Jason Smith

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

Capitol Report: Enhancing America’s Response to Ebola

2014/10/24

As we work to stop the spread of Ebola, I have urged the Obama administration to do everything in its power to help protect the American people from this deadly virus. To date, over 9,000 people have contracted Ebola worldwide and more than 4,500 have died. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not properly prepare hospitals for incoming cases of Ebola, and I worry hospitals are still not prepared to handle an epidemic in this country. Only after two of our medical professionals were infected did the CDC strengthen the Ebola protection guidelines for our healthcare workers. I am so glad to see that the Dallas nurses are recovering, but they should have never been in danger in the first place. The Department of Homeland Security has now limited incoming travel from West Africa to five American airports with enhanced screening, and I believe that is five too many. In order to keep Americans safe, we must put greater restrictions and screening methods in place on foreign travelers from the affected countries. The Obama administration has been too slow to react in aggressively fighting the spread of this virus in West Africa, and in particular here at home. Additional precautions must include even more robust, commonsense travel restrictions and screenings, and doctors agree. As the Republicans Doctors Caucus highlighted in a letter to President Obama, “containment is the key to stopping the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease.” I continue to remain vigilant. The Obama administration must step up its efforts to prevent further cases here in the U.S., and help the stricken countries in West Africa. Most importantly, federal agencies need to continue to keep the American people informed.   ### Read More

Capitol Report: Protecting Your Privacy

2014/10/17

These days we not only need to protect our privacy from online hackers but from the federal government. The bulk data collection done by the National Security Agency unmasked earlier this year poses a threat to our civil liberties. National Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds us that the government needs to honor our constitutional right to privacy.  It also reminds us that there are bad actors in the online world, and we need to take necessary precautions to protect our privacy. I have worked to limit the amount of bulk data the federal government can collect on American citizens and to require the government to destroy any information that it collected unlawfully. In a report released last week, the National Security Administration said that they "could inadvertently collect data that is not related to the target" of a national security investigation. This potentially puts innocent Americans’ personal information at the mercy of shadowy bureaucrats. The House of Representatives passed the USA FREEDOM Act to protect our civil liberties five months ago, but like 387 other bills, it remains stuck in the Senate. On the bright side, there are some simple steps you can take during National Cyber Security Awareness Month to protect yourself from cybercrimes including fraud and identity theft. Start by strengthening your passwords. Just add characters in the place of letters to make your passwords more difficult to guess. Experts recommend that you use different passwords on different websites, and place password protection on your mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. Regularly update your computer software, so that the updates can fix bugs that make your computer susceptible to intrusion. Finally, think before you click.  One of the most successful ways hackers obtain your personal information is through links advertising claims too good to be true. Working together we can increase cyber protections in Washington and at home.    ### Read More

Capitol Report: October is National Manufacturing Month

2014/10/10

Each October, America celebrates National Manufacturing Month. This is an opportunity to reflect upon the rich history of American manufacturing and look at where it is headed. Two hundred years ago, immigrants from all over the world moved to America to work in factories during the Industrial Revolution, and today, American manufacturing is still a world leader. According to the Manufacturing Institute, “The U.S. manufacturing sector is so huge that if it were its own country, it would rank as the eighth-largest world economy.” Here in Missouri, manufacturing jobs employ 250,000 people, and make up more than 9 percent of the state’s private sector workforce (not including farming). The impact of American manufacturing is enormous, and every step of the manufacturing process is represented here in our area. From metal production at aluminum smelters, to manufacturing engines big and small, to making the parts required for high-tech marvels like cell phones and fighter planes, to our thriving wood products industry that makes timber, flooring, barrels, and other products, the eighth congressional district makes many of the products we use every day. In total, manufacturing accounts for nearly 90 percent of Missouri’s exports and is vital in the effort to create new jobs. Manufacturing jobs are not just the jobs of the past – they are the jobs of the future. I have visited many companies seeking highly skilled laborers needed to make these products. This week I toured the new Brewer Science Expansion in Vichy, which specializes in advanced manufacturing technology and making microelectronic devices smaller, thinner, lighter, and more powerful. In these conversations with manufacturing small businesses I hear over and over that regulatory reform is needed to create jobs and grow the economy. The American Dream is still within reach, but becoming more and more difficult to achieve. Taxes and regulations continue to threaten jobs, businesses, and the economic recovery. Just last week we received word that manufacturer Invensys is moving about 400 jobs from West Plains to Mexico to “enhance its competitiveness.” Businesses like Invensys will continue to find more cooperative locations to do business until America ends irrational regulations and lowers the corporate taxes that are smothering growth. The Manufacturing Institute found that “complying with federal regulations costs Americans $2.028 trillion in lost economic growth” each year, and the United States has the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation. That’s money that could be used to add new jobs, expand plants, and grow small businesses – it is why I am working in Washington to cut red-tape for businesses and end regulatory overreach. My mother worked in a factory, and I could not be more proud of the hardworking people who manufacture the products the world needs to prosper. Now, we just need to get regulation out of the way so that businesses can innovate and expand.   ###   Read More

