Jason Smith

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

Capitol Report: Tough Conservative Decisions

2014/12/12

This week I made one of the most difficult votes of my career. I voted for an omnibus funding bill that includes a continuing resolution. The bill makes major cuts that reflect our rural values and prepares the way for a fight with President Obama over his planned illegal amnesty order.  I voted for this bill because it was the most conservative option in front of me.  It puts Congress in the best position to fight President Obama on amnesty next session, with a new Republican majority in the Senate, and it significantly cuts the agencies that have led President Obama's war on rural America: the IRS and the EPA. This "CRomnibus" funds all of the government except for the Department of Homeland Security until September of 2015 – Homeland Security is only funded through February 27th. President Obama is counting on Homeland Security to help him carry out his planned executive amnesty.  By forcing Congress and the president to re-visit Homeland Security funding early next year, we will put President Obama in the challenging position of accepting our conservative principles on immigration or vetoing funding for Homeland Security. It is important that we take this approach because, at the time of this writing, President Obama has not yet issued an executive order on immigration; he has just written memos and made public statements. He is certainly preparing to take further action, and when he does, we will be able to fight it with a larger majority in the US House and the majority in the US Senate. I, along with my staff, read through the entire bill before I voted on it, and there are many provisions that make this a conservative vote. First, the bill stops an automatic pay increase for members of Congress and blocks a pay raise for the Vice President and senior political appointees. Next, it reins in the IRS. The IRS under this administration has been out of control. Whether it was lavish trips funded by tax payers, targeting conservative groups, or Lois Lerner's missing emails, the IRS needs serious oversight and that's what this bill does.  It slashes funding by hundreds of millions of dollars and puts the IRS on notice that its actions will not be allowed to continue in the next Congress. The bill also slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and makes it less likely we'll have EPA inspectors show up at our farms and in our businesses. This legislation cuts the EPA by $60 million. This is Congress's fifth consecutive year cutting EPA funds, and the agency has now been slashed over 20 percent. Over 2,000 positions will be eliminated at the EPA, and the EPA will be staffed at the lowest level since 1989. It fights back against environmentalists by placing limits on which new animals can be placed on the Endangered Species Act.  It also doesn't allow the Bureau of Land Management to create any new Wilderness Areas without approval from Congress. There are also significant protections in the bill for private property rights. The Army Corps of Engineers will be restricted from regulating farm ponds and irrigation ditches, the EPA will be restricted from regulating gas emissions from livestock, and the National Park Service will have to follow my language that requires them to give more weight to public comments from local communities and businesses on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The PILT program – or payments in lieu of taxes – that reimburses counties and local governments for federal land in their jurisdiction is also fully funded. This bill protects our constitutional rights. It helps stop the NSA from snooping on Americans’ personal communications. It ensures that federal funds are not spent to provide abortions on demand in the District of Columbia, or for federal prisoners, and requires Obamacare plans to disclose whether they cover abortion services, so that individuals can choose plans that don't cover abortion. Our right to keep and bear arms is protected by preventing federal funds from being spent on anti-gun lobbying and the UN Arms Control Treaty and also preventing the EPA from restricting the lead content in ammunition and fishing tackle. While this bill isn’t perfect, it still reflects many of the priorities of rural America and strengthens conservatives to come back in January in a more powerful position to challenge the president’s unconstitutional actions.   ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Votes to Improve Veterans Affairs Treatment of PTSD

2014/12/10

WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed a bipartisan bill to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs response and treatment to wounded warriors with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. H.R. 5059, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, will help prevent veteran suicides which occur at twice the rate of the civilian population. It provides more access to mental health care for veterans and improves recruitment of mental health professionals to cut wait times. “The men and women of our military have enough to worry about when they are deployed, they should never have to worry about their health care when they return,” said Congressman Jason Smith. “These men and women have often served multiple tours of duty spending years away from home. This legislation is one building block to help our returning veterans get the care they deserve.” The bill is named in honor of Marine Cpl. Clay Hunt, a Purple Heart recipient who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cpl. Hunt was diagnosed with PTSD and worked to increase awareness about depression. Tragically, Cpl. Hunt took his own life in 2011 at just 28 years old after delays in receiving mental health care through the VA. This bill is part of an ongoing effort to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs and improve the care our veterans receive.   ### Read More

