Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith today announced that he has received the “Hero of Main Street” award from the National Retail Federation for his support of legislation critical to the retail industry. Smith is part of a bi-partisan group honored for their support of a wide range of issues including infrastructure investment, tax reform and labor issues.
Congressman Lamar Smith: “I am humbled to receive this award and thank the NRF for the honor. The true heroes of this country are main street companies and their employees. I pledge to continue supporting policies that will create jobs and economic opportunities for these businesses in Texas and around the country.”
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay: “Congressman Smith has shown through his support that he cares about retailers big and small, and values the role these businesses play in communities across the country. Smith is an advocate for his thriving Main Street and to the long-term growth the retail industry -- our nation’s largest job creators and the catalyst for continued growth and opportunity for our nation’s economy.”
The Hero of Main Street award was created by NRF in 2013 to recognize members of Congress for support of the retail industry’s public policy priorities. Eligibility is based on NRF’s Retail Opportunity Index, bill sponsorship and advocacy to advance the industry’s priorities. The “heroes” have supported policies and initiatives defined by NRF that recognize the contributions of the retail industry, and have worked to encourage a “vibrant, sustained and healthy” retail sector.
Washington, DC – Today it was announced authorization has been given to begin construction on a new federal courthouse in San Antonio for the Western District of Texas.
After years of efforts to replace the current, aging John H. Wood, Jr. Federal Courthouse, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a project prospectus for the new courthouse.
Congressman Lamar Smith: “I and the other members of the San Antonio delegation, our Senators, Mayor Taylor and city and county officials have worked for many years for a new San Antonio Courthouse. I’ve pushed legislation, met with numerous government officials, and sent many letters to highlight the need for those who use the courthouse facilities to be in a safe environment.
“We’re one step closer to the finish line. We now have the funds and the approval to begin work on a safe and modernized courthouse that will serve San Antonio and Western District of Texas for many years to come.”
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and a bipartisan group of Texas members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in support of the City of Austin’s application for the Beyond Traffic: The Smart City Challenge Grant.
Smith was joined by Rep. John Carter, Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Roger Williams and Rep. Bill Flores and Rep. Blake Farenthold, in writing to express how awarding Austin the grant will allow the city to modernize and improve its transportation system to accommodate the needs of its growing population
Congressman Lamar Smith: “The City of Austin has the innovative spirit and technology expertise needed to create 21st century mobility solutions to solve real-world problems.
“By improving its transportation methods, the City will give its citizens the means to safer, cheaper and cleaner travel. And it will serve as a model for other cities to develop modern, efficient transportation systems.”
Washington, DC – On Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and a bipartisan group of Texas members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald requesting answers and action on reports of scheduling wait time manipulation at VA facilities in Austin, San Antonio and Temple.
Smith was joined by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Bill Flores, Rep. Henry Cuellar, Rep. Roger Williams and Rep. Joaquin Castro, in writing to express their ongoing concern with the state of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the affect it has on Texas Veterans.
Congressman Lamar Smith: “Providing timely health care is a non-partisan issue and the VA is simply not meeting our veterans’ needs. Now more than ever, the VA and its employees must make changes to assure that the men and women who served our nation are provided timely access to health care.
“On behalf of the Veterans we represent, we ask that these revelations convince VA leadership to make meaningful progress in developing a comprehensive scheduling policy so that all Veterans can receive the care they deserve.”
Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter to the Library of Congress on their misguided decision to eliminate the terms “illegal aliens” and “alien” from subject heading and search classifications. Smith was joined by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Congressman John Culberson (R-Texas) urging the Library to immediately revoke the subject heading cancellations.
Congressman Lamar Smith: “The decision by the Library of Congress to eliminate the terms “illegal alien” and “alien” wrongly puts political correctness above the rule law.
“These terms are legal terms of art that have been enacted into law by Congress. If individuals want to revise terms in the United States Code, they can only do so by passing legislation.”
Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after voting in support of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017, which passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 277-147.
Congressman Lamar Smith: “Congress has a responsibility to make sure our men and women in uniform are equipped with the resources needed to defend our nation. I’m particularly pleased that they’re receiving a well-deserved 2.1 % raise.”
