result is that law enforcement would be required to obtain a warrant even for publicly-disclosed content. The bill clarifies that commercial public content can be obtained with a process other than a warrant. 

Maintains Congress’s investigative power: The bill clarifies that nothing in the law limits Congress’s authority to subpoena information from third parties in furtherance of congressional oversight.  

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GOODLATTE INTRODUCES BILL TO HALT DOJ SLUSH FUND MONEY TO ACTIVIST GROUPS

2016/04/27

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today introduced the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016 (H.R. 5063) to stop the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) “pattern or practice” of systematically subverting Congress’ budget authority by using settlements from financial institutions to funnel money to left-wing activist groups. This bipartisan bill bars the DOJ from requiring settling defendants to donate money to outside groups.  

An eighteen-month investigation by the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees has revealed that DOJ has engaged in a "pattern or practice" of directing settlement funds to third-party groups.  In just the last 20 months, DOJ has used mandatory donation provisions to funnel as much as $880 million to third-party groups entirely outside of the Congressional appropriations and oversight process. 

On Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law will hold a hearing on the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016. Thursday’s hearing will feature witnesses with experience in Separation of Powers issues, Congress, and the Justice Department:

  • The Honorable Daniel Lungren, former Member of Congress and Attorney General of California. Current Principal, Lungren Lopina LLC.
  • Paul Figley, former Civil Division attorney. Current Associate Director of Legal Rhetoric, American University Washington College of Law. 
  • David Uhlmann, Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice, University of Michigan of Law School.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement prior to the hearing:

“This is fundamentally a bipartisan, institutional issue. Congress’ spending power is its most effective tool for oversight and reining in Executive overreach. We must defend it.  

“This common sense bill merely ensures that settlement money goes either to direct victims or to the Treasury for the people’s elected representatives to decide how best to allocate these resources with appropriate oversight to ensure accountability. It is critical that we act. DOJ is ignoring Congress’ concerns -- increasing the use of mandatory donation terms, even as we object.  

“The purpose of DOJ enforcement actions should be punishment and redress to actual victims. Carrying that concept to communities at large or community groups, however worthy, is a matter for the Legislative branch and is not to be conducted at the unilateral discretion of the Executive.” 

Background:

  • The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016 prohibits settlement terms that require donations to third-parties.  It states explicitly that payments to provide restitution for actual harm directly caused, including harm to the environment, are not donations. 
  • An investigation by the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees reveals that, in just the last two years, DOJ has used mandatory donations to direct as much as $880 million dollars to activist groups. 
  • These payments occur entirely outside of the Congressional appropriations and oversight process.   
  • The House Judiciary Committee held two hearings in February 2015 and May 2015 to question DOJ officials regarding these troubling settlement practices.
  • The Committees also sent multiple oversight letters (November 2014 and May 2015) to the Attorney General seeking documents and answers.
  • DOJ continues to resist the information requests, but what information has been provided confirms that activist groups which stood to gain from mandatory donation provisions were involved in placing those provisions in the settlements. 
  • This bill is modeled after Chairman Goodlatte’s 2015 amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (H.R. 2578), which passed the House by a voice vote. 
  • The investigation is ongoing.

The hearing will be webcast live at http://judiciary.house.gov/. Click here to learn more about this hearing.

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HOUSE APPROVES BIPARTISAN TRADE SECRETS LEGISLATION

2016/04/27

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved by a vote of 410-2 the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (S. 1890) to protect American trade secrets from theft.   

The bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create a federal civil remedy for stealing trade secrets that will help American innovators protect their intellectual property from theft.  Trade secrets include such vital proprietary information as confidential formulas, manufacturing techniques, and even customer lists. Ensuring the protection of this vital information will help U.S. competiveness, job creation, and our economy.  

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) praised today’s House vote:

“Intellectual property powers the engine of American innovation and creativity, creates new jobs, and helps grow our economy. Trade secrets, such as confidential formulas, manufacturing techniques, algorithms, and even customer lists, are an important part of the intellectual property portfolios of our most innovative companies and they are becoming increasingly more vulnerable to theft as a result of our globalized economy. The bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act will help American companies and innovators protect their intellectual property from criminal theft by foreign agents and those engaging in economic espionage.”

