Bob Goodlatte

Bob Goodlatte

VIRGINIA's 6th DISTRICT

GOODLATTE TO ADMINISTRATION: ARE THERE PLANS TO ADMIT EBOLA-INFECTED NON-CITIZENS INTO THE U.S. FOR TREATMENT?

2014/10/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today sent the following letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Department of State Secretary John Kerry regarding recent press reports indicating that the Obama Administration plans to allow foreign nationals infected with Ebola to come to the United States for treatment.

“Dear Secretaries Johnson and Kerry, 

“Press reports have indicated that the Administration is putting together a plan to allow non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola, to enter the United States for treatment.  Please provide answers to the following questions by October 25, 2014:

1. Are either of your Departments formulating a plan to allow non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to enter the U.S. to receive medical treatment?  If so, what are the details of the plan?

2. Have employees of either of your Departments engaged in conversations regarding a plan to allow non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to enter the U.S. to receive medical treatment?

3. Please provide me any and all written memos or other documentation written by employees of your Departments regarding the formulation of a plan to allow non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to enter the U.S. to receive medical treatment.

“Thank you in advance for your prompt response.”

Chairman Goodlatte and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) recently wrote to President Obama calling on him to use the authority granted to him by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act to temporarily ban foreign nationals who were recently in an Ebola-ravaged country from traveling to the United States.  

Read More

GOODLATTE STATEMENT ON DHS POLICY FOR PEOPLE TRAVELLING FROM EBOLA-STRICKEN COUNTRIES

2014/10/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below following the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that all foreign nationals traveling from Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone to the United States will have to travel through one of five major U.S. airports where additional Ebola screening measures have been deployed.

Chairman Goodlatte: “I’m glad that the Obama Administration is showing more concern about the possibility of people infected with Ebola entering the United States and spreading this deadly disease, but the Administration must do more to protect Americans. Obama Administration officials openly admit that these enhanced screening measures would have never detected the disease in Thomas Eric Duncan, a non-U.S. citizen, who later infected two American nurses in Dallas.

“President Obama has a real solution at his disposal under current law and can use it at any time to temporarily ban foreign nationals from entering the United States from Ebola-ravaged countries. The vast majority of Americans strongly support such a travel moratorium and I urge the President to take every step possible to protect the American people from danger.”

Recently, Chairman Goodlatte and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) wrote to President Barack Obama calling on him to use the authority granted to him by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act to temporarily ban foreign nationals who were recently in an Ebola-ravaged country from traveling to the United States. The House Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the Immigration and Nationality Act, which grants the President this authority. In addition, Chairman Goodlatte plans to introduce a resolution calling on the President to implement a temporary travel moratorium. 

An October 14, 2014, ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 67% of Americans surveyed said they would support “restricting entry to the United States by people who’ve been in affected countries.”

Read More

GOODLATTE SEEKS ANSWERS ABOUT THE DROP IN NUMBER OF PROSECUTIONS FOR FIRST-TIME ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSERS

2014/10/17

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing concern regarding the drop in the number of prosecutions under Operation Streamline for first-time illegal border crossers. The goal of Operation Streamline is to criminally prosecute individuals who illegally cross the border in order to deter them and others from trying again in the future.  Operation Streamline has been one of the most successful programs to decrease illegal entries at our southwest border yet under the Obama Administration prosecutions for first-time border crossers have plummeted. 

Below is the text of the letter.

“Dear Attorney General Holder:

“Operation Streamline (OS) has been one of the most successful programs to decrease illegal entries ever initiated along our southwest border.  Established in 2005, and subsequently expanded to a number of southwest Border Patrol sectors, OS’s original goal was to establish a “zero tolerance” policy in which virtually all adult border crossers not accompanied by their children were criminally prosecuted, most for the misdemeanor crime of a first illegal entry and the felony crimes of subsequent illegal entry and illegal reentry after having been ordered removed. As former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano stated, OS “aims to increase the consequences for illegally crossing the border by criminally prosecuting illegal border crossers.”