Capitol Report: The Broken Endangered Species Act

2014/10/03

When I talk to individuals throughout the district, many have heard about the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to use 40–plus–year–old laws to close coal power plants, regulate puddles of water and restrict how children can help on family farms. This week, I am focusing on how another 40–year–old law, the Endangered Species Act, is increasingly used to erode private property rights, restrict how farmers use their land and water, and could destroy Missouri’s timber industry. Most everyone agrees there is value in preventing species from extinction. The problem with the Endangered Species Act is that it does not fulfill its mission of recovering species. Since the law was enacted, more than 1,500 U.S. domestic species and sub–species have been listed as endangered; however, only two percent have been recovered. In practice, an Endangered Species listing often leads to permanent, private property land–use restrictions that negatively impact local economies and result in expensive, never–ending litigation. One example of the damage that an endangered listing can cause is the story of the Northern Spotted Owl and the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest. In 1990, the Northern Spotted Owl was listed as “endangered”. Since that time, more than 80 percent of the Northwest’s timber industry has shut down, more than 9 million acres of forest have been identified as “off–limits,” and the forests have become such a fire hazard that wildfires have burned hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable timber and spotted owl habitat. Ironically, the Northern Spotted Owl population continues to decline with no signs of recovery due to a larger, predatory owl species. Why does this matter to Missouri? Currently, the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether or not to list the Northern Long Eared Bat as “endangered” throughout our state, as well as 37 other states. Many agree that a disease called “White Nose Syndrome” is killing the bats; however, there is no credible research that shows harvesting timber, farming, or other development has anything to do with this disease. The Fish and Wildlife Service should not make the same mistake twice. The Endangered Species Act is an old, unwieldy instrument that has become a litigation magnet, restricting human activities. It has not proved to help restore species in decline. In the case of the bat, it could take a bad situation and make it worse. Missouri’s timber industry is thriving, employing more than 67,000 people and contributing more than $8 billion to our economy. Reducing the timber industry by 80 percent would mean losing 53,600 jobs and removing $6.4 billion dollars from Missouri’s economy, with no assurance that the bat population will improve. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Missouri’s timber industry is too valuable to allow Federal Bureaucrats to shut it down as they did in the Northwest. I oppose the listing of the Northern Long–Eared bat as endangered in Missouri, and I would encourage others to do so as well. Read More

Capitol Report: Keystone Pipeline Makes “Cents”

2014/09/26

It has been more than SIX YEARS since backers of the Keystone XL Pipeline first submitted an application to the U.S. State Department to begin construction. This crucial project would build needed infrastructure while creating thousands of jobs and promoting energy independence. Congress demanded action; President Obama should not make us wait. In 2012, President Obama made it clear that he would rather please environmentalists than create jobs in America when he rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline. His decision effectively killed the 42,000 jobs that the project would create in the U.S. As a result, 42,000 families could not benefit from the certainty of a good paying job. Last week, I voted for legislation to authorize the full construction of the pipeline and prevent President Obama from killing thousands of American jobs. President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone project not only killed American jobs, it put our great nation’s energy stability and security at risk. Gasoline reached $4 a gallon in parts of the country this summer. With continued turmoil in the Middle East, America must focus efforts to secure stable, safe, and less expensive energy resources closer to home. The Keystone Pipeline is one of the best solutions to this problem, ensuring stability with an additional source of energy in North America.   When the President rejected Keystone, he said that his administration did not have enough time to consider its environmental impact. The truth is – the project had been in the works for more than three years and was on track to begin immediate construction. President Obama stepped in at the last minute to put a halt to this crucial project. Now, the House of Representatives is holding President Obama’s feet to the fire by voting to approve the Keystone Pipeline and put Americans to work. President Obama’s overly partisan nature cripples our government’s ability to pass productive, meaningful legislation. The rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline was a political maneuver that killed American jobs and made our country more dependent on Middle Eastern oil. The House of Representatives will continue to demand that this important project becomes reality – creating jobs, a more stable economy, and new access to North American energy. Read More

