Jason Smith

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

Congressman Jason Smith Votes to Expand Veterans’ Access to Healthcare

2014/07/30

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) voted in support of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation makes much needed reforms to the VA healthcare system. The legislation passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 420-5 and is now headed to the United States Senate where it is expected to receive broad bipartisan support. “Our veterans deserve the best care possible. No veteran should be forced to wait months to see a doctor or have to drive hundreds of miles for care. Thanks to the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, servicemembers will see doctors faster and if they live more than 40 miles from a VA clinic they will have the option to see a private healthcare provider,” said Smith. “Many of the problems within the VA are a result of zero accountability. This legislation will provide real consequences for incompetent employees and will make it much easier to fire people who do not have veterans best interests in mind.” Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 Background Information: Requires VA to offer an authorization to receive non-VA care to any veteran who is enrolled in the VA health care system as of August 1, 2014, or who is a newly discharged combat veteran if such veteran is unable to secure an appointment at a VA medical facility within 30 days or resides more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility, with certain exceptions. Require VA to provide a Veterans Choice Card to eligible veterans to facilitate care provided by non-VA providers. Provide $10 billion for the newly-established “Veterans Choice Fund” to cover the costs of this increased access to non-VA care. Choice program authority would end when funds are exhausted or three years after enactment, whichever occurs first. Require an independent assessment of VA medical care and establish a Congressional Commission on Care to evaluate access to care throughout the VA health care system. To expand VA’s internal capacity to provide timely care to veterans, the bill would: Provide $5 billion to VA to increase access to care through the hiring of physicians and other medical staff and by improving VA’s physical infrastructure. Authorize 27 major medical facility leases in 18 states and Puerto Rico. To provide real accountability for incompetent or corrupt senior managers, the bill would: Authorize VA to fire or demote Senior Executive Service (SES) employees and Title 38 SES equivalent employees for poor performance or misconduct. Provide an expedited and limited appeal process for employees disciplined under this authority. Appeals would go to a Merit Systems Protection Board administrative judge, who would have 21 days to decide on the appeal. If a decision is not reached within that 21-day period, then VA’s decision to remove or demote the executive is final. Prohibit SES employees from receiving pay, bonuses and benefits during the appeal process. Reduce funding for bonuses available to VA employees by $40 million each year through FY 2024. To improve education benefits for veterans and dependents, the bill would: Require public colleges to provide in-state tuition to veterans and eligible dependents in order for the school to remain eligible to receive G.I. Bill education payments. Expand the Sgt. Fry Scholarship Program to provide full Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to spouses of servicemembers who died in the line of duty after 9/11. ### Read More

Capitol Report: The Bureaucratic VA Needs Real Reform

2014/07/25

Forty-five years after American innovation sent man to the moon, the VA is still processing claims on paper. The Department of Veterans Affairs was created in 1930 and has been reluctant to accept technological and administrative advancements throughout its 84 year history. The result is a backlog that makes the process of seeing a doctor a troublesome or sometimes unnavigable task for our veterans. I am committed to assisting veterans in Southeast and South-Central Missouri who truly deserve a VA that is working for them. The failings of the antiquated VA have had real and serious consequences for far too long. Wait times of more than three months for the patriots who defend our freedoms is absolutely unacceptable. Once our veterans return home, they should never have to worry about receiving the benefits they have earned. The VA suffers from not only outdated technology, but also burdensome bureaucracy and is overdue for an upgrade. The men and women who have made sacrifices for our freedoms deserve our immediate action. The House has moved on three key pieces of legislation to deliver relief to our veterans. I cosponsored and voted for H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act and H.R. 4810, the Veteran Access to Care Act. H.R. 4031 gives the Secretary of the VA the authority to hold executives accountable for their failings. H.R. 4810 provides non-VA medical care to veterans who have experienced unacceptable wait times or have to drive more than 40 miles to a VA medical facility. These bills passed in the House, but are still waiting in conference for Senate approval. I have also cosponsored H.R. 5131, the Act Now for Veterans Act. H.R. 5131 requires the VA to cover private care for Veterans that have to wait more than 30 days from their requested appointment with a VA provider. Our service members put so much on hold while serving our country. When they return, they shouldn’t experience arduous delays. It is important that we recognize unreasonable burdens such as long waits and eliminate these barriers for our veterans. These bills would make targeted and real changes to the VA system, but they cannot be implemented until they are passed by the Senate and sworn into law. Any institution that has been resistant to improvement for 84 years cannot efficiently or effectively help those who rely on its services. The medical needs of our veterans are urgent, and it is our duty to expedite improvements. Our veterans will always come first and I am committed to ensuring they have access to prompt and reliable healthcare services. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Visit to SEMO Food Bank Highlights America Gives More Act