“While many of those convicted only serve short prison sentences (including in some instances for time served at the time of conviction), the deterrent effect has been significant.  Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff stated that OS “has an unbelievable return . . . .  What we see, both statistically and anecdotally, is that when people who cross the border illegally are brought to face the reality that they are committing a crime, even if it is just a misdemeanor, that has a huge impact on their willingness to try again and on the willingness of others to break the law coming across the border.” And former Attorney General Michael Mukasey stated that OS and similar programs “appear to have had a significant deterrent effect on illegal immigration in places like Del Rio, Texas and Yuma, Arizona, reducing the number of individuals returning illegally to the United States and discouraging others from coming here illegally in the first place.”

“The Congressional Research Service has reported that the recidivism rate of repatriated illegal entrants (those re-apprehended in the same fiscal year) is dramatically lower under OS – 10.3% in fiscal year 2012 -- than when aliens are simply returned through expedited removal (16.4%) or voluntary return (27.1%).Partially as a result of OS, apprehensions of unlawful aliens fell dramatically from 2005 to 2013 – particularly in the Yuma, Arizona Border Patrol sector where OS had a zero tolerance policy and apprehensions fell from over 138,000 to slightly more than 6,000. 

“While resource constraints have prevented all first-time border crossers from being prosecuted, many have been – sending a clear message of deterrence.  Unfortunately, fewer and fewer first time crossers are being prosecuted program-wide. It is of great concern, therefore, that the Sheriff of Yuma County, Arizona, has recently reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona will no longer be prosecuting any first-time border crossers without criminal records.  If true, this will send exactly the wrong message to potential illegal entrants around the world and exacerbate our current border crisis.  Now is the worst possible time to be undermining OS.      

“In light of these concerns, please provide me with the following information:

In each fiscal year beginning in 2005, the Border Patrol sectors in which OS was operating;

In each fiscal year beginning in 2005 in each federal judicial district containing a Border Patrol sector in which OS was in operation, the number of prosecutions for violation of 8 U.S.C. 1325(a), the number of convictions, and the average sentence length (with each factor broken down by whether the prosecution was for the first commission of a 1325(a) offense or a subsequent commission of an offense); 

In each fiscal year beginning in 2005 in each federal judicial district containing a Border Patrol sector in which OS was in operation, the number of Department of Homeland Security referrals for violation of 8 U.S.C. 1325(a) in which the Department of Justice decided not to initiate a prosecution;

In each fiscal year beginning in 2005 in each federal judicial district containing a Border Patrol sector in which OS was in operation, the number of prosecutions for violation of 8 U.S.C. 1326(a), the number of convictions, and the average sentence length; 

In each fiscal year beginning in 2005 in each federal judicial district containing a Border Patrol sector in which OS was in operation, the number of Department of Homeland Security referrals for violation of 8 U.S.C. 1326(a) in which the Department of Justice decided not to initiate a prosecution;

On an ongoing basis, update the information requested above each quarter; and 

In each fiscal year beginning in 2009, the changes that have been made, if any, to the prosecution guidelines for OS in each federal judicial district containing a Border Patrol sector in which OS was in operation.

“I would appreciate your prompt response to these questions.”

Read More

GOODLATTE SEEKS ANSWERS ON EBOLA RESPONSE

2014/10/16

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte sent a letter today to Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, seeking answers on the Obama Administration’s “whole of government” response to the Ebola outbreak. 

Below is the text of the letter.

“Dear Director Frieden, Secretary Johnson, and Secretary Foxx:

“I write to share my concern regarding the United States’ ‘whole of government’ response to the Ebola outbreak.  While it is important to keep perspective on the outbreak overseas, cases of Ebola now perpetuating in the continental United States is of extreme concern.  

“To date, no travel restrictions have been placed on individuals traveling to the United States from affected West African countries.  In light of this current position, I would appreciate answers to the following questions:

“•   Why are there so few advanced screening sites in the continental United States to screen international travelers?  

“•   Given that the only domestic acquired cases of Ebola have been in Dallas, Texas, why have we not been screening individuals flying in and out of Dallas, Texas?

“•   Specifically, what additional steps are being taken to reach out to U.S. hospitals given media reports that the lack of training and/or supplies in Dallas, Texas contributed to the spread of Ebola to additional individuals?