The bill boosts funding for military bases by $18 billion more than the president’s budget request. It also authorizes the necessary force, structure, equipment, and funding to help close the military readiness gap.
The national defense bill ensures that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility remains open and maintains the policy that terrorists cannot be transferred to U.S. soil. Rep. Smith opposes closure of the detention facility. In April, Rep. Smith sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter raising national security concerns over the transfer of dangerous terrorists as a result of the proposed closure.
Mr. Speaker, a new report by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reveals that last year the Obama administration released 20,000 illegal immigrants convicted of crimes into our communities. Together, they had committed 64,000 crimes, including kidnapping, homicide, drunken driving, and sexual assault.
Instead of putting the safety of Americans first, the Obama administration often gives a free pass to violent criminals who are in the United States illegally.
This report should have been national news. However, many outlets, like the LA Times, Washington Post, and Associated Press, as well as the major televisions networks ABC, NBC, and CBS, failed to cover this horrific report.
The American people deserve to know the truth about our immigration policies and the damaging consequences of the Obama administration’s actions. When the national media intentionally fail to report the facts, the American people are the ones who literally suffer the consequences.Read More
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) released the following statement after a U.S. District Court sided with congressional Republicans who have challenged the implementation of Obamacare.
Rep. Lamar Smith: “Today, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer sided with House Republicans and ruled that the Obama Administration has been improperly funding an Obamacare insurance subsidy program. The U.S. House of Representatives v. Burwell ruling states that billions of dollars have been illegally used to reimburse health insurance companies.
“The power of the purse belongs to the House of Representatives, not the President. And today’s ruling has made clear that it is unconstitutional for the Obama Administration to attempt to sustain its unaffordable, unworkable health care law without legislative approval. I am encouraged by Judge Collyer’s decision and maintain that this law should be vacated and repealed, which I have voted to do over 60 times.”Read More
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) today spoke at a news conference with Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and David Vitter (R-LA), former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the President of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, the FBI Agents Association, and the National Sheriffs’ Association to stress why Congress should not shorten prison sentences for dangerous criminals.
Rep. Lamar Smith: “Congress should be very wary of reducing federal prison sentences. The lives and property of innocent Americans are at stake.
“Regrettably, the debate over sentencing laws has focused on the criminals. What about their victims? What about the dangers of putting these offenders back on the streets where three-quarters will commit new crimes against law-abiding citizens?
“The size of the prison population is often cited as a justification for lowering federal sentences. But federal prisoners make up only 13% of the total prison population, which is at a ten year low and is less than one-half of 1% of the United States population. So what’s the pressing need to open the cell doors?
“The downward trend in crime rates is due, at least in part, to the mandatory minimum prison terms set in the 1980s. Why push for a massive prison break when the penalties are working?
Too many nonviolent offenders are incarcerated for too long, we hear, especially for drug crimes. Yet federal minimum sentences are rarely applied to low-level offenders. And over 99% of federal inmates incarcerated for drug crimes are traffickers, not simple drug possessors.
“Federal convictions as a result of plea bargains, which reduce the severity of the charge in exchange for an admission of guilt, are above 90%. Why give criminals another way to reduce their sentences?
“Some cite Texas’ experience in reducing sentences as an example. But in my state the overwhelming majority of prisoners, unlike federal inmates, are nonviolent offenders. They are not dangerous drug traffickers. And Texas’ recidivism rates still are significant despite their efforts.
“Criminal law should punish bad behavior, deter criminal acts, and protect the American people. Releasing prisoners before their sentences are served undermines these goals and guarantees more innocent victims.”Read More
Mr. Speaker, a recent story from the tech blog Gizmodo details Facebook’s alleged efforts to suppress conservative views in its popular trending news section.
Former curators of the trending news section said they routinely were told to ignore news stories of interest to conservative readers. Censoring stories from popular conservative news sites to fit a liberal political agenda does a severe disservice to the American people.
A recent Pew Research Center study found that two-thirds of American adults use Facebook to get news. Facebook has an obligation and a public responsibility not to silence conservative voices.
Facebook should give the American people an honest appraisal of the news when it comes to deciding what’s trending on their website. Anything less is intentionally trying to manipulate public opinion to promote a liberal agenda.Read More
2409 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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