2014/07/18

Congressman Jason Smith visited the SEMO Food Bank in Sikeston to highlight his support for the America Gives More Act. Pictured from left to right are SEMO Food Bank employee Missy Rice, Smith, and SEMO Food Bank CEO Karen Green. WASHINGTON – On Friday, July 18, 2014, Congressman Jason Smith visited the Southeast Missouri Food Bank in Sikeston to highlight his support of H.R. 4719, the America Gives More Act. The legislation will make permanent a provision to allow pass-through businesses, such as partnerships and S corporations, to claim an enhanced deduction for donations of food inventory. The provision expired at the end of 2013. Smith voted in favor of H.R. 4719 and the bill passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 277-130. “The SEMO Food Bank and other food banks across our congressional district provide a real service. The America Gives More Act will be a big boost to area food banks by allowing private businesses to make tax-deductible donations to help their local communities,” said Smith. “The entire team at the SEMO Food Bank is truly committed to serving those in need. I appreciate their hospitality today and I look forward to continue working with them.” Karen Green, Chief Executive Officer, Southeast Missouri Food Bank, welcomed Smith’s visit. “It was such a pleasure to host Congressman Jason Smith at the Southeast Missouri Food Bank this morning.  We had the opportunity to not only show him our facility but also highlight our many programs and showcase the impact they have on hunger across our region.  We are grateful for his support of the America Gives More Act and we look forward to future collaboration with Congressman Smith,” said Green. H.R. 4719, the America Gives More Act Background: H.R. 4719 will revive, modify and make permanent a provision that allowed pass-through businesses, such as partnerships and S corporations, to claim an enhanced deduction for donations of food inventory, limited to 10 percent of income. The provision expired at the end of 2013. C corporations receive similar treatment on a permanent basis.   Pass-through businesses aren’t taxed at the business level; instead, income and losses are “passed through” to investors, who pay taxes at the individual level.   The bill would increase the enhanced deduction so that it is limited to 15 percent of a taxpayer’s income, for both C corporations and pass-through businesses, instead of 10 percent.   For purposes of computing the deduction, the bill also would allow taxpayers to treat the cost basis of the food donated as equal to 25 percent of the fair market value of the food. ### Read More

Capitol Report: 2014 Can Still be “A Year of Action”

