Jason Smith

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

Congressman Jason Smith: Noranda is a Huge Part of Southern Missouri’s Rural Economy

2014/09/02

Smith’s comments come after Noranda announced 200 layoffs at New Madrid facility WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (MO-08), issued the following statement after Noranda Aluminum announced 200 layoffs at the company’s New Madrid facility. “With over 900 employees, Noranda is a huge part of Southern Missouri’s rural economy. The 200 jobs eliminated today were good-paying and came with benefits. Tonight, 200 families will have to decide how they are going to make ends meet. I will continue to work with all parties to see if a solution can be reached and future job losses can be prevented.”  ### Read More

Capitol Report: Farm Tour Highlights Eighth District Agriculture

2014/08/28

Agriculture is the number one industry in Missouri. Our Eighth Congressional District is home to a great variety of agricultural interests. Our district is one of the most diverse agriculture districts in the country growing everything except sugar and citrus fruits. In the fertile Missouri Bootheel we grow cotton, rice, corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and even raise catfish. In stark contrast to the Bootheel stand the Ozark Foothills where we have cattle, dairy and timber producers. This week and next, I am traveling our district and listening to the challenges farm families are facing on my two week Farm Tour. Although each farm is unique and each crop or animal raised is different, the message from each visit is the same: Washington regulations are hurting Missouri farm families. I have always been a believer that the best ideas do not come from bureaucrats. The best ideas come from people who actually roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. The information I am learning on the Farm Tour will help me fight oppressive regulations in Washington and advocate for common sense farm policy. At visits across our district this week I was able to hear directly from producers. In Gordonville, I visited a walnut tree farm that not only produces high quality walnuts, but also grows seeds for future tree plants. At a cotton gin in New Madrid, I heard about how federal policies are impacting our regions cotton farmers. In Oregon County I visited a family-run Berkshire pig farm that is dedicated to producing great pork products for chefs across the country. Benton is home to one of the largest dairy farms in Missouri that uses the latest technology to improve efficiency. In Bloomsdale I toured a goat farm that makes award winning cheeses that are sold nationally. At a corn farm in Dexter, I listened to the concerns and future prospects for Stoddard County farm families. Agriculture is truly the lifeblood of our district. As your representative in the halls of Congress I have been an advocate for responsible farms policies to ensure Missouri farm families have the certainty and security they need to stay in business. While the Eighth District is home to some of the most diverse agricultural production in the world, every single producer’s message to me has been the same: we need less Washington and more common sense. In the House of Representatives I will continue working to end the burdensome regulations that hurt farm families in Missouri and fight for common sense ideas as policy is being created. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Fights for Fort Leonard Wood

2014/08/25

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) sent a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh and General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, highlighting the importance of Fort Leonard Wood. Smith’s letter is part of a preemptive effort to fight potential operations and personnel cuts during the Army’s Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA). Click HERE to read Smith’s letter opposing operations and personnel cuts at Fort Leonard Wood “As the military strives to become leaner, smaller, tailorable, and scalable, I encourage you to focus on the importance of FLW to the security of our nation. The well-established resources at Fort Leonard Wood, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School, the Engineer School, and the Military Police School, have been front-and-center in developing our military leaders. This must continue to be a number one priority as we strive to maintain a globally responsive military. Having these schools and training centers at FLW, which is strategically located in the center of the United States, makes them uniquely accessible by air, rail and road, and they play a vital role in securing and protecting our homeland,” states Smith’s letter. Smith noted Fort Leonard Wood’s importance to Central Missouri. “I am pleased to represent my constituents in the Eighth Congressional District of Missouri when offering my unwavering support for Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri in response to the Army’s Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA),” Smith wrote. “As you are aware, Fort Leonard Wood (FLW) is in Pulaski County, which is a neighboring county to the Eighth Congressional District of Missouri. Many constituents in my District work or serve at FLW, and are understandably concerned about the projected loss of 5,400 military and civilian positions by 2020 due to potential budget cuts.” ### Read More

Capitol Report: Fixing the Border Crisis

2014/08/19

Like you, I have watched and read news reports on the surge of unaccompanied children from Central America who are arriving in record numbers in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. These young people are making this dangerous passage through Mexico assisted by smugglers and then entering the United States. Make no mistake about it, the crisis at our southern border is directly connected to President Obama’s refusal to enforce current immigration laws. On July 31, 2014 the House of Representatives was scheduled to be out of session. However, House Republicans were committed to passing thoughtful, but firm legislation to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into our country. The United States Senate had already left Washington for the August break without passing legislation to secure the border. President Obama was busy holding a press conference saying how Congress was unwilling to work with him. All the while House Republicans were working to craft policies that would fix the border crisis. The House of Representatives ended up passing H.R. 5230, The Secure the Southwest Border Supplemental Appropriations of 2014. This legislation would secure the border, require enforcement of current immigration laws and close loop holes that prevented the deportation of illegal immigrants. The legislation would meet the immediate needs at the U.S.-Mexico border and would reimburse states that deploy National Guard units to the border. It is important to note that H.R. 5230 was fully paid for through reductions to existing federal funds and will not result in one penny of new spending. Additionally, the House of Representatives passed legislation to prohibit President Obama from issuing Executive Orders to grant amnesty to large groups of illegal immigrants. These two pieces of immigration-focused legislation are supported by the Constitution and the Rule of Law. House Republicans are for abiding by the Constitution and recognize that Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 enumerates the power of establishing a “uniform process of naturalization” to the Congress. In the enumerated powers of the President, there is no mention of having a say in establishing a process for naturalization. The creation of all laws is left to Congress. The Constitutional power given to the President is to fairly implement the law. My colleagues and I in the House of Representatives will continue holding President Obama accountable for enforcing our laws. The crisis along our southern border is a direct result of President Obama’s refusal to enforce federal immigration laws. If current practices continue, more and more people will continue to illegally enter the United States. It is my hope that leaders in the Senate will consider the legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would stop the flow of illegal immigrants at our Southern border and make President Obama enforce current immigration laws.    ### Read More

