WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below in advance of President Obama’s speech today on his unconstitutional immigration actions in Las Vegas, Nevada. When Congress returns after the Thanksgiving break, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on President Obama’s unconstitutional power grab on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. The time and witness list will be announced later.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Last night, President Obama went all-in against the Constitution and today he is doubling-down on his lawlessness in Las Vegas of all places. Unfortunately for the American people, the President has ignored their opinions and forged ahead with his plan, creating a constitutional crisis and an untold number of consequences for the American people and legal immigrants.
“When Congress returns in early December, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the unconstitutionality of President Obama’s power grab. The stakes of inaction are high and Congress will use the best tools available to stop President Obama from implementing his unconstitutional plan.”
Chairman Goodlatte issued a statement last night on President Obama’s unconstitutional, unilateral actions. Earlier this week, Chairman Goodlatte joined House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in sending a letter to President Obama demanding that he abandon his plan to change our immigration laws on his own. Additionally, Chairman Goodlatte’s op-ed on this subject was published in the Wall Street Journal this week.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will not be finalized this year, Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Steve Womack (R-AR) released the following statement:
“These delays by the EPA are completely unacceptable. After nearly a year with no action on the proposed RFS for 2014, the EPA has decided to throw in the towel and punt the final decision until next year. It’s extremely disappointing that this decision on renewable fuel obligations for 2014 has taken so long and will not be resolved by the end of the year. How can the industry comply with a mandate that is released after they are already supposed to be in compliance? The longer stakeholders are forced to wait, the more uncertainty it creates in the marketplace. 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. Action is needed now to reduce the ethanol mandate and provide much-needed relief. This issue needs to be addressed immediately, not several months into 2015. Today’s action once again proves that the RFS is unworkable and that Congress must reform the RFS.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below following the announcement that President Obama will act unilaterally to change our immigration laws and shield five million unlawful immigrants from immigration enforcement.
Chairman Goodlatte: “It’s both perplexing and alarming that President Obama has decided to move forward with executive actions that he once said he didn’t have the constitutional power to take. The President’s decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to unilaterally change our immigration laws ignores the will of the American people and flouts the Constitution. The American people are deeply concerned about the direction of our country and went to the polls earlier this month to overwhelmingly reject the Obama Administration’s policies. Rather than listen to the American people and change course, President Obama is going rogue, doubling-down, and driving full speed towards a constitutional crisis. By assuming legislative power and ignoring the limitations placed on his authority, President Obama threatens to unravel our government’s system of checks and balances and imperils individual liberty.
“Additionally, the President’s shortsighted actions further set back any chance of enacting immigration reform. The debate in Congress over the past two years has shown that there is a willingness and need to reform our nation’s immigration system. While there are varying opinions on how to amend our immigration laws, one thing is clear: the President does not have the authority to change our immigration laws by executive decree. It’s disappointing that President Obama has refused to work with the new men and women Americans elected to represent them in Congress. Since the President has acted outside the confines of his authority, I will work with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to stop the President’s unconstitutional actions from being implemented.”
Chairman Goodlatte joined House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) yesterday in sending a letter to President Obama demanding that he abandon his unconstitutional plan to act unilaterally on immigration. Additionally, Chairman Goodlatte’s op-ed on this subject was published in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement after the House Republican Conference voted to confirm the GOP Steering Committee’s recommendation that he continue to serve as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in the 114th Congress.
Chairman Goodlatte: “I am honored to have been chosen to continue my service as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over some of the most important issues facing our nation, including Constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, legal and regulatory reform, competition and antitrust laws, terrorism and crime, immigration reform, and intellectual property protections.
“Over the last two years the House Judiciary Committee has examined many of these issues while advancing an agenda focused on restoring economic prosperity to America. I am proud of the numerous legislative accomplishments we had in the 113th Congress, including the House passage of the bipartisan USA Freedom Act, ending bulk collection of data by the government and reforming our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs, the bipartisan Innovation Act, which combats the problem of abusive patent litigation, numerous bills aimed at reducing burdensome regulations that are stifling economic growth and legislation to require mandatory sanctions for attorneys who file frivolous lawsuits.
“In the 114th Congress, we intend to build on these successes and will continue to pursue a pro-growth agenda that is focused on creating jobs and making America more competitive and free.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, demand President Barack Obama abandon his plan to bypass Congressional authority and move on immigration via executive order.
