Washington, D.C. - Today, the United States Senate passed U.S. Rep. Jason Smith’s (MO-08) bill to remove a federal restriction that prevents patients with kidney failure from accessing the high-quality, affordable health care coverage options they direly need, sending it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Smith’s bill H.R. 5659, the Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis (ESRD) Choice Act of 2016, was included in the larger health package, H.R. 34 the 21st Century Cures Act, that promotes innovation and advancements in technology, eliminates regulations that stifle competition, provides resources to combat the growing opioid epidemic, and ensures critical support for those struggling with mental health.
“This legislation came about after meeting and hearing from families in southeast and south central Missouri. For too long, some of the sickest Americans have been denied access to the quality health care that they desperately need. Patients suffering from kidney failure need better options when choosing the best health care services during their road to recovery and shouldn’t face restrictions from the federal government. I am excited to see my legislation make it to the President's desk and am eager to see how this medical innovation package ushers in new ways to treat patients around the country, especially patients suffering from kidney failure” Smith stated upon passage in the Senate.
The 21st Century Cures Act, is included in the package to improve the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration. Smith’s bill H.R. 5659, the ESRD Choice Act of 2016, removes the federal restriction so patients with kidney failure can enroll in Medicare Advantage—providing patients with more affordable, effective, and integrated health care. Smith introduced the ESRD Choice Act in July where it was then advanced by the Ways and Means Committee and then passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 423-0 in September. The 21st Century Cures Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week by a vote of 392-26 and today passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 94-5. Summaries for the 21st Century Cures Act and Smith’s ESRD Choice Act can be found here and here.
Over the last 8 years, the United States has lost credibility with its allies, failed to deter her enemies and seen the security of American families suffer in an increasingly dangerous world. More often than not the cause were actions or inactions taken by the Obama administration through their inability to stand with our friends or take a stand against regimes that want to inflict harm against the United States. As we close the chapter on the failure of President Obama’s last 8 years and ready for new leadership, there are already positive signs about the direction President Elect Trump will take our National Security.
His choice for CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, a Congressman and colleague of mine from Kansas has received strong bipartisan support because of his extensive defense background with real firsthand experience and knowledge of the issues and threats we are facing. Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point and even patrolled the Berlin Wall during his service. In Congress Pompeo serves on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Select Benghazi Committee; charged with uncovering the truth behind the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Libya.
President-elect Trump has also named Lt. General Michael Flynn to be his National Security Advisor and 4-Star General James Mattis to be the Secretary of Defense. These gentlemen have had distinguished military careers and been recognized for their intellect, strategic thinking, and experience with combat operations. Their knowledge and expertise will help guide the President-elect and our country as we prepare and plan to keep our citizens and soldiers safe both home and abroad, while always putting America first.
While Mr. Trump has recruited some of the best and brightest military minds to his administration he is also nominating very skilled diplomats, like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations. Haley will be responsible for working with our next Secretary of State to articulate American positions to our friends, to take strong lines against our enemies and will make providing for the security of American families a priority once again.
In addition to these strong appointments by the new Trump Administration, Congress passed legislation this week to improve our national security programs. The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, provides support for national security programs that are critical to protect our country at a time when we face the most significant threat level since 9/11. The legislation allows the National Counterterrorism Center to better track and report on the emergence and movements of any terrorist network and also increases scrutiny of activities of countries like Russia. Cyber warfare and secret cyber intelligence-gathering operations by the Russians pose a major threat to America, a danger that President Obama and his administration have failed to highlight.
With strong leaders like Mike Pompeo, Michael Flynn, James Mattis and Nikki Haley who are dedicated to America’s success, I am confident the United States will return to its place as world leader and become a safer place. I look forward to working with all of them to take strong stances against countries like North Korea and Iran and wipe groups like ISIS from the face of the earth. The last 8 years have taught us that trying to lead from behind is simply not leading at all and only allows others to chart a course we are destined to follow, fortunately it looks like we are on our way to putting America first once again.
Unity. That is what I reflected on this Thanksgiving. It is a true testament to the remarkable character of Americans that after a divisive Presidential campaign season, we can all respect our differences and come together for the good of our country and for our future generations.