“•   Why are individuals who have come into contact with an afflicted individual being allowed to fly domestically?  Reports that Amber Vinson contacted the CDC prior to flying, but was given the 'okay' to fly are deeply concerning.  

“•   It is my understanding that travel restrictions are only placed on healthcare workers who have cared for Ebola patients if it is determined that safety protocols during that care were not followed.  However, with additional cases of Ebola presenting themselves in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurses, are these safety protocols, as a measure for travel safety, being reviewed? 

“Today, I sent a letter to President Obama urging him to use the authority granted to him in the Immigration and Nationality Act to ‘prohibit foreign nationals who were recently present in an Ebola-ravaged country from entering the United States.’ I reiterate that message to you as well.  While reforms to our domestic handling of Ebola in the United States are necessary, and we need to address many concerns, including those I have outlined above, our ‘whole of government’ approach to this situation should include travel restrictions for certain individuals attempting to come to the United States after being in Guinea, Liberia, and/or Sierra Leone. 

“I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.”

NOTE: Earlier today, Congressman Goodlatte also sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to use the authority granted to him by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act to temporarily ban foreign nationals who were recently in an Ebola-ravaged country from traveling to the United States.

Read More

GOODLATTE & GOWDY CALL ON PRESIDENT TO PLACE TEMPORARY TRAVEL BAN ON FOREIGN NATIONALS ENTERING THE U.S. FROM EBOLA-RAVAGED COUNTRIES

2014/10/16

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) today wrote to President Barack Obama calling on him to use the authority granted to him by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act to temporarily ban foreign nationals who were recently in an Ebola-ravaged country from traveling to the United States. The House Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the Immigration and Nationality Act, which grants the President this authority.  In addition, Chairman Goodlatte plans to introduce a resolution calling on the President to implement a temporary travel moratorium. 

Below is the text of the letter.

“Mr. President, 

“We write regarding your solemn duty as the President of the United States to take every step possible to protect the American people from danger.  Specifically, we urge you to use authority granted to you by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit foreign nationals who were recently present in an Ebola-ravaged country, from entering the United States.    

“8 U.S.C. 1182(f) states ‘[W]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he deems to be appropriate.’ 

“You utilized this provision in August 2011, ‘to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of certain persons’ who participated in serious human rights and humanitarian law violations. Preventing Americans from contracting Ebola, which the World Health Organization (WHO) notes ‘has a death rate of up to 90%’ and has already killed at least 4,484 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, is every bit as important as preventing human rights abusers from entering the United States.

“While Ebola is not transmittable until a victim develops symptoms, the WHO notes that the incubation period can be 42 days or longer and that certain methods of Ebola transmission can continue for as long as seven weeks after a patient’s recovery. Therefore we urge that your use of 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) cover any foreign national who was present in a country with widespread and intense transmission of Ebola within the two months prior to desired travel to the U.S.  Such a travel restriction can and should be temporary, with the moratorium lifted when the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and any other countries with a subsequent outbreak, is controlled.  

“We have listened with interest to the arguments articulated by officials within the Administration in opposition to a ban on travel from affected countries.  Unfortunately, such arguments seem to have little, if any, merit.  And a growing number of Americans agree.  In fact an October 14, 2014, ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that 67% of Americans surveyed said they would support ‘restricting entry to the United States by people who’ve been in affected countries.’ 

“Use of 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) is not only reasonable at this point, but is prudent and necessary to help prevent additional Ebola cases in the U.S.  It will also help begin to turn around Americans’ large-scale lack of confidence that the Federal government is doing everything it can to protect them from Ebola.    

“Thank you for your immediate attention to this critical matter.”

Read More

GOODLATTE: PRESIDENT WILLING TO SACRIFICE CONSTITUTION & NATIONAL SECURITY FOR AGENDA

2014/10/10

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte issued the statement below after The Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama is considering plans to override the law and transfer detained terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States.

Chairman Goodlatte: “Over the years, President Obama has repeatedly sought to close federal facilities in Guantanamo Bay and bring detained terrorists to the United States but both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have consistently rejected the President’s plan over and over again. Although the law is explicit that the President cannot transport these detained terrorists into the United States, President Obama once again seems willing to ignore the law to achieve his objectives. The President’s pattern of ignoring the law poses a danger not only to our Constitution and individual liberty, but also to national security. At a time when the Islamic State is killing innocent civilians, including Americans, how can the President even justify contemplating such a plan? President Obama has shown that he is willing to sacrifice both the Constitution and the security of the United States for his own agenda.”  