Capitol Report: Expanding Veterans’ Access to Healthcare

2014/08/08

In June the Department of Veterans Affairs released an audit that detailed an alarming number of American veterans who were not receiving the care they have so fully earned. According to the audit, 57,000 veterans had been waiting more than 90 days for their first VA appointment. Worse yet, the audit found that 64,000 veterans had fallen through the cracks completely and never received an appointment with a VA doctor after requesting one. This is a national disgrace and our veterans deserve better. The House of Representatives recently passed legislation to ensure our service members receive timely access to care. The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, which has passed the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support, will make long-overdue reforms to the VA. The bill provides funding to hire new doctors and nurses so veterans are not forced to wait months to get care. Additionally, the legislation will give veterans the option to see a private healthcare provider if they live more than 40 miles from a VA clinic. This will be a tremendous opportunity for veterans living in our rural congressional district to visit a doctor close to home instead of being forced to drive many miles to a VA clinic. The men and women who have served in our military deserve more from the VA. Veterans who have defended our freedoms and values at home and abroad should not be forced to wait for extended periods to see a doctor. If any veteran in the Eighth District is having a problem with the VA, I encourage them to contact one of my district offices so we can do our best to help. My staff and I work tirelessly to ensure our veterans get the proper care they have earned and deserve. The Department of Veterans Affairs is broken. The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, is a tremendous bipartisan effort to honor our veterans’ service. No one who served our nation in uniform should have to worry about having access to healthcare. I will continue working in the House of Representatives to keep the promises made to our veterans and honor their service to our nation. We must always honor the sacrifices of our military members.  Read More

Congressman Jason Smith Celebrates Right to Farm Victory

2014/08/06

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) celebrated the passage of Amendment 1, the Right to Farm. Before his election to the United States House of Representatives in June 2013, Smith was the original sponsor of the Right to Farm legislation in the Missouri General Assembly. "I couldn't be happier with the success of the Right to Farm Amendment. Missouri farmers now have protection from outside interest groups written into our state constitution,” said Smith. “When I proposed the Amendment in the Missouri House I knew it would be a tough fight, but as a farmer I knew what was at stake. This is a proud moment for me and a victory for all Missourians." ### Read More

Capitol Report: Separation of Powers

2014/08/01

This week the House of Representatives authorized a lawsuit against President Obama for his failure to faithfully execute laws passed by Congress. While the President has largely ignored the lawsuit and even called it a “stunt,” this is no joking matter. The lawsuit is needed to preserve the separation of powers clearly outlined in our Constitution. No person, not even the President of the United States, is above the law. This lawsuit is a check on the President’s disregard for laws enacted by Congress. Article I of our Constitution gives the power of legislating to Congress. Article II says the President should “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” No part of the Constitution gives the President the authority to pick and choose which laws to enforce. To preserve the intent of our Founding Fathers and to ensure the balance of power in our republic, every President must be held accountable. Our Founding Fathers had the wisdom to give law making powers exclusively to Congress. Writing laws requires debate. It requires listening to a variety of views and working to craft policy that incorporates the best ideas from each representative. In our government each member of Congress has the power to advocate for their constituents’ beliefs and concerns. When a majority of elected representatives agree on a piece of legislation it becomes law. Our Founding Fathers did not give the President authority in the Constitution to circumvent the lawmaking process and ignore elected representatives in the House and Senate. The House’s lawsuit against the President follows a line of cases from the Supreme Court that put a check on the power of the presidency. In the most recent case, National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, all nine justices ruled that President Obama overstepped his power when he appointed officials to the board when the Senate was in recess. Two of the sitting justices who ruled against the President had been appointed by him.  In total, Obama’s administration has lost 20 cases unanimously in front of the Supreme Court. When I took my oath of office and was sworn in to represent Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District in the House of Representatives, I promised to defend the Constitution. Like all other federal elected officials, I did not take an oath to my political party or individual ideology. My oath was to defend the Constitution. The House of Representatives’ lawsuit against President Obama is not about politics and it is not about ideology. This lawsuit is about protecting the Constitution and preserving the rule of law in our republic. ### Read More

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

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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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