Since his electoral victory to become our next President, Donald J Trump, true to his word, has focused on unifying Americans. Whether it’s sitting down and meeting with leaders of the Democrat Party, establishment Republicans or taking the time to hear from those most critical of him over the past 18 months – our next President has focused on the exact things our current President has failed over 8 years to ever do – developing relationships and building consensus to put America, not a political party first.
Unfortunately, the national liberal media, who we discovered colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign, remains obsessed with the fact that they haven’t been catered to every minute by our next President. They remain dedicated to their biased double standard and would have you believe the Trump transition is in a ‘chaotic state’ of sort. Unfortunately to their chagrin, our next President has spent more time charting a path for the future of our country, than doing the evening talk show circuit like our current Commander in Chief.
Truth be told, Donald Trump is ahead of where Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were at this point in their transitions into the White House. Even the former head of the liberal Obama campaign, David Axelrod has publicly condemned criticism of the Trump transition stating, “We hadn’t made any major announcements at this point in 2008, I don’t remember being criticized about it.”
In 2008, then President-Elect Obama had only named one Cabinet position by December 1st and still had multiple vacancies in his Cabinet at the start of January. President-Elect Bill Clinton didn’t even make his first Cabinet pick until December 10th! Since 1968, George H.W. Bush has been the only newly elected President to name any Cabinet level positions within the first 2 weeks of winning the Presidency and he had the ability to witness a Presidential administration as Vice-President for 8 years.
As our next President has had time to sit down and consult potential Cabinet Secretaries, what has emerged in his selections are some of the most qualified and skilled individuals to lead our country. The type of leaders who will reassert America’s rightful place in the world, who will stand with our allies, deter our enemies, and Make America Great Again here at home.
One of President-Elect Trump’s most recent selections of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education highlights our next President’s priority to move power out of Washington, away from bureaucrats, and back to the states and small town communities upon which this nation’s freedoms were founded. When I opposed the misleading Every Student Succeeds Act, I went against the Republican Party and our leaders, but I did so because I believed that it didn’t give enough control over our children’s education to the small towns and localities which know their children best. Education Secretary Nominee DeVos has stated that we should not have common core national standards and a one size fits all approach, she’s a reformer from outside Washington who supports local control. She is exactly the type of Education Secretary who will get Washington out of the lives and out of the classroom of every teacher and student across our nation and understands the purpose and potential of an education. Like Ben Carson said when he visited Sikeston, “what you do in the first 25 years of your life will lay the foundation for how hard or easy the next 50 years of your life will be.”
Donald Trump doesn’t owe anything to Washington insiders or party elite. He is accountable to the American people, that’s it, and that’s the way it should be. Donald Trump is a successful business leader who has spent his career surrounding himself with the best and brightest minds. He will continue to meet with Republicans, Democrats, economists, security experts, business leaders, military generals, farmers and hard working families to understand the right policies needed on day one to get our country moving forward again. I continue to be impressed and appreciative of the outreach and hard work of our next President – it’s a refreshing change from the government knows best approach of the last 8 years and a change overwhelmingly called for by the American people.Read More
The elections are over and we now know that Donald J Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. One of the key factors to his victory was a promise to stop the onslaught of Washington driven regulations and executive orders coming from the Obama White House which have crippled American farmers, families and business owners. However, with just under 62 days left in office, the Obama Administration is attempting to rush and complete high-cost, politically-driven regulations written by Washington bureaucrats bent on cementing this President’s legacy as one of the most liberal anti-business Administrations in our country’s history.
In a final attempt to implement his out of touch agenda, the exact thing the American people overwhelmingly rejected just last week, President Obama is attempting to use what are called “Midnight Rules” to usher through last minute federal regulations. During the final months of a presidential administration, the outgoing administration can achieve certain policy goals by practicing “midnight rulemaking” to create cumbersome and costly regulations that often go unchallenged by Congress. We expect over 50 potential midnight regulations could be rushed out, EACH of which could have an impact on the economy exceeding $100 million. But Congress has a message for the Obama Administration; NOT SO FAST Mr. President.
Since President Obama took office, nearly 3,000 new regulations have been finalized, costing more than $850 billion. Under the Obama Administration, the number of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations has grown to a whopping 175,268, resulting in 563 million hours of paperwork. In fact, during Obama’s first five years in office alone, federal agencies added 17,522 pages of regulations, averaging a staggering 3,504 per year. The worst part of this is how much these regulations are costing hardworking Americans across the country. On average, federal regulations under the Obama Administration cost $15,000 per American household every year.
