Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Smith: Enforcing the Law is Not Optional

2014/10/01

San Antonio - Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement in response to an announcement that the U.S. Health and Human Services Department will spend $9 million of taxpayer funds to provide legal representation for immigrants who illegally entered the United States during the border surge this year. Congressman Smith: “The Obama Administration has again ignored our federal immigration laws, which prohibit federal funding of legal representation to illegal immigrants before Immigration Courts.  “Enforcing the law is not optional. If the President worked as hard to enforce our immigration laws as he does to consistently undermine them, he would not need to use millions in tax dollars from hard-working Americans to address the surge of illegal immigrants into Texas. “The American people agree. A recent Rasmussen survey found that seventy-one percent of voters believe illegal newcomers should not be eligible for government services and benefits.” ### Read More

Smith to Host Public Forum in Fredericksburg

2014/09/30

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today announced he will host a public forum on Thursday, October 2nd, to provide a congressional update for Gillespie County residents on federal issues, including: terror threats and strikes against the Islamic State, border security, veterans issues, and government regulations. All members of the public are invited to participate. WHAT: Public Forum Hosted by Representative Lamar Smith WHEN: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 1-2 PM WHERE: Central Texas Electric Co-op, 386 Friendship Lane, Fredericksburg, TX 78624-0553 Read More

Smith to Host Public Forum in Kerrville

2014/09/30

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today announced he will host a public forum on Thursday, October 2nd, to provide a congressional update for Kerr County residents on federal issues, including: terror threats and strikes against the Islamic State, border security, veterans issues, and government regulations. All members of the public are invited to participate. WHAT: Public Forum Hosted by Representative Lamar Smith WHEN: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 10-11 AM WHERE: Kroc Center, 201 Holdsworth Drive, Kerrville, TX 78028 Read More

Smith Responds to Attorney General Holder Resignation

2014/09/25

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today in response to news that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning as head of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Congressman Smith: “Of all the executive branch agencies, the Department of Justice is the one that should remain above politics. Yet, President Obama has repeatedly directed Attorney General Holder to ignore and undermine current laws. Under this administration, numerous scandals have plagued the DOJ, including the execution and cover-up of Operation Fast & Furious. I would also be interested to know if Attorney General Holder’s departure is tied to recent court orders demanding that DOJ release documents it has tried to hide behind executive privilege. We can only hope his successor will restore the integrity of the Department of Justice.” Just this week, a U.S. district judge denied DOJ requests to delay delivery of lists of Operation Fast & Furious documents the Obama administration has been withholding under executive privilege. The department has been ordered to deliver the list of documents no later than October 22nd. Another judge has ordered the release of information to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee no later than November 1st. In June 2012, Smith voted to hold the Attorney General in criminal contempt of Congress for his failure to respond to a subpoena issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The contempt of Congress resolution was referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for prosecution.  The House also voted to authorize the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to go to court to enforce its subpoena.  Read More

Smith Statement on Strikes Against the Islamic State

2014/09/23

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after initial U.S. airstrikes were conducted with coalition partners in Syria against the Islamic State and groups with ties to Al Qaeda. Congressman Smith: “Our first thought should be the safety and success of all our men and women in uniform now engaged in Iraq and Syria. In the coming days, I will closely monitor the progress of our coalition efforts with our allies. I also stand ready to return to Washington to continue a healthy debate of these issues. For now, Congress has granted the only authority the president has requested. That limited train and equip authority is separate from the military actions the president is now undertaking. According to the War Powers Act, the president needs specific authorization from Congress if he plans to engage U.S. forces in hostilities for more than 60 days. I am glad the president continues to affirm his resolve to defeat the Islamic State and groups with ties to Al Qaeda who have plotted against the U.S. and our allies. Our enemies must once more fear us as we stand against forces of evil in the world that would do harm to our nation." ### Read More