“Instead of proceeding with ill-advised executive action, we implore you to work with Congress to enact legislation to address our broken immigration system,” the Chairmen said in a letter to President Obama. “We strongly urge you to respect the Constitution and abandon any unconstitutional, unilateral executive actions on immigration. Let’s secure the border, enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States, and build a broad consensus for immigration reform. Otherwise, as the chairmen of the committees with oversight over border security and our nation’s immigration laws, we will be forced to use the tools afforded to Congress by the Constitution to stop your administration from successfully carrying out your plan.”
The signed letter to President Barack Obama is available HERE.
The text of the letter to President Barack Obama follows:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We join our fellow members of Congress in expressing our disappointment in your continued efforts to bypass Congressional authority. The latest indications that you will take executive action on immigration later this week are a slap in the face to the American people and the Constitution.
Earlier this month, the American people rejected your policies you said were on the ballot and voted to change the way Washington operates. According to several recent polls, the American people want you to refrain from acting on your own to change our immigration laws. They want you to abide by the Constitution and work with the newly elected Congress to address our nation’s greatest challenges, both domestically and internationally.
The Constitution is clear that it is Congress’ duty to write our laws and, once they are enacted, it is the president’s responsibility to enforce them. Something as important as changing our immigration laws cannot be forced by unilateral action by the president. That’s not the way our system of government works.
In the past, we have seen the surge in illegal immigration that comes when amnesty is promised and the enforcement of our immigration laws is ignored. With more than 11 million unlawful immigrants already in the United States, the answer to our immigration crisis is not to invite more illegal immigration. The answer is to secure the border and enforce our immigration laws. Executive action will simply perpetuate and exacerbate a cycle of unlawful entry into the United States. This was true under the 1986 amnesty, it has been true under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and it has been true under your administration’s policy to not follow the immigration laws already on the books.
Instead of proceeding with ill-advised executive action, we implore you to work with Congress to enact legislation to address our broken immigration system. We strongly urge you to respect the Constitution and abandon any unconstitutional, unilateral executive actions on immigration. Let’s secure the border, enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States, and build a broad consensus for immigration reform. Otherwise, as the chairmen of the committees with oversight over border security and our nation’s immigration laws, we will be forced to use the tools afforded to Congress by the Constitution to stop your administration from successfully carrying out your plan.
House Homeland Security Committee
House Judiciary Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that certain aliens – lawful permanent residents and those with temporary protected status, parole, withholding of removal, deferred action, and deferred enforced departure – will be able to petition for their unmarried children under the age of 21 and their current spouse (if they live with the child) to be considered for in-country refugee processing. If they do not meet the refugee requirements under the law, they can then be considered for parole into the United States, a tool that is, even according to the Administration itself, meant to be used sparingly on a case-by-case basis. To qualify, the alien’s family must be in Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below criticizing the Obama Administration’s new policy.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The policy announced by the Obama Administration today is simply a government-sanctioned border surge. Under this abusive new policy, unlawful immigrants in the United States, once they are granted executive amnesty by the President, can now rely on the Obama Administration to bring their child, and possibly their spouse, who are in Central America to our country. Rather than take the steps necessary to end the crisis at the border, the Obama Administration perpetuates it by abusing a legal tool meant to be used sparingly to bring people to the United States and instead applying it to the masses in Central America.
“President Obama continues to take actions that reward people for breaking our laws, which only encourage more to do the same. If President Obama moves forward with granting even more unlawful immigrants legal status, as he is expected to do as soon as next week, the policy announced today could open Pandora’s box, allowing potentially even more people to come to the United States. This is bad policy and undermines the integrity of our immigration system.”
According to the USCIS website, “humanitarian parole is used sparingly to bring someone who is otherwise inadmissible into the United States for a temporary period of time due to a compelling emergency.” Additionally, “USCIS may grant parole temporarily to anyone applying for admission into the United States based on urgent humanitarian reasons or if there is a significant public benefit” and “for a period of time that corresponds with the length of the emergency or humanitarian situation.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below following the release of an internal Department of Homeland Security review on the events of September 19, 2014, when Omar Gonzalez scaled the north fence and ran through the unlocked doors of the White House.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The Department of Homeland Security’s review of the mid-September security breach at the White House reads as a comedy of errors by the U.S. Secret Service and confirms that fundamental reform is needed to improve both the security of the White House grounds and staff training. This report makes clear that everything that could have gone wrong that evening did. Inadequate training, poor communication, and lax physical security at the White House led to this breach. We must ensure that the Secret Service has all of the tools, training, and resources necessary to protect the President, White House personnel, and the historic grounds.