2014/07/18

During his State of the Union speech in January, President Obama said he hoped 2014 could be “a year of action.” Six months have passed since the President issued his challenge, but leaders in the Senate are still refusing to even hold a vote on common sense bills passed by the House. National news personalities like to refer to Congress as a “do-nothing” body. The truth is, Senate leaders have refused to take up 148 of the 189 bills the House has passed. These are bills that would ease burdensome regulations on small businesses and families, establish America’s energy independence and stop ObamaCare. Like you, I am concerned about federal regulations imposed by the Obama Administration. In the House of Representatives, I am calling for increased accountability. H.R. 367, known as the REINS Act, requires Congressional approval for “major rules” imposed by the Washington bureaucrats. Unworkable rules and regulations should not be forced on individuals, families and businesses. America was founded on a system of checks and balances and Congress must be given the power to do so. We are blessed to have tremendous natural resources right here in North America. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and leaders in the Senate refuse to expand American energy production. The House passed H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act to expand U.S. offshore production. This legislation would give private industry the ability to create over one million new American jobs, lower energy prices, grow our economy and strengthen national security. The bill removes federal government barriers that block production of our own U.S. energy resources. If leaders in the Senate are serious about jobs, lower gas prices, a stronger economy and less reliance on the Middle East to meet our energy needs, they will pass the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act. Finally, the House of Representatives has voted over 40 times to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law. From the beginning, opposition to ObamaCare has been strong and bipartisan. The law is keeping small businesses from growing and is causing monthly premiums to skyrocket for families who are struggling to make ends meet. The House of Representatives is committed to ending the harmful effects of ObamaCare and replacing the mandate with free-market centered ideas that will actually make healthcare affordable and accessible. Washington bureaucrats should never come between doctors and patients. The House of Representatives has passed legislation to reign in intrusive government regulations, expand energy production, and end ObamaCare. Leaders in the Senate still have the opportunity to make 2014 a year of action by passing these bills. I urge Harry Reid and other Senate leaders to act. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith: House E&W Appropriations Bill Strips “Waters of the U.S.” Funding

2014/07/11

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) announced that his provision to prohibit any federal funds from being used by the Corps of Engineers to enforce the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Waters of the United States” rule was included in the legislation that passed the House. The proposed new regulations would potentially allow the EPA to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has flow during rainfall. The rule is too broad and could be interpreted to expand the EPA’s reach to cover all ponds, puddles, temporary or small wetlands, irrigation ditches or similar collections of water. Smith has called the proposal an overreach of federal authority that would have a harmful impact on rural America. “The ‘Waters of the United States’ proposal would give Washington bureaucrats the power to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has water flow during rainfall. The House of Representatives passed the appropriations bill with my provision to prevent the rule from being enforced. Now the fight will continue in the Unites States Senate. Our Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power of the purse strings. If the EPA continues its war on rural America, I will keep using every possible avenue to protect rural Missouri,” said Smith. Smith explained how the “Water of the United States” proposal would have a negative impact on Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District. “The driving force of our economy in South-Central and Southeast Missouri is agriculture. We grow every major crop in our district other than sugar and citrus fruits. Our farmers and ranchers raise nearly every kind of livestock including beef and dairy cattle, pigs, chickens and even specialty livestock like bison. The ‘Waters of the United States’ proposal would force farmers who use fertilizers and pesticides to jump through needless and costly regulatory hoops. Livestock farmers could be forced to put a buffer zone between their animals and any body of water,” said Smith. Smith’s provision is included in sec. 106 (p. 10 lines 20-25, p. 11 lines 1-6) in the second attachment of the FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. Click HERE to see Smith’s request to strip funding of the “Water of the United States” proposal in the FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Urges Opening of Fremont Post Office

2014/07/11

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) sent a letter to United States Postal Service (USPS) officials asking for the Fremont, Missouri Post Office to be reopened as soon as possible. The facility has been closed since flood waters damaged the town at the end June. “In an effort to help the residents of Fremont recover from these tragic circumstances, I ask that the USPS facility be reopened as soon as possible and all services that were in place prior to the flood be resumed. Post offices in communities like Fremont are pillars of the community. When towns are shaken by disaster daily life is disrupted. Opening of the USPS facility will serve as a sign of hope for Fremont residents,” Smith said in a letter to USPS officials. Smith also requested that the Postal Service provide a timeline and plan for reopening the Fremont facility. Click HERE to see the letter Congressman Smith sent to USPS concerning the Fremont Post Office. ### Read More

Capitol Report: EPA Wants to Regulate Waters of the U.S.