Background: The Defend Trade Secrets Act passed the Senate by a vote of 87-0 on April 4, 2016.  The legislation will now be sent to President Obama to be signed into law.    

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GOODLATTE: GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY NEEDED AT THE VA

2016/04/20

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Congressman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, responded today to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General showing an “inappropriate prioritization of appeals” at the Roanoke VA Regional Office (VARO). Goodlatte and Miller recently toured the Salem VA Medical Center and held a roundtable with local veterans in Vinton. 

Congressman Bob Goodlatte: “Veterans put their lives on the line for this country. And this is how they are treated? The Roanoke VA Regional Office’s decision to prioritize new appeals claims over old claims that have been waiting for years is baffling. Utilizing a ‘last in, first out’ method fails to pass the test of common sense, and cherry picking which appeals to process in order to artificially inflate numbers is a disservice to the veterans this agency is tasked with serving. Our veterans have done their duty to serve us. It is now our duty to serve them. That’s the purpose of the VA. We need greater accountability within the VA, including at the Roanoke VARO. I’ll continue working to see employees held accountable, backlogs reduced, and quality of care increased at VA facilities. Virginia’s veterans deserve a VA system that works on their behalf.”

Congressman Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: “This troubling report documents how supervisors directed employees to cut corners in order to make themselves look good while short changing veterans in the process. It’s not enough for VA to simply say ‘this won’t happen again.’ In order to regain the trust of the Virginia veterans the Roanoke VARO is charged with serving, it’s incumbent upon VA to publicly outline the steps it is taking to hold those responsible for these problems accountable. Until then, Virginia veterans will be left wondering if their appeals are being adjudicated appropriately.”

Key Findings: The VAOIG report found that the Roanoke VARO was processing newer appeals with fewer issues before older appeals in order to reduce the appeals inventory by 50 percent by Fiscal Year 2014. Of the 12,890 appeals pending, 3,350 dated back to the Fiscal Year 2009 to Fiscal Year 2013 time frame. The average age for the 3,350 pending appeals was nearly three years. At the recommendation of the VAOIG, on August 20, 2015, the Roanoke VARO implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for prioritizing appeals that have been pending the longest. In addition, they have added 11 additional personnel to process the appeals workload, focusing on the oldest appeals.

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GOODLATTE: SUPREME COURT MUST STOP PRESIDENT OBAMA'S LAWLESSNESS

2016/04/18

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in advance of oral arguments before the Supreme Court in a case challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration:

“The case of United States v. Texas is fundamentally about preserving the separation of powers and its outcome will have drastic implications for our Republic. All three branches of government have weighed in against President Obama’s unilateral actions: the lower courts have blocked them from being implemented, the House of Representatives has filed a brief opposing them, and the President himself stated over 20 times – before he took his unilateral action – that he does not have the authority to change our nation’s immigration laws on his own.  I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will stop President Obama’s lawlessness so that we protect the Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers that the legislative branch, which reflects the will of and is accountable to the American people, makes the laws, not the President.”                                                             

Background: 

  • Before taking executive action on immigration, President Obama stated 22 times that he does not have the authority to change immigration laws on his own. On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced unilateral changes to the nation’s immigration laws, allowing potentially millions of unlawful immigrants to stay in the United States without a vote of Congress. 
  • In December 2014, numerous states – led by the State of Texas – filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration, and Chairman Goodlatte and others signed an amicus brief submitted to the federal court in support of the states’ lawsuit. 
  • On February 17, 2015, a federal judge temporarily blocked President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions. Following this decision, Chairman Goodlatte and other Members of Congress filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a continued injunction against President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration in the case of United States v. Texas
  • On November 10, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction preventing President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration from being implemented. Following this decision, the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the case. 
  • On March 17, 2016, the House approved H. Res. 639, a resolution allowing the Speaker to file a brief on behalf of the whole House of Representatives defending Congress’ Article I powers to write our nation’s laws. Watch Goodlatte’s floor speech on H. Res. 639 here. The House filed its brief on April 4, 2016. 