Capitol Report: Cutting Taxes and Creating Jobs

2014/09/19

This week, the United States House of Representatives passed the “Jobs for America Act” to grow our economy and put Americans back to work. This package of bills included proposals to provide our farmers and small business owners with needed tax relief, and reduce unnecessary regulations. For the 2014 tax year, unless the “Jobs for America Act” or something like it passes, the amount of equipment that farmers and small businesses can expense like tractors, heavy machinery, or computer software, will be reduced by ninety-five percent. Section 179 of the tax code – the section that provides for the equipment deduction – expired on January first of this year. Unless it is renewed for 2014, folks will only be able to expense five percent as much of the equipment on their farm, or in their business, that they were able to expense in 2013. Small businesses and farmers will make up for this difference by buying less equipment, and hiring less help. To fix this problem, and to prevent folks from having to make difficult decisions about how they are going to pay higher tax bills, I have co-sponsored legislation, and the House has now passed it twice, to make the full expensing allowance permanent. Providing small businesses and farmers with this kind of tax relief will help them to grow our economy and create jobs. In addition to our tax burden, I often hear that rules and regulations are the biggest obstacle to growing our economy. The “Jobs for America Act” includes several pieces of legislation that I have co-sponsored and worked on in committee to prevent new harmful regulations. The act would prevent expensive rules and regulations from being created without a vote of Congress. It would also help small businesses and farmers grow and expand by preventing agencies from developing new rules and regulations in closed-door court settlements. The House continues to work on legislation like the “Jobs for America Act” to grow our economy while the Senate sits on its hands.  There are now over 40 jobs bills that have been passed by the House that the Senate refuses to even take up. Americans want to work, why doesn’t the Senate?   ### Read More

Capitol Report: Protecting Your Healthcare from Obamacare Bureaucrats

2014/09/12

Last fall, millions of Americans and families right here in Missouri had their health insurance plans cancelled despite repeated promises from President Obama that if you liked your health plan, you would be able to keep it. Now, millions more with employer-sponsored coverage are also facing plan cancellations because their plans do not meet ObamaCare’s requirements. In response to this problem, this week the House passed H.R. 3522, the “Employee Health Care Protection Act.” This bill would help American workers keep their current health insurance plans and fulfill President Obama’s broken promise. It would also give Americans in the group insurance market the opportunity to keep their current health insurance policies. Additionally, the bill we passed would give small businesses the option to choose non-ObamaCare health plans. Our legislation would make health insurance more affordable and better able to meet individual needs.  I supported this legislation because individuals are better equipped to pick their own health insurance than the bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services. Healthcare decisions should be made by families sitting down at the kitchen table and discussing their individual needs instead of a one size fits all approach from ObamaCare. Experts have estimated that as many as 50 million American workers with fully-insured coverage are facing plan cancellations or disruptions because of ObamaCare’s requirements and intrusive regulations. Last year Forbes magazine wrote, “Starting in October 2014, many employees of small businesses will start getting the same notices that are now being mailed to individuals, informing them that their existing health plans are also being cancelled.” The action we took in the House this week would ensure that this would not happen.  Without a doubt our nation’s healthcare system needs reform. Healthcare needs to be affordable and accessible. Patients should be empowered and not burdened with rules and financial penalties from Washington. While the Employee Health Care Protection Act would fix one problem with ObamaCare, I remain committed to replacing the entire law with meaningful healthcare reform. ### Read More