Americans simply cannot afford anymore regulations – they are suffocating our economy. That is why I was proud to support legislation this week that will stop the Obama Administration from continuing to harm hardworking Americans. The Midnight Rules Relief Act, passed by the House of Representatives will prohibit the use of midnight rules, stopping President Obama’s last ditch efforts to fulfill floundering campaign promises. This bill amends the Congressional Review Act which has been in place since 1996, to allow Congress to disapprove multiple rules with one vote as opposed to only one rule at a time. The Congressional Review Act gives Congress 60 legislative days to review and override major regulations enacted by federal agencies of the outgoing administration. This act was passed 20 years ago and was used successfully by the Bush Administration in 2001 to dismantle the lame duck Clinton Administration from implementing the ergonomics rule proposed under Clinton’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that was projected to cost upwards of $123 billion per year. The Midnight Rules Relief Act will strengthen the Congressional Review Act and is an important tool at our disposal to continue to dismantle the Obama regulatory machine.
This is the type of regulation reform that America deserves and is what’s needed to help pave the way for President-Elect Trump who has pledged to do what is necessary in order to unleash American potential. Hardworking Missourians have grown fed up with out of control government bureaucracy and red tape. Farmers and business owners are now spending more time complying with regulations written by a bureaucrat who has never set foot on a farm or signed the front of a paycheck than tending to their land, growing their business or hiring American workers. When I met with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence this week, the top of his list was how the new administration is going to work to find real solutions to the most important issues facing hardworking Americans. The Obama Administration's top-down, big-government, Washington-knows-best approach to government over the past 8 years is finally coming to an end. I look forward to working with the incoming Trump Administration to put our country back on track by delivering meaningful solutions that actually address the real problems Americans are facing.
Throughout our country's history our veterans and the patriots before them answered the call of duty and have valiantly fought to make America a place where personal liberties are celebrated and the rights bestowed to us upon the Constitution are forever protected and preserved. Veterans Day is our chance to express gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform who thanklessly gave their time and often lives to protect a truly free nation.
This week I visited several schools in southern Missouri that held ceremonies in honor of Veterans Day including Bourbon High School, Sikeston High School and Senath High School. It was wonderful to see a current generation of young people honoring the veterans that have served so they can continue to enjoy the same protections, rights and freedoms of those who came before. I encouraged all of the young Missouri students I visited this week to continue to honor our nation’s heroes not just once a year on Veterans Day, but challenged them to find an opportunity throughout the year to give back to their communities and say thank you to the brave men and women who serve our country.
This Veterans Day we also need to remember and recognize the special acts of those in our communities who demonstrated bravery, exemplified service, and made us all proud, those like Tom Surdyke who tragically lost his life in June saving the life of another. I had the honor of nominating Tom to West Point in 2015 and sharing in his family’s celebration the day he earned his Eagle Scout. While on vacation on June 24th, 2016, Tom and another swimmer he’d just met on shore were caught in a riptide. Tom instinctively went to save the other young man, sacrificing his own life. He was buried at West Point on July 4th, 2016 on his 19th birthday and was given the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest non-combat valor award for saving the life of another. In June, I was lucky enough to honor another American hero, the now late Veteran Raymond Burbach, by presenting him with seven awards and accolades he earned during his service in the Korean War that were 60 years past due. Both Tom and Raymond will always be remembered as American heroes. Their dedication to a life of service and the instinct to put others first is what distinguishes our veteran patriots and heroes.
There is much we can do to honor our veterans not just on Veterans Day, but every day of the year by helping them transition successfully back to civilian life. Things like ensuring that veterans have access to adequate health care, including mental health, educational opportunities and good paying jobs when they return home.
For instance, when I heard from numerous veterans across southeast and south central Missouri that they wanted to see expanded care, service hours and options at VA facilities in Salem, I was proud to help by meeting with VA officials and securing additional hours and operations for the facility. Earlier this year, I was also able to play a role in supporting legislation which provided $176.9 billion in funding for the VA, including $52.8 billion in funding for VA medical services, which included mental health services, suicide prevention activities, long-term care services, funding for rural health initiatives and support services for caregivers of veterans and initiatives to fight homelessness among veterans and their families. This effort was an important reminder that our thanks shouldn’t just be for their active service, but in helping them transition.