Read Goodlatte’s November 2014 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the unconstitutionality of President Obama’s unilateral, unconstitutional actions here.

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GOODLATTE RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT POSSIBLE DHS RETALIATION AGAINST BORDER PATROL UNION CHIEF

2016/04/18

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, today pressed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson regarding possible DHS retaliation against the head of the Border Patrol union for his shocking testimony about the Administration’s policy of releasing recent border crossers with no intention of ever removing them. 

On February 4, 2016, Brandon Judd, President of the American Federation of Government Employees National Border Patrol Council, testified before the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee that DHS has established a policy requiring Border Patrol agents to release unlawful immigrants apprehended at the border and not place them in removal proceedings. This de facto policy contradicts the Obama Administration’s so-called enforcement priorities issued on November 20, 2014, which state that unlawful immigrants who came to the United States after January 1, 2014 and recent border crossers are priorities for removal and are to be placed in removal proceedings. 

Within days of Judd’s testimony, the House Judiciary Committee has been informed that a manager within the Border Patrol submitted a complaint for alleged misconduct against him and other leaders of the National Border Patrol Council. In his letter to Secretary Johnson, Chairman Goodlatte states the timing of the complaint “raises the specter of retaliation against Mr. Judd and the other executive committee members” and calls on him to ensure that no DHS employee or contractor will be targeted for voicing legitimate concerns about compliance with unwritten departmental policies that contradict written policies.

Below is the text of Goodlatte’s letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. A copy of the letter is available here.

April 18, 2016

The Honorable Jeh Johnson

Secretary 

Department of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528

Dear Secretary Johnson:

During testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security on February 4, 2016, Brandon Judd, President of the American Federation of Government Employees National Border Patrol Council, testified that the Department has established a policy whereby Border Patrol agents are required to release unlawful immigrants apprehended at the border and instructed to not place them in removal proceedings, if they do not have a felony conviction and merely claim to have been in the United States since January 1, 2014.  His stunning testimony marked a clear contradiction between the current immigration enforcement policies and those contained in your memorandum of November 20, 2014, titled, “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants.”  Under that memorandum, all aliens apprehended at the border after January 1, 2014, are priorities for removal.  Mr. Judd, who represents more than 16,000 Border Patrol Agents, further testified that the current DHS policy was established because of the embarrassing fact that large numbers of aliens apprehended at the border failed to appear at their removal hearings and simply absconded.

On March 1, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske testified before the House Appropriations Committee.  He stated that Border Patrol agents “should not be releasing anyone” and he flatly disputed Mr. Judd’s testimony, stating that the agency is not engaging in the “catch and release” policies of the past.  Commissioner Kerlikowske questioned Mr. Judd’s credibility by stating that the National Border Patrol Council “is not the most knowledgeable organization about what’s actually going on.”  To ensure that his point was understood, he then warned agents who do not follow the directions of their supervisors – “[Y]ou really do need to look for another job.”   

I have been informed that one or more managers within the U.S. Border Patrol submitted a complaint for alleged misconduct to the Joint Intake Center against Mr. Judd and other Executive Committee members of the National Border Patrol Council, and that the Office of Professional Responsibility is the most likely DHS component that will be tasked with this investigation.  Such an inquiry, launched within days of Mr. Judd’s testimony before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, raises the specter of retaliation against Mr. Judd and the other executive committee members.  I fully expect that you will personally ensure that no DHS employee or contractor will be targeted for reprisal or any other form of adverse employment action on the basis of voicing their legitimate concerns regarding compliance with unwritten departmental policies that contradict your written policies.  Additionally, please give me your assurance that any allegation of employee misconduct against Mr. Judd or any other DHS employee or contractor will be investigated fairly and impartially by the appropriate DHS component, without any improper influence by any person within DHS.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.  Please direct any questions about this letter to Tracy Short, Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, at (202) 225-3926.  