Capitol Report: Ending Washington’s Spending Addiction

2014/12/05

In case you missed it, last week our national debt surpassed $18 trillion. When I am home in Missouri, I constantly hear from parents and grandparents who are worried that their children and grandchildren will not be able to live the American dream because our national debt will cripple our economy for generations. This new record debt should be a wakeup call – now is the time to reduce the size and scope of the federal government and end Washington’s spending addiction. After years of spending money that we do not have, our nation’s economy is stagnant. If nothing is done, our nation’s debt crisis threatens the future prosperity of every American. In the six years President Obama has been in office, the debt has increased by more than $7 trillion, or about 70 percent. If you stacked every dollar bill of the national debt, the stack of bills would be more than one million miles high. At over $18 trillion, each American’s share of the national debt is more than $56,000. Our tax dollars have been wasted on numerous programs studying the effects of Swedish massages for rabbits, determining if spouses feel “hangry” (anger stemming from hunger), or if moms love their dogs as much as they love their kids. The Pentagon spent $1 billion to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition. Three billion went to test how golf clubs and tadpole shrimp adapt on the International Space Station. These are just a few examples of the rampant widespread waste, to say nothing of the fraud and abuse in entitlement programs. This wasteful spending has bad economic consequences – higher cost of living, higher interest rates for farm loans and small business investments, and higher taxes for everyone. Washington has spent a lot of money on government bureaucracy in an attempt to create jobs. It didn’t work. In fact, the government spending spree led by President Obama has resulted in the longest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression and the slowest recovery in a generation. I am committed to job growth and that starts with an end to deficit spending and a plan to pay down the national debt. Our economy’s road to recovery will not be paved with massive national debt and more deficit spending. We will enjoy prosperity by permanently and responsibly reining in federal spending and paying down our national debt. Our Missouri Constitution has a balanced budget amendment that guarantees fiscal responsibility. The first bill I filed as a member of Congress was a federal balanced budget amendment, because if Washington was more like Missouri we would be a lot better off.    ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Votes to Fight President’s Power Grab

2014/12/04

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith voted in favor of H.R. 5759, the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 219-197-3. The bill blocks the president from using executive orders to postpone deportation of illegal aliens. Congressman Jason Smith took to the House floor earlier today to speak about the president’s executive overreach. The video of the congressman’s remarks is attached and may also be viewed on his YouTube Channel here. Transcript: “On March 28, 2011, President Obama said he would not use an executive order for amnesty explaining that – and again I quote – “temporary protective status, historically, has been used for special circumstances.” Those are his words. More than 20 times, the president said executive action on immigration would not be appropriate. Nothing has changed in our Constitution, but now the administration is now singing a different tune. “Mr. Speaker, I’m from the Show-Me State. I would love for any of my colleagues in this body to show me in this document, the Constitution of the United States, where it grants the president the authority to change the laws. “Article I of the Constitution says Congress will change the laws, not the president. The president will execute the laws – faithfully execute the laws. Mr. Speaker, I proudly support this legislation and I ask my colleagues to do so, to stop this action. “I yield back.” Congressman Smith also said, “President Obama said last week that he acted to “change the law” on immigration, granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. The president should not change the law. In fact, Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”   ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Statement on the Proposed EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule

2014/12/02

WASHINGTON –After submitting comments yesterday to the Environmental Protection Agency challenging a proposed rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, Congressman Jason Smith (R-Salem, MO) issued the following statement: “This rule could mean crippling price increases for electricity and a destabilization of our nation’s power grid,” said Congressman Smith.  “More than being just another ill-conceived regulation that industry leaders oppose, this is an unprecedented expansion of the EPA’s rulemaking authority, and I am adamantly opposed to it.” Congressman Smith continued, “The House has passed bills to nullify, delay, defund, and cancel these regulations. Only Congress should make these significant policy changes, and this is another example of the Obama administration’s ongoing executive overreach.” Missouri’s 8th Congressional District receives over 84 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants. A recent study by Energy Ventures Analysis found “the typical household’s annual electricity and natural gas bills would increase by $680, or 35 percent, from 2012 compared to 2020, escalating each year thereafter as EPA regulations grow more stringent.” The congressman’s entire letter to the EPA can be found on his website here. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Kicks Off Canned Food Drive