Capitol Report: Strategy Needed to Combat ISIS

2014/09/05

Like you, I am horrified by the revolting public executions of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by Islamic extremists. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these young Americans as they try to cope with unimaginable grief. These murders, as well as the appalling violence toward children and the elderly, are an unmistakable sign that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, has grown stronger in the absence of American leadership. ISIS extremists will show no mercy in their quest to advance fear and terror throughout the Middle East and around the world. President Obama has aptly referred to the ISIS jihadists as a ‘cancer’ and has challenged neighboring countries in the Middle East to address the threat it poses to free nations. Last week, President Obama was asked about America’s strategy for fighting ISIS extremists and he replied “We do not have a strategy yet.” America deserves a clear and concise strategy to combat ISIS terrorists. The eyes of the world are watching, and waiting on America’s plan to defeat terror in any and all forms. Terrorist groups like ISIS thrive when America appears aloof from global affairs. The Obama Administration has known for quite some time that ISIS has been growing stronger and poses a serious threat to Americans. Now is the time for American leadership. Now is the time for a clear strategy from the Obama Administration to combat ISIS rebels. This failure of leadership must be corrected. A successful American strategy should include one goal – victory. To achieve this goal, neighboring countries in the Middle East must coalesce and commit to stopping ISIS from advancing terror. American leadership is not always synonymous with U.S. military force. There are many nations in the Middle East that could make military commitments to fighting ISIS in their own backyard. With American leadership and a coalition of nations in the region, ISIS can be destroyed and the threat to freedom-loving people throughout the world can be eliminated. The death of American citizens at the hands of Islamic terrorists must not be tolerated. The evil acts of ISIS will only grow in the absence of American leadership. While the Constitution clearly gives the power of forming military strategy to the Commander-in-Chief, Congress is ready and willing to work with President Obama to execute a plan to prevent acts of terror and protect our homeland. I encourage President Obama to develop a strategy that will eradicate ISIS and provide a safeguard for Americans at home and abroad. ### Read More

Capitol Report: EPA War on Rural America

2014/09/04

Over the last two weeks I have visited dozens of farms and ranches and listened to hundreds of farmers on my second annual Eighth Congressional District Farm Tour. Agriculture in South-Central and Southeast Missouri is incredibly diverse. If fact, we grow everything except citrus and sugar. While the crops we grow and the livestock we raise are diverse, every farmer I talked to in the last two weeks brought up the same topic: the EPA war on rural America. No other federal agency pushes more intrusive and ineffective regulations on farmers than the Environmental Protection Agency. On the Farm Tour, the EPA’s proposed “Waters of the United States” plan was discussed numerous times. Back in April, the EPA announced it would attempt to expand the regulatory reach of the Clean Water Act through a new “Waters of the United States” plan. The proposed new rule would give Washington bureaucrats the power to regulate nearly every area of the ground that gets wet or has water flow during rainfall. The rule could be viewed in a way that would expand the EPA’s reach to cover all ponds, puddles, temporary or small wetlands, rain gutters, irrigation ditches, or similar collections of water. While the proposed rule would impact every American, it would have a particularly devastating impact on rural communities. Agriculture is the driving force of the economy in our region of Missouri. The EPA’s “Waters of the United States” proposal would force farmers who use fertilizers and pesticides to jump through needless and costly regulatory hoops. Livestock farmers could be forced to put a buffer zone between their animals and any body of water. In an effort to fight the invasive “Waters of the United States” proposal, I had a provision included in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill that would ban funds from being used to enact the new rule. I am submitting nearly 50 pages of comments outlining the disastrous impact “Waters of the United States” would have on our region. If the EPA continues its war on rural America, I will continue using every possible avenue to protect rural Missouri. Too often bureaucrats in Washington draft new rules without understanding or appreciating the impact they will have on rural America. Washington regulators have essentially declared war on rural America. Most people just want a federal government that will get out of the way and stop hurting economic growth and limiting individual freedom. As your voice in the House of Representatives, I will continue fighting the “Waters of the United States” proposal and all other Washington regulations that would harm our rural way of life. ### Read More

Congressman Jason Smith: 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

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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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