There are over 55,000 veterans living in the 8th Congressional District of Missouri alone who deserve our gratitude for their service to our nation. There is much work still to be done to improve the lives of our veterans when they return home - let us make that our duty, our service, and our commitment to all of them, they deserve it.
For over 200 years American patriots have shed their blood to fight for independence, liberty, and a democratic process that puts more power into the hands of citizens than monarchs and tyrants. Our country's history is also marked with numerous physical and political battles to expand the right to vote to millions more deserved Americans.
Unfortunately today participation in elections in the U.S. is some of the lowest among developed countries. In fact, voter turnout has not surpassed 65% since 1948.
When comparing the U.S. to other developed countries we rank 31st among 35 in terms of voter participation in the democratic process. U.S. turnout in the 2012 presidential election was 53.6%, while Belgium, Turkey, and Sweden were all above 80%. Further, only about 65% of the U.S. voting-age population was registered in 2012, compared with 91% in Canada and the United Kingdom and nearly 99% in Japan.
Often getting to the polls becomes a choice between participating in the process and another must accomplish task of the day. While balancing the time commitment on election day can be difficult we find examples throughout the world where some risk their own safety to have their voices heard. Despite threats from the Taliban, Afghan women in 2014 turned out to vote risking their own lives to cast a vote in local and presidential elections. In Nepal, some voters walked hours to reach polling places because the election commission restricted the use of unregistered vehicles on the country’s roads on election day in 2013. Despite this inconvenience, voter turnout in Nepal was 65%.
Some choose not to vote because they feel their one vote doesn’t matter. However, when you look throughout American political history, we see otherwise. In 1960, the election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon was won by Kennedy but the difference was less than 120,000 votes nationally or 0.1%.
More recently the 2000 presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush was razor thin. The election, ultimately won by Bush, came down to a single state and a few hundred votes. Ultimately it was a mere 537 votes out of more than 5.9 million cast in Florida that decided the outcome of the election. Perhaps most famously though was the 1948 race between Harry S. Truman and Thomas Dewey which was so close that the Chicago Tribune printed newspapers with the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” and prompted one of the most famous pictures in U.S. history as President-elect Truman displayed the newspaper from the back of a train after being announced the eventual winner.
Casting our votes is our right as American, it's what separates our democracy from some of the most oppressive tyrannical regimes still present in today's world, and is something thousands of Americans throughout our history have fought to protect. American women fought a long battle to secure the right to vote. Many women who participated in the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the 1910’s, were often jailed for their peaceful protests and in jail were often tortured, beaten and forced to live in inhumane conditions. However, their efforts were not in vain after women gained the right to vote through the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Throughout the 1960’s, many states employed discriminatory voter suppression tactics to keep African-Americans from the polls. Thus the Civil Rights Movement began in which thousands of African-Americans protested for their right to vote, often being subjected to violence like the protest on “Bloody Sunday” where 500 activists marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama only to be met by police who attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas, all because they peacefully demanded the right to vote.
The feeling of freely casting your vote is something millions more around the world still do not know. On November 8th millions of Americans will cast our votes and exercise one of the most important rights bestowed to us because it preserves ALL other rights we are granted and sets the direction for our country, state and locality for years to come. This year the decision we make is a critical one about who we will be as a nation, our standing in the world, the safety of our communities, the quality of our healthcare, and unleashing our potential. For these reasons and for those who gave us this privilege I hope we can all find the time.
Rep. Jason Smith Helps Secure Additional Operations at Veterans Clinic in Salem
Smith meets with VA official, advances Veterans services at Salem VA
Poplar Bluff, MO- Yesterday, Congressman Jason Smith met with Poplar Bluff VA Medical Director Dr. Patricia Ten Haaf to discuss operations at the VA facilities in southeast and south central Missouri and to reiterate his full support of expanding veteran care services provided by the VA clinic in Salem. Located on the campus of Salem Memorial Hospital, the Salem VA clinic is currently open on a part time basis, seeing patients only two days a month.
“I have heard directly from numerous veterans in our area that they want to see expanded care, service hours and options at VA facilities in southeast and south central Missouri, specifically in Salem. I reiterated that point and my support in person today directly with Dr. Ten Haaf and I was very pleased that she agreed and confirmed for me that the Salem VA clinic will increase hours, days and staffing with a goal to cover five full days a week. I am very pleased by this development which will increase service and care options for our veterans right here in south central Missouri. Our nation’s veterans deserve the best, and today was an important step,” said Smith.