Read More

GOODLATTE: PRESIDENT'S POLICIES CREATE BORDER DISORDER

2014/10/10

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte issued the statement below regarding the number of unaccompanied alien minors (UAM) and family units apprehended at the Southwest border for Fiscal Year 2014, which was recently released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was implemented in the summer of 2012, the number of UAM apprehended at the border was 6,560 in Fiscal Year 2011. This year, the number of UAM caught at the border surged to 68,541, which is a 945% increase since Fiscal Year 2011. Additionally, the number of family units apprehended at the border jumped from 14,855 last year to 68,445 in Fiscal Year 2014, representing a 361% increase.

Chairman Goodlatte: “After six years of refusing to enforce our immigration laws and acting unilaterally to provide administrative amnesty to unlawful immigrants, President Obama has created disorder at our borders. Word has spread to Central America and beyond that our immigration laws are not enforced, which has encouraged hundreds of thousands of people to make the dangerous trek north to illegally cross our Southwest border. It’s not surprising that since the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program the number of minors crossing the border has surged by nearly 1,000%.

“The solution to this problem is simple: the President and his Administration must enforce our immigration laws. However, President Obama refuses to take the steps necessary to enforce our laws and end the chaos at the border. Instead he has made the situation worse by promising to take action later this year to change our immigration laws. These proclamations from the White House will only encourage more people to come to the U.S. illegally.”

Background: In July, 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. Chairman Goodlatte’s op-ed outlining actions President Obama could take now to end the border crisis can be found here

Additionally, this summer the House of Representatives approved legislation (H.R. 5230) to provide targeted, narrow funding for border security, enforcement of immigration laws, and illegal immigration deterrence through the end of Fiscal Year 2014 in order to meet law enforcement’s immediate needs at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate failed to act.

Read More

GOODLATTE: SENATE MUST PASS USA FREEDOM ACT

2014/10/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released the statement below following the remarks made yesterday by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that bulk collection of data by the government is undercutting the American economy. 

Chairman Goodlatte: “I agree with Senator Wyden and the tech community that last year’s national security leaks have had a commercial and financial impact on American technology companies. As I stated when the House overwhelmingly passed the USA Freedom Act in May, American tech companies have experienced a backlash from both American and foreign consumers and they’ve lost a piece of their competitive edge in the global marketplace. The House acted earlier this year to end the bulk collection of data by the government and provide American tech companies new ways to report data concerning government requests for customer information. When the Senate returns in November, it must pass the USA Freedom Act in order to protect Americans’ civil liberties and to ensure that American tech companies can begin to rebuild trust with their customers and flourish in the global economy.”

In May 2014, the House Judiciary Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over intelligence-gathering programs operated under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), approved the USA Freedom Act. This bipartisan bill, authored by senior members of the Committee, ends bulk collection of data by the government and reforms our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs operated under FISA. Among the bill’s provisions, it allows tech companies to inform their American and foreign customers by publicly reporting national security requests from the government. Following Committee approval, the House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 302-121. 

Read More

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SEEKS ANSWERS ON SERIES OF SECRET SERVICE FAILURES

2014/10/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) today sent a letter to Acting Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy seeking answers to over a dozen questions regarding a series of security breaches that occurred at the White House complex and during official travel. The House Judiciary Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the Secret Service’s functions, including its critical role in protecting the President and the White House complex, will hold both public and classified hearings in November to examine ongoing issues at the agency.

In the letter, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, Crime Subcommittee Chairman Sensenbrenner, and Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Scott write:

“In light of recent events and evident security failures, the House Judiciary Committee has grave concerns about the policies, procedures, and judgment of the United States Secret Service. 

“As you know, on September 19, 2014, Omar Gonzalez scaled the White House fence, evaded numerous Secret Service officers outside of the White House, and forced his way through the front door armed with a knife.  It now appears that Mr. Gonzalez made it into the East Room of the White House, despite initial claims by the Secret Service that he was apprehended just inside the North Portico doors.  Additionally, three days earlier, an armed security contractor with a criminal record was allowed on an elevator with the President during a visit to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.  This apparent security lapse was similarly not disclosed until media reports began to surface. 