Smith Demands President Make Amnesty Plans Public

2014/09/22

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today joined House Judiciary Republicans in sending a letter to President Obama and asking that he make public any plans for executive action on immigration. The White House has repeatedly confirmed plans for executive actions on immigration before the end of the year. In part, the letter reads: “You have made clear that you will take such actions without the passage of any legislation by Congress, and therefore without the input of the American public’s representatives.  Additionally, it has been widely reported that you and your Administration have been meeting with select interest groups regarding their demands for administrative action on immigration.  As a result, the American people have been cut out of a process that could dramatically affect their lives.  “Whether it’s now or November, it is never acceptable for the Executive Branch to ignore the Constitution and unilaterally give amnesty to unlawful immigrants. Regarding actions you are planning that you believe would comply with the Constitution, the least the Administration can do is give Americans the opportunity to see the recommendations that you are considering before you take any actions.  Rather than attempt to hide these actions from the American people until after the midterm elections, Americans should be given the chance to come to their own conclusions as to the merits of these recommendations.  They can then exercise their constitutional right to petition the federal government and let you know their opinions.” Smith recently criticized a White House decision to delay executive action until after the November election, calling it an “open admission that the president intends to take actions that the majority of Americans oppose.” Full text of the letter signed by all 22 House Judiciary Republican members can be found here. Read More

Smith: Congressional Oversight Needed in Continuing Resolution

2014/09/17

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after voting in favor of a continuing resolution measure that would fund government operations. It also contained an amendment authored by House Armed Services Committee Chairman “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) to authorize train-and-equip authority as part of the effort to defeat the Islamic State.    Congressman Smith: “President Obama needs to ask for authorization from Congress before taking military action. He also needs to communicate his plans and ultimate goals to Congress. Our goal should be to defeat those who call themselves the Islamic State. Congress is providing much-needed oversight today. If the president proceeds with further actions, he will need additional authorization from Congress. “It is imperative that we do everything in our power to secure the homeland against threats. I am very concerned about the security of our Southern border. I urge the Senate and President Obama to take up the border security measures recently passed by the House. A nation that is serious about the security of its people must also be serious about the security of its borders.” In addition to giving authority to train and equip vetted elements of the Syrian opposition, the McKeon amendment strengthens congressional oversight by requiring detailed progress reports on the planning and vetting process, including reports from President Obama on how efforts fit within the larger regional strategy. The McKeon amendment also explicitly states that Congress is not giving specific authorization for the use of military force. Read More

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith Honored as Guardian of Small Business by NFIB

2014/09/17

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 17, 2014 – The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business association, today named U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21) a Guardian of Small Business for his outstanding voting record on behalf of America’s small-business owners in the 113th Congress. NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner praised Rep. Smith for “standing up for small business.” In presenting the group’s coveted Guardian of Small Business Award, Danner said, “Small-business owners are very politically active – paying close attention to how their lawmakers vote on key business issues and stand by those who stand for them.” “The record shows that Rep. Smith is a true champion of small business, supporting the votes that matter in the 113th Congress,” said Danner. “This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business.” NFIB’s “How Congress Voted,” which serves as a report card for members of Congress, was also unveiled this week. The report presents key small-business votes and voting percentages for each lawmaker. Those voting favorably on key small-business issues at least 70 percent of the time during the 113th Congress are eligible for the Guardian award. ### NFIB is the nation’s leading small business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 to give small-business owners a voice in public policy-making, NFIB’s policy positions are set by its 350,000 business-owner members, who send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through NFIB’s unique member-only ballot. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at www.NFIB.com/news. Read More

Smith Statement on Obama Climate Plan

2014/09/17

Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today made the following statement at a hearing with the president’s top science advisor, Dr. John Holdren, and the top EPA air official, Janet McCabe, examining the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan and proposed EPA power plant regulations. Chairman Smith: “Today we look at one of the most aggressive new government programs in our country’s history.  The Obama administration calls it the Climate Action Plan.            “It empowers the Departments of Interior, Energy, Agriculture, Defense, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, National Institute of Standards and Technologies, NOAA, FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the EPA to implement broad climate policies and programs with great cost and little benefit to the American people.              “The cornerstone of the White House sweeping Climate Action Plan is EPA’s power plant regulation.  Extending well beyond the power plants themselves, this rule will increase the cost of electricity and the cost of doing business.  It will make it harder for the American people to make ends meet.        “In fact, EPA’s own data show us that its power plant regulation would eliminate less than one percent of global carbon emissions.  Analysis shows this would reduce sea level rise by the thickness of a mere three sheets of paper.  “EPA’s mandates will be difficult for states to meet even under ideal circumstances.  If energy prices or energy demand escalate, the costs of meeting those mandates will soar and American families will be forced to pay the bill.  “Charles McConnell, a former Assistant Secretary for Energy appointed by President Obama, has taken the Administration to task for creating a plan doomed to fail. In a recent op-ed, Mr. McConnell asks, “Have we lost our minds? Has this administration convinced itself that it can … mandate something that is fundamentally useless? Does the EPA think the American public and global community are not capable of seeing the illusion for what it is?” “What’s clear is that by eliminating affordable, reliable power options, the regulation will increase the energy prices for the majority of Americans. That means everything will cost more – from electricity to gasoline to food.  Higher costs will drive companies out of business, kill good jobs, and leave even more Americans unemployed.   “Until this administration can propose a detailed strategy, tell us the total cost, and show us exactly what we will get for the sacrifice—we are just asking the American people to waste their money.      “America cannot afford to drive its economy over a cliff with the hopes that the rest of the world will make the same mistake.  The only economy the EPA’s plan will help is that of our competitors.” **To watch the hearing LIVE, visit the Science Committee website HERE. Read More