In addition to addressing these issues, Congressman Smith previously shared and delivered a petition with 5,700 signatures, many from veterans themselves, calling for the VA clinic in Salem to expand its hours and become a full-service, Community-Based Outreach Clinic.
“Veterans throughout the state deserve convenient access to local VA facilities and services and all veterans deserve access to quality health care no matter where they live.” Smith continued, “Since joining Congress, I have made it a top priority to fight for our nations veterans. These men and women have fought bravely for us and it is important that they receive the benefits they have earned through their service and sacrifice.”
Earlier this year Congressman Smith helped pass Military Construction and Veterans Affairs legislation which provided $176.9 billion in funding for the VA including $52.8 billion in funding for VA medical services. These services include: suicide prevention activities and mental health services, funding for rural health initiatives, long-term care services and support services for caregivers of veterans and initiatives to fight homelessness among veterans and their families. Congressman Smith also helped pass the VA Medical Center Recover Act which directs the VA to evaluate the ability of each VA medical center to provide quality health care to veterans and to ensure that the VA improves underperforming facilities.
Thousands of brave Americans have answered the call of duty to serve our country and protect us from terrorism. These brave soldiers fought tirelessly to defend our country in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the globe. I was appalled this week to learn along with millions of Americans that now some fifteen years later, many of these soldiers are being asked to repay enlistment bonuses doled out during the global war on terror.
In order to keep highly trained and desirable personnel in the service, the US military has long used incentives such as re-enlistment bonuses. In the early 2000’s the US military used re-enlistment bonuses and other incentives for thousands of National Guard Troops in California. In 2010, revelations about mismanagement by the California National Guard surfaced. Following these findings, nearly 10,000 soldiers who were given bonuses were ordered to repay them or face serious financial penalties such as wage garnishments and tax liens. That’s right, because of bureaucratic mismanagement, our country’s soldiers were being asked to make up for the mistakes of paper pushers.
It is clear that Military recruiters betrayed these soldiers, making promises they could not keep and offering incentives they were not authorized to give, but our nation’s heroes should not have to pay for the mistakes of military officials’ from over a decade ago. In May I helped pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to help correct this injustice by putting a stop to the military going after soldiers for mistakes like this that military personnel make. Simply put, our troops should not be punished for the mistakes made by the Department of Defense.
In 2007, President Obama made a promise to the American people to ‘ensure that our troops have the resources, support, and equipment they need to protect themselves and fulfill their mission’, but the reality today is that throughout his presidency he has consistently put military readiness and the interests of our troops on the back burner. In early September, a leaked Pentagon memo revealed the Obama Administration’s plan to veto this year’s National Defense Bill which would have ended the outrageous action of recouping 15 year old military payments. That same Defense Authorization Act included a much needed pay raise for our troops and $2.5 billion for necessary training and maintenance which are funding needs identified as critical by the military services.
Whether they are still on the battlefield or back home, we have a duty to take care of our soldiers. Just this week I met with VA officials to discuss the VA facilities in southeast and south central Missouri. I had previously shared with them the signatures of 5,700 Missourians seeking increased care and services for the veterans in our area and I reiterated my support for such in our meeting. I was pleased that during the meeting the VA confirmed they would expand services, options and care hours at a facility in south central Missouri. Additionally, later in the day the pentagon finally announced that they would no longer be trying to recoup the old bonus payments from our soldiers. While millions of American families are struggling to make ends meet, asking our military members to make repayments because of bureaucratic errors was not appropriate or fair.
With so many problems facing our country and our government it is embarrassing that going after payments to our soldiers was ever a priority. The Department of Defense owes it to the American people to be focused on eradicating entities like ISIS and staying vigilant against terror threats abroad and here at home. The White House should be less focused on vetoing legislation containing pay increases and resources for American troops and instead on how to mitigate the threats from countries like Iran and North Korea. It’s time your government put at the top of its responsibility list the safety and security of you and your family, not its own misguided agenda.Read More
The coming weeks will ultimately decide the future of the United States Supreme Court for decades to come. Our next President will have the opportunity to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia by exercising his or her most significant responsibility as expressly set forth in Article II of the United States Constitution. And the reality is, never has this decision mattered more.