Sincerely,

Bob Goodlatte

Chairman

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GOODLATTE APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF BILL TO PROTECT VETERANS FROM FRAUD

2016/04/12

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The House of Representatives today approved the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2016 (H.R. 4676). This bill protects veterans from financial predators who target them for their own financial gain. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, managed the floor debate for the bill since it is under the jurisdiction of the House Judiciary Committee, and issued the following statement on the bill’s passage: 

“Fraudsters preying upon our nation’s heroes for profit must be held accountable for their deplorable actions. I thank Representatives Rooney and Deutch for their hard work on a bill that closes loopholes in current law to ensure those who target veterans for financial gain face criminal charges and prosecution for their crimes. I am pleased that the House passed the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2016 today and urge the Senate to quickly pass it.”

Background: Under current law, only agents or attorneys who have met all standard qualifications and standards prescribed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may charge a fee to assist a veteran or claimant in an appeals case. While it is illegal for anyone who is not an approved agent or attorney to charge any fee for assisting a veteran in filing a claim or appeal with the VA, there’s no criminal or financial penalty for breaking the law. As a result, financial predators across the country are targeting veterans, many of whom are elderly and live in low-income housing. They offer to help veterans with their cases, claim to get their benefits approved in record time, charge fees that are often in the thousands of dollars, and then provide them with little or no assistance. The Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act of 2016 penalizes fraudsters that blatantly engage in a scheme to defraud a veteran of his or her benefits, or in connection with obtaining that veteran’s benefits, by imposing a fine, imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

VIDEO: Watch Congressman Goodlatte’s speech on the House floor in support of H.R. 4676.

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GOODLATTE URGES HUD TO HOLD EMPLOYEES ACCOUNTABLE

2016/04/05

GAO Findings Show HUD Officials’ Attempts to Silence Employees During Congressional Inquiry

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that two Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employees illegally interfered with a Congressional investigation and has recommended sanctions.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, praised the report from the GAO and called on HUD to follow GAO’s recommendations. 

The case arose out of a 2012 Congressional investigation into a secret deal orchestrated by then-Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Tom Perez. Fearing a pending Supreme Court case would outlaw controversial legal tactics DOJ favored, he persuaded the litigant to drop the appeal in exchange for DOJ halting an unrelated fraud investigation into the litigant. HUD had a key role in the fraud investigation and accordingly Congressional staff sought interviews with certain HUD employees. 

GAO’s report found that HUD’s General Deputy Assistant Secretary and Associate General Counsel actively sought to block Congressional access to a key employee. The GAO concluded that such interference violated federal law prohibiting salary payments to officials who seek to bar employees from communicating with Congress. The evidence showed the instruction to the employee was not part of good faith negotiations, but rather an attempt to block Congressional access to the employee.

Accordingly, GAO concluded that “HUD’s appropriation was not available to pay the salaries” of the officials involved, and recommended “HUD seek to recover these [salary] payments” for the period comprising the violation.

Chairman Goodlatte: “Today’s report underscores that Congress will not permit the Executive Branch to stonewall.  Federal law provides penalties for Executive Branch officials who obstruct Congressional oversight and these will be enforced.  One of Congress’ central duties is to check Executive Branch overreach, and to exercise its oversight powers when it suspects wrongdoing. Today’s report by GAO shows that HUD clearly stonewalled Congress’ investigation of its involvement in Mr. Perez’s secret deal. HUD must now take appropriate action including following GAO’s recommendation to claw back salary payments from the two officials implicated.” 

Background: A longstanding provision in federal appropriations bills prohibits paying the salary of agency officials who attempt to prevent any employee from speaking to Congress. At the request of Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman Chaffetz and Chairman Grassley, the GAO investigated whether HUD officials engaged in precisely such interference. Despite strong evidence, GAO initially found no wrongdoing. Justifications included that HUD officials’ instructions not to speak to Congress did not contain a threat of consequences for disobedience.