2014/12/01

Washington – Today, Congressman Jason Smith kicks off a holiday canned food drive to benefit local charities. Each district office is collecting non-perishable food items for those in need from December 1st through December 18th. “The folks of this district embody the best of America when it comes to helping each other through tough times,” said Congressman Jason Smith. “As we thank God for our blessings and spend time with friends and family this Christmas season, let’s also set aside time to help our neighbors.” The Cape Girardeau office (2502 Tanner Drive, Suite 205, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703) will be collecting canned goods Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Farmington office (22 East Columbia Street, Farmington, MO 63640) will be collecting canned goods Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Rolla office (830A S. Bishop, Rolla, MO 65401) will be collecting canned goods Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The West Plains office (35 Court Square, Suite 300, West Plains, MO 65775) will be collecting canned goods Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith: New Proposed EPA Rule is War On Rural America

2014/12/01

WASHINGTON –Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-Salem, MO) was appalled by the president’s new draft EPA rule which would tighten National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone from the current 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 parts per billion and threaten jobs. The EPA is even taking comments on possibly reducing the level to 60 parts per billion. This is yet another EPA overreach that is being undertaken despite congressional opposition. “This catastrophic EPA regulation is another example of the war on rural America, threatening good-paying manufacturing jobs in my district and across the country.” said Congressman Smith. “Three years ago the president delayed changing ozone regulations because it would hurt businesses, but now that the president doesn’t have another election, he doesn’t seem to care how businesses or rural America will fare.” Three years ago President Obama delayed a change in the regulation citing ‘the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty,’ and when the EPA considered tightening the same air standards in 2010, the estimated costs in Missouri were $1.9 billion per year. “Everywhere I travel in the district I continue to hear about how the EPA is harming individuals and getting in the way of economic growth and job creation,” continued Congressman Smith. “The Center for Regulatory Solutions is calling this the most expensive regulation in U.S. history – when combined with the coal power plant rules and the “Waters of the United States” rule, the burdens placed on our businesses are going to shut folks down. Regulating business out of existence is not the way to turn this economy around.” Congressman Smith has long been vocal about how detrimental this would be to the area, hosting round tables and community meetings throughout the district with co-ops, municipal utility boards, civic leaders, business owners, and manufacturers. They’ve said in no uncertain terms that this rule will force them to lay off employees. The Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission, which runs air quality monitoring stations in Bonne Terre and Farrar, Missouri, has said the area would not be able to meet those levels. According to recent studies, all 30 counties in our 8th Congressional District are likely to be out of compliance with a 60 parts per billion restriction. This includes the national forest land and national parks. In Missouri, over 80% of the state’s electricity is created by coal-fired power plants making electricity much more affordable, and reliable. This is the primary reason Missouri is a leading manufacturing state. Rules like the EPA's proposed changes to NAAQS have the potential to take away Missouri's manufacturing advantages, and cost our state, and our district, jobs. Ground-Level Ozone Background: Ground-level ozone is formed from the combustion of fuel from cars, power plants and other industrial plants. It can also be formed from non-manmade sources like plants, forest fires and ozone from the stratosphere migration to ground level. Ground-level ozone naturally increases in the summer. ### Read More

Capitol Report: Obamacare One Year Later

2014/12/01

Open enrollment under Obamacare has begun again and even more folks are being forced to participate in the exchanges. We are hearing that more businesses are being forced to lay off employees, individuals are being dropped from their policies and we don’t even know what the true extent of this round’s damage under Obamacare will be. Some companies with 100 employees or more after January 1, 2015 will be determined “noncompliant” under the Obamacare mandate and forced to pay steep fines or lay off employees. For example, a business in Bonne Terre can either lay off 100 of their 180 employees or pay and estimated $700,000 in fines to comply with Obamacare. One option puts 100 people out of a job and the other puts the company $350,000 in the red. Realistically, unless they want the company to go under, they have only one choice, cut employees. They don’t truly have a choice and now 100 people are without jobs. This is what Obamacare is doing. It is unfair, it is wrong, and it is killing our small businesses. As if that is not bad enough, the American people are equally hurt by the individual mandate. A constituent recently wrote to me sharing that he was dropped from his current plan and his new choice is twice as expensive. He wrote, “I just received my personal introduction to Obamacare. It came in the form of my health insurance cancellation effective December 31, 2014. My wife and I are not wealthy. We both work 50+ hours per week. A doubling of health insurance premium and nearly four thousand (or more) additional funds that must be set aside for the deductible mean sacrifices in other places.” This is becoming all too common under Obamacare and it is something that cannot continue. These horror stories we continue to hear apparently do not phase the Obama administration. They knew these were the consequences all along and they purposely hid them from the American people to get the law passed. The recent discovery of Jonathan Gruber’s comments from 2012 concerning the lack of transparency behind the bill reaffirms this. Gruber, the architect behind Obamacare, said himself, “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass. Look, I wish … we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.” How much clearer can it get? The Obama administration wanted to get this law passed and willingly deceived the American people to do so. As your Congressman, I absolutely will not stand for this.   In an economic climate that is already hard on everyone, this law is making it even worse. Last week, the House of Representatives filed a lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration’s unlawful and unfair implementation of Obamacare. We are going to continue fighting to repeal this law and send it to the president’s desk. It does not appear that the president will be the most willing to work with Congress to fix this mess, but something must be done. We will see this lawsuit through and work tirelessly to fix the major portions of the law that are hurting our citizens. I am committed to standing with my colleagues and standing for my constituents to repeal this law.   ### Read More