2014/07/11

This week the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency spent two days in Missouri pushing the agency’s latest attempt to regulate our rural way of life. In the last few years the EPA has attempted to regulate everything from how we meet our energy needs to prohibiting young people from working on the family farm. Just when I thought the EPA could not get any more extreme, now they are trying to place new intrusive and ineffective rules on every body of water in the United States. In April, the EPA announced it would attempt to expand the regulatory reach of the Clean Water Act through a new “Waters of the United States” plan. The proposed new rule would give Washington bureaucrats the power to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has water flow during rainfall. The rule could be viewed in a way that would expand the EPA’s reach to cover all ponds, puddles, temporary or small wetlands, irrigation ditches or similar collections of water. While the proposed rule would impact every American, it would have a particularly devastating impact on rural communities. The driving force of our economy in South-Central and Southeast Missouri is agriculture. We grow every major crop in our district other than sugar and citrus fruits. Our farmers and ranchers raise nearly every kind of livestock including beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, chickens and even specialty livestock like bison. The EPA’s “Waters of the United States” proposal would force farmers who use fertilizers and pesticides to jump through needless and costly regulatory hoops. Livestock farmers could be forced to put a buffer zone between their animals and any body of water. In an effort to fight the invasive “Waters of the United States” proposal, I had a provision included in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill that would ban funds from being used to enact the new rule. The House of Representatives passed the appropriations bill with my provision and now the fight will continue in the Unites States Senate. Our Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power of the purse strings. If the EPA continues its war on rural America, I will keep using every possible avenue to protect rural Missouri. As the administrator of the EPA spent a few days in the Show-Me State this week, I hope she spent time listening to the folks who will be impacted by the agency’s regulations. Too often bureaucrats in Washington draft new rules without understanding or appreciating the impact they will have on rural America. As your voice in the House of Representatives, I will continue fighting the “Waters of the United States” proposal and all other Washington regulations that would harm our rural way of life. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith: EPA Administrator Should Listen to Missourians

2014/07/09

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) called on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to listen to the concerns of farm families during her two-day visit to the Show-Me-State. McCarthy is in Missouri Wednesday and Thursday to push proposed new regulations that would expand her agency’s reach into the lives of every American. The proposed new regulations, known as the “Waters of the United States” would potentially allow the EPA to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has flow during rainfall. The rule would expand the EPA’s reach to cover every pond, puddle, temporary and small wetlands, irrigation ditches or similar collection of water. Smith has called the proposal an overreach of federal authority. “Administrator McCarthy should hear the concerns of Missouri farmers and ranchers. My constituents have told me the ‘Waters of the United States’ proposal is a gross overreach of federal power that would hurt Missouri’s rural economy and force farmers and ranchers to jump through costly and needless regulatory hoops,” said Smith. “The EPA has declared war on rural America. The ‘Waters of the United States’ is just the latest assault on farmers and ranchers across rural America. These Washington bureaucrats do not understand and do not appreciate our rural way of life. I plan to work with my constituents to fight this intrusive and ineffective proposal.” Smith is encouraging his constituents to submit public comments to the EPA and voice their concerns with the proposed “Waters of the United States.” Comments can by submitted online, by email or by regular mail. The deadline to submit comments is October 20, 2014. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Then follow the instructions to submit comments.   Email: ow-docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880 in the subject line of the message.   Mail: Send an original and three copies of your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith: Missouri DNR Should Not Be Proxy for EPA

2014/07/07

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) expressed his concerns over the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) “Nonpoint Source Management Plan” and interactions with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Waters of the United States” rule. Smith has voiced sharp criticism over the EPA rule change that could give the federal agency control over every pond, gully, dry creek bed, irrigation ditch, puddle or other similar collection of water. Now Smith is concerned that Missouri DNR is becoming a proxy for the EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule by setting new state regulations with the “Nonpoint Source Management Plan.” In the letter to Missouri DNR Director Sarah Parker Pauley, Smith expressed his concerns with the “Nonpoint Source Management Plan.” “I write to you today to express my concerns regarding the interaction between the EPA’s recently proposed “Waters of the United States” rule and the Missouri DNR’s “Nonpoint Source Management Plan.” My opposition to the new EPA rule has been up-front and public. I think the rule is misguided, poorly drafted and a blatant attempt to extend authority of the EPA into areas where is has not be previously. Any regulations created by the State of Missouri pursuant to the Clean Water Act should be crafted as if this regulation were not pending, to protect Missouri’s citizens from the EPA’s attempts to erode private property rights.” Click HERE to read Smith’s full letter to Missouri DNR. Smith also cautioned Missouri DNR from simply acting as a proxy for the EPA. “I also write today in the hope that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is not simply issuing this “Nonpoint Source Management Plan” as a proxy of the EPA. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is much better situated to deal with Missouri waters that the Environmental Protection Agency – I urge your agency to reject the EPA’s proposed “Waters of the United States” rule and instead focus on protecting the private property rights of Missourians.” ### Read More