“The Department’s review underscores the need for a thorough review of the agency’s protective mission and makes next week’s House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the Secret Service even more critical. I and the other members of the House Judiciary Committee are anxious to get to the bottom of these problems at the agency so that we prevent such security lapses from happening again in the future.”
On Wednesday, November 19th at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the United States Secret Service, will hold a public oversight hearing on the agency and will then close a portion of it to the public to discuss classified matters. Acting Director Joseph Clancy will testify before the Committee.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) sent a letter today to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the issue of net neutrality. In the letter, Chairman Goodlatte challenges the notion that regulating the Internet is the most effective way to achieve net neutrality and protect consumers from discriminatory conduct. The letter explains why vigorous enforcement of our nation’s antitrust laws is a superior approach to promoting an open and free Internet, including the fact than an antitrust approach allows maximum flexibility and innovation in the marketplace rather than a one-size-fits-all government mandate.
In addition, Chairman Goodlatte issued the following comment in response to statements released today by President Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on net neutrality:
Chairman Goodlatte: “Today, President Obama called on the FCC to impose a decades-old regulatory structure on one of the most dynamic and competitive marketplaces in history, the Internet. This approach is of questionable legality and would significantly diminish innovation on the Internet, investment in its infrastructure and the judgment of the free market would be replaced with the decisions of a government regulator. In short, President Obama’s regulatory approach would leave consumers with fewer choices and higher prices, the antithesis of net neutrality.
“Regulations designed for old, monopolistic long-distance telephone lines would have disastrous results on the Internet. A better way to address issues of net neutrality is to turn to our nation’s time-tested antitrust laws. These laws have consistently demonstrated their ability to prevent discriminatory and anti-competitive conduct.
“I urge Chairman Wheeler to examine the history of the Internet and how the free market has enhanced its rapid growth, the record from the Judiciary Committee’s recent hearing on whether antitrust law or regulation is more effective at protecting consumers and innovation on the Internet, and reports from the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission—the two antitrust enforcement agencies—that vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws are the most efficient way to achieve an open and competitive Internet.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the following statement on President Obama’s intent to nominate Loretta Lynch as the next United States Attorney General.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Tomorrow President Obama intends to announce the nomination of Loretta Lynch, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as the next United States Attorney General. If the Senate approves her appointment, Ms. Lynch would assume the role of the nation’s top law enforcement officer, a responsibility that requires the highest levels of integrity, a commitment to enforcing our nation’s laws, and a dedication to protecting the American people from emerging national security threats. The current Attorney General, Eric Holder, has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of commitment to enforcing the laws, but more fundamentally, a lack of respect for the constitutional separation of powers. Should my colleagues in the Senate decide to confirm Ms. Lynch as the next Attorney General, I look forward to working collaboratively with her to fully enforce our laws and safeguard our national security.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below following the release of an internal State Department document outlining a proposal to transport non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for treatment.
Chairman Goodlatte: “It’s alarming that senior Obama Administration officials so vehemently denied the existence of any plans to transport non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for treatment when a leaked State Department document shows that such a proposal indeed exists and was approved by Obama Administration officials. The internal memo shows that this proposal was approved by several people at the State Department, and possibly even by the official leading the Ebola Coordination Unit at the agency. Unfortunately, this lack of transparency is just another example of the Obama Administration trying to hide its actions from the American people.
“Secretaries Kerry and Johnson still have not responded to my letter inquiring about this proposal. The Obama Administration must be forthcoming with both Congress and the American people about its proposed plans to bring non-U.S. citizens infected with this deadly disease to the United States for medical care.”
Last week, Chairman Goodlatte wrote a 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. The House Judiciary Committee has not yet received a response.Read More
2309 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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Today is National Adoption Day! Thank you to the many families in Virginia and across the nation who have given adopted children the greatest
Congratulations, Emily! An exciting honor to be invited to join this marching band and to perform in January.
Let’s play a game of President Obama vs. the Facts on immigration. (h/t U.S. House Judiciary Committee)
The President’s decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to unilaterally change our immigration laws ignores the will of the American
Throwback Thursday: “The notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order…that’s just not the case.” — President