Capitol Report: War on Coal

2014/11/22

Affordable energy options for Missourians may be a thing of the past if President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) place additional burdensome regulations on coal-fired power plants.  Coal is an effective, affordable means of energy that keeps Missouri’s utility rates low.  Right now, EPA officials are attempting to wage war on coal by eliminating or restricting its use in energy production.  This is not only a war on coal; it is an attack on our way of life in rural America. For too long, EPA regulations have unduly burdened all of us who rely on coal-powered energy to competitively operate businesses or farms.  Some experts believe the EPA’s proposed carbon rule will be the most expensive regulation in U.S. history.  This proposed rule would issue a federal mandate to radically cut carbon emissions, thus penalizing coal power plants and driving up the cost of energy. These costs will not only get passed along to consumers on their utility bill; they also will affect the price of goods as businesses’ costs rise. Not only is the Obama administration’s war on coal disastrous economically, it is not supported scientifically.  EPA officials continue to ignore requests to publicly provide the scientific evidence it claims supports its recommendations.  If the Environmental Protection Agency is going to implement the most expensive rule in U.S. history, it owes the American people a reasonable, proven explanation of why.  Yet, they sit silently. If the administration believes a lack of transparency is a good thing for Obamacare, then it is not a surprise that the EPA isn’t being honest about the science behind its recommended regulations. The agency regularly implements costly rules without sharing the evidence that supports them.  I think we deserve better and 90 percent of Americans agree. Earlier this week, I voted to require the EPA to release its scientific data so that independent scientists can reproduce the results to ensure rules are fact based versus fiction. Regulations without oversight should be rejected.  As a member of Congress, I cannot stand idly by while this President threatens the livelihoods of hardworking Missourians. President Obama should stop using his so-called executive authority to impose unfounded, catastrophic regulations and bring these proposals before congress for a full debate.  Join me in submitting comments to the EPA to protect Missouri’s coal power.  Comments are accepted through December 1 online at http://1.usa.gov/V82AoM.   ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Named to Ways and Means Committee

2014/11/21

WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Jason Smith (R-Salem) was named to the House Ways and Means Committee, earning the influential committee assignment faster than any other current Republican committee member.  “Serving on Ways and Means will provide me with an even greater voice for my constituents and rural America,” said Congressman Smith.  “I’m eager to get people back to work by fixing the broken tax code and alleviating the burden on job creators.” The Ways and Means Committee has continuously operated since 1795. Congressman Smith is the first Missouri representative appointed to Ways and Means since Representative Kenny Hulshof from Charleston, who served on the committee from 1997-2008. With his agriculture background, Congressman Smith will provide a unique perspective on this important committee. “The Ways and Means Committee will be at the forefront of reform in the 114th Congress, and Jason Smith – who will be one of the youngest members of the Committee – will have an important role to play as the Committee takes on critical issues like reforming our tax code, making health care more affordable, and strengthening safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security,” said Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan.  “Jason is committed to tackling the problems facing our nation and he has a proven track record of working hard for residents of Missouri’s 8th District. I’m looking forward to having him serve on the Ways and Means Committee in the next session of Congress.”  Congressman Jason Smith was reelected in November with 67 percent of the vote, carrying all 30 counties, and at 34 years old, is currently the second youngest Republican member of Congress. His priorities on the Ways and Means Committee include reforming the tax code, promoting free and fair trade, ensuring Social Security solvency, and working to fix our broken healthcare system. Congressman Jason Smith was first elected to Congress in a special election and has been serving the constituents of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District for 17 months. He previously served on the Judiciary and Natural Resources committees. ### 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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