Capitol Report: Remembering Those Who Declared Independence

2014/07/03

Independence Day is marked with fireworks, BBQ and family gatherings. More often than not we forget about the significance of the day and the brave Americans who put their lives on the line to establish our nation.  Fifty six men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The most famous, and largest signature belongs to John Hancock who served as President of the Continental Congress. The youngest signer was Edward Rutlege at the age of just 26. Benjamin Franklin, the oldest signer, was 70 years old. Future Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson also signed the Declaration.  Before our independence was declared in 1776, the American colonists were treated as British subjects. They paid taxes and had fines levied against them. Although the colonists paid taxes, they did not have representatives in the British Parliament in London. Soon, the battle cry across the thirteen colonies became “no taxation without representation.” Declaring independence from the most powerful nation on the planet was no small task for early Americans. The 56 men who signed the Declaration put themselves and their families in great danger. It is important to remember that the colonists were considered British subjects and went to war with their own government. For signing the Declaration, some men were captured by the British and tortured. Some had their homes and businesses burned and still others died fighting in the Revolutionary War. Too often we take for granted the sacrifices made by the colonial revolutionists who established the United States of America.  Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, many more patriots have come forward to defend our democracy. We should always recognize and honor the sacrifice our men and women in uniform make each day. Additionally, other Americans have served our nation at home as teachers, police and fire fighters, church and community volunteers. Our nation’s greatest strength has always been the character of its citizens. This Independence Day, let us remember the sacrifices made by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. As Americans, we live in the greatest nation on the planet as a result of their determination. It remains the challenge of each new generation of Americans to renew our commitment to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Happy Fourth of July! Read More

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Contact Information

2230 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4404
Fax 202-22
jasonsmith.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Judiciary

Natural Resources

Jason Smith is a seventh-generation Missourian, a citizen-legislator, and a champion for the rights and values of farmers and rural Missourians.

Jason was raised in Salem, Missouri where he still runs the same family farm that was started by his great grandfather. He attended Salem High School, where he was an active member of FFA, and the University of Missouri – Columbia to pursue a double major in Agricultural Economics and Business Administration.

After receiving degrees from both programs in three years, he attended law school in Oklahoma before returning home to serve his community. Back home in Dent County, he began running the family farm and practicing law. It was during this time that he recognized the harm that the over-bearing government was inflicting on Missourians and our economy. This inspired Jason to run for office himself so he could begin to undo the damage.

Jason was elected to the Missouri House in a special election in 2005.

In the General Assembly, he has fought to shrink the size of state government, eliminate burdensome rules and regulations, increase government transparency, protect property rights, implement the castle doctrine, require drug testing for welfare recipients, and defend Missouri agriculture.

Thanks to his efforts, his colleagues selected him to serve in leadership: first at the Majority Whip and more recently as Speaker Pro Tem—one of the youngest in state history.

During a Special Election in June of 2013, Jason was elected to represent Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. As a member of the 113th Congress, Jason serves on the House Judiciary Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

Jason has earned 100% ratings from the American Conservative Union and the Chamber of Commerce, he is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and, as the son of a pastor, he is proudly pro-life and supports traditional values.

Jason attends Grace Community Church in Salem where he volunteered as a Sunday school teacher for their church’s youth.


Serving With

Ann Wagner

MISSOURI's 2nd DISTRICT

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Sam Graves

MISSOURI's 6th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

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