Accordingly, the Committees repeated their inquiry and provided additional evidence.  As a result, GAO continued to investigate the matter and reversed their findings in the report issued today. 

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the secret deal conducted by then Assistant Attorney General Perez in April of 2013.

Click here to learn more about the report.

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GOODLATTE: ROANOKE MUST NOT BECOME A SANCTUARY CITY

2016/04/01

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after all six Roanoke City Council candidates expressed support for making Roanoke a “sanctuary city,” which shields individuals from the enforcement of federal immigration laws: 

“It may be April Fool’s Day, but this is no joking matter. It is extremely alarming that anyone seeking elected office would support this wrongheaded policy. Sanctuary cities needlessly endanger American lives by adopting public policies refusing to cooperate with the federal government to enforce immigration laws. These sanctuary cities are known to become magnets for gangs, drug dealers, and other criminal aliens as safe havens to avoid apprehension, detention, and deportation under our immigration laws. The preventable tragedies as a result of this are all too common. The unlawful criminal alien who went on to murder Kate Steinle on a pier in San Francisco was previously detained by San Francisco police on drug charges. However, he was released by city officials. Why? Because San Francisco is a sanctuary city. 

“Why is it more important to shield dangerous criminal aliens from immigration enforcement than it is to protect the people of Roanoke? In representing Roanoke and the Sixth Congressional District in Congress, I do not want to see a single life lost or any additional victims of other crimes at the hands of criminal aliens. I hope the City of Roanoke remains with the many thousands of local governments in the U.S. that do not support so-called sanctuary city policies. Our immigration laws must be enforced and respect for the rule of law maintained.”

Legislative Action: In July 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3009, the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, which would withhold several federal grants from states or localities that refuse to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts and threaten the safety of their communities. Additionally, H.R. 1148, the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last year. Among the bill’s provisions, it also would withhold specific grants from sanctuary cities that defy federal immigration enforcement efforts. Additionally, it would end the President’s ability to shut down immigration enforcement efforts unilaterally and would protect the American public by facilitating and expediting the removal of criminal aliens. 

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Goodlatte: Tax Code Termination Act is Starting Point for Tax Reform

2016-04-13 20:29:28


Goodlatte - Hearing on Reforms to the SNAP Program

2016-03-02 19:41:14


Goodlatte Questions AG Secretary on Ethanol Mandate

2016-02-29 22:54:32


Goodlatte Pays Tribute to Justice Scalia

2016-02-24 01:11:28


Goodlatte Discusses Supreme Court Vacancy on CNN's The Lead

2016-02-16 20:57:31


Goodlatte to EPA: You Haven't Done Your Homework

2016-02-11 18:49:36


Goodlatte Speaks in Support of Permanent Internet Access Tax Ban

2015-12-11 17:06:26


Goodlatte Speaks in Support of H.R. 2288

2015-11-30 22:21:52


Goodlatte on CNBC's Closing Bell re: Syrian Refugees

2015-11-17 21:52:50


Goodlatte Questions Witnesses on Sugar Subsidies

2015-10-21 17:10:40


Judicial Redress Act Critical to Restoring Faith in US Data Privacy Protections

2015-10-20 20:13:02


Goodlatte Speaks on Serious Problem of Veteran Suicide

2015-09-24 21:06:08


Goodlatte Speaks in Opposition to Iran Deal

2015-09-11 14:34:01


Goodlatte Questions Witnesses at Planned Parenthood Investigation Hearing

2015-09-09 17:01:09


Goodlatte Statement at Hearing on Planned Parenthood

2015-09-09 16:38:45


Goodlatte at Hearing on Growing Heroin Epidemic

2015-07-28 14:26:05


Goodlatte Bill Advances Secret Service Reforms

2015-07-27 20:13:43


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

2015-07-23 18:34:05


Goodlatte Gives Opening Statement at Sanctuary City Hearing

2015-07-23 14:41:49


Goodlatte Questions Homeland Security Secretary at Oversight Hearing

2015-07-14 15:25:43


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

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