Our next President will have the opportunity to choose a Supreme Court Justice either in the mold of Justice Scalia, who fiercely upheld the Constitution and the values our country was founded on, or they will choose to nominate a Supreme Court Justice that sides with liberal policy and judicial tyranny.
The Founders of our country intended that the Judicial branch would be the “least dangerous” branch of government, but over time the judiciary has morphed into a policymaking body that affects the everyday lives of all Americans. In recent years, the Supreme Court has issued decisions on contentious issues like religious liberty, the Second Amendment, and voter rights that have impacted every American family.
Our Constitution gives the Supreme Court a special role in our government and that is the power to declare if an act by Congress or the President is in violation of the the limits of powers given to each branch by the Constitution. The Supreme Court is intended to be a court of last resort, but the unconstitutional actions of the Obama Administration over the past eight years have resulted in the Supreme Court handing over 20 unanimous, nine to zero defeats on his Administration’s illegal and unconstitutional actions.
With a President like Barack Obama who has continually violated the Constitution, Congress and the Supreme Court have had to exercise the full extent of their power to stop the Obama Administration from abusing its power. Last April, I joined in filing an amicus brief against the Obama Administration after they attempted to bypass Congress and issue executive amnesty to five million illegal aliens against the will of the American people and Congress in U.S. v. Texas. In June, the Supreme Court handed down a tied 4-4 vote in U.S. v. Texas, effectively blocking President Obama’s attempt to bypass Congress and therefore returning the power to legislate back to its rightful place in Congress. I fear the outcome of that case had the balance of the court been disrupted otherwise. Just last month I joined in filing briefs with the Supreme Court in order to reverse a dangerous lower court ruling in the Gloucester County School Board v. GG case that allows unelected bureaucrats at the Department of Education to redefine the word “sex” to how a person feels about his or her “gender identity.” This case is yet to be heard, but it is expected to be considered before the Supreme Court in the near future and could potentially be a case that is decided with the new Supreme Court appointee.
It is unacceptable that Congress has had to file litigation against the President, but with a liberal Administration that continually ignores Article I of the Constitution that clearly states that only Congress has the power to write legislation not the president, Congress has had no other choice but to take these cases to the Supreme Court. The recent rulings by the Supreme Court against the unconstitutional actions of the Obama Administration demonstrates how important the role of the Supreme Court is as the ultimate protector of our Constitution.
One of the most important upcoming cases on the Supreme Court’s docket is Obama’s disastrous climate change regulations. The EPA’s Power Plan has serious implications for Missouri which gets 83% of its energy from coal power. Compliance with this disastrous new rule will cost the state of Missouri up to $6 billion dollars, is projected to cause double digit increases in electricity rates for taxpayers in 40 states, and will force the closure of coal plants in Missouri – costing us thousands of jobs. Obama’s climate change regulation was stayed by the Supreme Court in February where it was sent to the nation’s second most powerful court, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, for arguments. This case is expected to be brought back before the Supreme Court in 2018, where it will be tried in front of at least one new justice appointed by the new President.
There are several Supreme Court rulings related to the Second Amendment and religious liberty that are in danger of being overturned if a liberal Supreme Court Justice is appointed. These cases include District of Columbia v. Heller, a 2008 decision that ruled that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to use and keep a loaded handgun in one’s home for self-defense, and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a 2014 decision that protected the religious beliefs of businesses that were being forced by the government to provide abortion inducing drugs as part of their employee health plans.
We will be getting more than just a new president in a few weeks - but rather a shaping of how our Supreme Court will uphold and enforce our laws for years to come. As former President Ronald Reagan stated on the occasion of appointing the late Justice Scalia, a Supreme Court Justice “must not only be jurists of the highest competence; they must also be attentive to the rights specifically guaranteed in our Constitution and to the proper role of the courts in our democratic system.” During Obama’s presidency, 53 cases were decided by a 5-4 majority that included Justice Scalia. Justice Scalia demonstrated that one justice out of nine does have the power to tip the balance in the Supreme Court to determine how our laws will be upheld.Read More
For every instance of one fraudulent vote, a legitimate American voter is disenfranchised. As the Supreme Court of the United States recognized when it upheld the constitutionality of Indiana’s voter identification law in 2008, “… not only is the risk of voter fraud real but…it could affect the outcome of a close election.”