“As members of the Committee of primary jurisdiction over many of the Secret Service’s functions, including its critical role in protecting the President and the White House complex, we are deeply concerned with the Service’s ability to effectively identify, intercept, and disrupt threats to the President of the United States.  In order to facilitate our ability to conduct effective oversight over the Service and recent security lapses, please respond to the following questions as soon as possible:

1. Please provide a detailed timeline of the events involving Omar Gonzalez on September 19, 2014, including which Secret Service teams or units were involved.

2. Why did the Service initially report publicly and to Congress that Mr. Gonzalez was stopped and arrested just inside the front door of the White House, given that this is not true? 

3. Did the Service follow the protocol(s) it has in place to interdict individuals such as Mr. Gonzalez?  If not, why not?  

4. What specific steps are the Service and the Department of Homeland Security taking to review and revise its policies and procedures for securing the White House complex in response to the events on September 19, 2014?  When will this review be completed?

5. Will any review of the September 19, 2014, events include a review of how information regarding the suspect prior to that date was handled, including information gathered by Secret Service investigators following Mr. Gonzalez’s arrest on July 19, 2014?

6. Do you intend to review the White House’s infrastructure for security risks?  Which other agencies or offices must approve any recommended improvements?

7. It has been reported that there have been 16 incidents of unauthorized persons jumping over or attempting to jump over the White House fence in the past five years.  Six such incidents have occurred this year alone.  What had the Service done prior to September 19, 2014, in response to the recent increase in intruders on White House grounds?

8. Why was the North Portico door to the White House unlocked on a Friday evening?  Was the door equipped with an auto-locking mechanism to protect against such incidents?  If not, why not?

9. With respect to the incident of September 16, 2014, were the policies and procedures in place at the time followed?  If not, why not?  

10. What steps is the Service taking to review and revise its policies and procedures for handling third-party security contractors?  Specifically, what is your policy for determining when third-parties may be armed while in the proximity of the President or another protected individual?

11. Did the contractor involved in the September 16, 2014, event have a criminal record?  Was the Service aware of this prior to the President’s visit? If not, why not?

12. Please describe the process of excluding someone with a criminal record from access to the President.  Is this solely a decision for the Service?

13. According to a recent report on the Best Places to Work, the Secret Service ranks 226 out of 300 federal agencies.  As one example, it has been reported that the concerns of officers involved in the 2011 shooting incident were not properly heeded.  As low morale can often lead to poor performance, what do you intend to do going forward to address this problem generally, and to promote a culture of openness and accountability at all levels of the agency more specifically? 

“Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We appreciate your prompt response.”

Read More

BOEHNER & GOODLATTE: IT'S NEVER ACCEPTABLE FOR THE PRESIDENT TO RE-WRITE OUR LAWS

2014/10/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the joint statement below following the remarks made yesterday by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest that President Obama delayed his decision to act unilaterally on immigration until after the November elections because he didn’t want Republicans to win on the issue.

“It’s shocking that the White House now openly admits that President Obama is delaying his unilateral actions on immigration until after the November elections simply because of raw politics. Whether before or after the election in November, it is never acceptable for the President to re-write our laws by executive decree – the Constitution does not give him the authority to do so. By taking unilateral action on immigration, President Obama will inject serious constitutional questions into an already heated debate. Such shortsighted actions will undermine the American people’s trust in the President’s commitment to enforcing our immigration laws and will further setback any chance of enacting immigration reform.”

Last month, House Judiciary Committee Republicans wrote to President Obama demanding that he disclose to the American people the recommendations he has received for the anticipated executive actions he will take to further dismantle our nation’s immigration laws. To date, the President has failed to respond.

Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

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, 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

VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT

Scott Rigell

VIRGINIA's 2nd DISTRICT

J. Randy Forbes

VIRGINIA's 4th DISTRICT

Robert Hurt

VIRGINIA's 5th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Frank Wolf

VIRGINIA's 10th DISTRICT

Recent Videos