Smith to Seek Subpoena for Information on White House Role in Security of Healthcare.gov

2014/09/12

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today officially noticed a meeting of the Oversight Subcommittee for Wednesday, September 17, 2014, to enable Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-Ga.) to issue a subpoena to former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, a top Assistant to President Obama during the launch of HealthCare.gov last November.  After refusing to testify before the Science Committee on multiple occasions without a subpoena, Science Advisor to the President John Holdren offered for Mr. Park to brief the Oversight Subcommittee. Mr. Park scheduled a briefing for Members of the Oversight Subcommittee on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, regarding his management and oversight of the HealthCare.gov website, including security protocols. However, less than 24 hours in advance, the White House cancelled the briefing because they did not want any official transcript of the discussion. Chairman Smith: “The White House has failed to provide this Committee with information about the security of the Obamacare website. This week, the administration cancelled a briefing less than 24 hours in advance because they did not want it to be on-the-record. What is the White House trying to hide? The Obama administration has a responsibility to ensure that the personal and financial data collected by the government is secure. Last week, news reports revealed that a hacker successfully breached the Obamacare website in July. And we don’t know how many other security breaches have gone unreported. The American people deserve transparency and accountability for the security of their personal information on HealthCare.gov. That is why the Oversight Subcommittee next week will vote to subpoena this information, compelling Mr. Park to testify under oath.” Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Broun: “Since October 31st of last year, the Committee has invited Todd Park on five occasions to testify at a hearing about his knowledge of the website HealthCare.gov.  The Committee also made a comprehensive request of OSTP for relevant records.  To date, OSTP has failed to comply with the Committee’s requests as Members have yet to question Mr. Park about HealthCare.gov, nor have we received all responsive documents from OSTP as evidenced by those in the Committee’s possession from sources other than OSTP.  OSTP’s response to the Committee is intolerable, and makes me question what other documents might be withheld not just from this Committee, but from other congressional committees.  I appreciate Chairman Smith’s willingness to enable the Oversight Subcommittee to move forward with a subpoena, and I look forward to finally getting some answers from Mr. Park about HealthCare.gov.” Emails obtained by the Science Committee between Mr. Park and his colleagues appear to contradict his previous congressional testimony. The subpoena would require the White House to provide all documents and emails pertaining to Todd Park’s involvement in development of the website. It will also oblige Mr. Park to appear before the Oversight Subcommittee to provide testimony under oath. Mr. Park, who recently stepped down as Chief Technology Officer, was the co-chair of the White House’s Affordable Care Act Information Technology Exchanges Steering Committee, a body responsible for overseeing security protocols during development of the HealthCare.gov website. Read More

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Contact Information

2409 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4236
Fax 202-225-8628
lamarsmith.house.gov

Lamar Smith represents the 21st Congressional District of Texas.

He serves as Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over programs at NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Committee oversees agency budgets of $39 billion, where the primary focus is on research and development.

Congressman Smith continues to serve on both the Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee. He is a former Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Ethics Committee.

In the last Congress, Congressman Smith was named Policymaker of the Year by POLITICO for his work on patent reform legislation.

A fifth generation Texan and native of San Antonio, Congressman Smith graduated from Yale University and Southern Methodist University School of Law. He and his wife, Beth, have an adult daughter and son.

The 21st Congressional District includes parts of Bexar, Travis, Comal and Hays Counties and all of Bandera, Blanco, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr and Real Counties. The district’s population is about 700,000.  Congressman Smith maintains district offices in San Antonio, Austin and Kerrville.


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

Ralph Hall

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Steve Stockman

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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