The right to vote is the most basic of civil rights and should not be stolen or mitigated as a result of fraudulent ballot box activities. Unfortunately, recent reports of voter fraud across the country and an unwillingness by this Administration to seek criminal charges against those threatening the integrity of our voting system is infringing upon this fundamental right. Opponents of measures to improve voting integrity claim that voter fraud is very rare and almost non-existent, but the influx of voter fraud reports across the country prove otherwise.
The FBI is currently investigating allegations of voter registration fraud in Virginia after officials say nearly 20 voter applications were submitted under the names of dead people. Investigators also found that in eight of Virginia’s 133 cities and counties, 1,046 illegal aliens were registered to vote and that since 2005 those aliens had voted over 300 times. Reports in Colorado claim that at least 78 dead people are registered to vote. The former Colorado Secretary of State identified almost 5,000 non-citizens in Colorado who voted in the 2010 election and estimates that over 12,000 non-citizens are currently registered to vote in that state. Just last week, the Public Interest Law Foundation discovered that there are thousands of foreign aliens registered to vote in Pennsylvania and Virginia because of lax voter ID laws and officials are currently investigating possible voter registration fraud in 57 counties in Indiana.
Missouri equally has its own marred track record of ineligible voter rolls, illegal ballots and vote tampering. After the 2000 elections it was discovered that 56,000 St Louis residents held more than one voter registration. In 2006 and 2008 the liberal left group ACORN was found to have submitted thousands of fraudulent voter registrations and false applications in the Kansas City and St Louis areas and in 2012 Missouri was lumped in with a dozen other states found to have a large number of ineligible voters on its rolls.
Instead of looking into these voter fraud cases across the country, the Obama Administration hasn’t filed a single lawsuit over the past eight years. No attempt has been made to demand that areas with reported voter fraud clean up their rolls or take corrective actions. According to a 2012 survey, one out of eight American voter registrations is inaccurate, a duplicate or out-of-date. It is estimated that 1.8 million registered voters are now dead and that approximately 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states. The Obama Administration has continued to ignore reports that estimate that 6.4% of non-citizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election and that 2.2% voted in the 2010 midterm Congressional elections.
It is illegal for people who aren’t American citizens to vote, we can start to clean things up by enforcing those laws and by going after those who attack the integrity of our elections by enrolling fraudulent voters and cast illegitimate ballots. It is our fundamental right as Americans to vote and by allowing voter fraud to occur across the country, we are undermining just how important it is to have the right to vote. We need a voting system across the country that people can trust in. The right to a fair election is one of the cornerstones of our republic and we owe it to the millions of Americans who will cast a vote this November to uphold its honor.
1118 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Jason Smith is a seventh-generation Missourian, a citizen-legislator, and a champion for the rights and values of rural Missourians.
Jason was raised in Salem, Missouri, where he still owns the same family farm that was started by his great grandfather. He attended Salem High School, where he was an active member of FFA. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, Jason earned degrees in Agricultural Economics and Business Administration. After receiving degrees from both programs in three years, he attended law school at Oklahoma City University before returning home to serve his community. Back home in Missouri Jason began running the family farm and practicing law. It was during this time that he recognized the harm that the overbearing 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 General Assembly in a special election in 2005.
In the General Assembly, Jason fought to shrink the size of state government, eliminate burdensome rules and regulations, increase government transparency, protect property rights, require drug testing for welfare recipients, and defend Missouri agriculture. Thanks to his efforts, Jason’s colleagues selected him to serve in leadership: first as the Majority Whip and then 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. He was re-elected in November 2014.
As a member of the 114th Congress, Jason serves on the Ways and Means Committee. In Washington Jason has made a name for himself as a strong defender of rural Missouri and all of rural America. Jason is committed to fighting intrusive government regulations, increasing markets for farmers and ranchers, and protecting his constituents’ rural way of life.
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, pro-life and supports traditional values.
Jason attends Grace Community Church in Salem.
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Great speaking at the MVFCA meeting today. Looking forward to working with them to pursue Trump's "America's Infras… https://t.co/lK4earIVlu
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NEWS: My effort to give those suffering from kidney disease healthcare options is headed to the President's desk https://t.co/ZBDaFQ8n42
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