Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Smith: A List of Border Actions the President Can Take

2014/08/28

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today responded to statements from President Obama at a Thursday White House press briefing where he renewed commitment to take executive actions on immigration.   Congressman Lamar Smith: “Mr. President, I’m glad you asked. For several weeks now, I have been calling on the president to act within his legal means to address serious issues on our nation’s borders. If he is truly interested in taking actions to address the recent border surge, he needs to look no further than the list of suggestions I and the entire congressional delegation of Texas Republicans recently sent him. The president could take these actions now to discourage any future border surges and reinforce, rather than undermine, existing law.   “The House took action to address these issues before leaving for the August work period. If the president is serious about securing our borders and enforcing immigration laws, he will follow our lead and abandon any plans to expand amnesty and make our border problems worse.” Smith recently sent a letter to President Obama listing actions he could immediately take to improve the situation along the border. The letter was signed by all 24 Texas Republican Members of the House of Representatives and both Senators. ### Read More

Smith: EPA Hides Truth about Climate Regulations

2014/08/13

Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy criticizing the agency’s limited analysis of its climate regulations and requesting more comprehensive, independent analysis before the agency moves forward. “For too long the EPA has hidden the truth from the American people.  In order to regain public trust, the agency should rely on robust, objective and well-grounded technical analysis of its climate regulations. Flaws in recent EPA analyses amplify concerns about the real impacts of these regulations. Americans deserve an opportunity to see the facts.” Last week the Government Accountability Office released a report highlighting a pattern of shoddy EPA analysis. It was revealed that EPA relied on decades old data and ignored important factors.  The independent watchdog warned that “EPA cannot ensure that it’s [analysis] provide the public with a clear understanding of its decision making.”      In his letter, Chairman Smith wrote that “Credible analysis is critical to a well-informed debate concerning climate change and energy policy choices now before American people. EPA’s incomplete modeling disregards a number of technical, regulatory, and economic realities. Americans deserve the bottom line: what does it cost and what will we get for the money?” The letter calls on EPA to provide comprehensive analysis that takes real-world contingencies into account rather than rely on models and science that are hidden from the public. Chairman Smith simultaneously sent a letter to the non-partisan Energy Information Administration (EIA) to conduct independent analysis using the same underlying data and assumptions that EPA uses.  The letter states that “tandem analysis by EPA and EIA would allow for a side-by-side comparison of results and provide a more comprehensive accounting of the possible impacts of the agency’s proposal.” The letter requests the analysis be conducted by September 15, 2014. Read More

Smith Statement on Closure of Illegal Immigrant Shelter at Lackland Air Force Base

2014/08/04

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement in response to news that several shelters for illegal immigrants on military bases, including Lackland Air Force Base, are expected to close in the coming weeks. Congressman Lamar Smith: “I’m glad to hear that the Obama administration plans to stop housing illegal immigrants at military facilities like Lackland Air Force Base. Were it not for the president’s policies, these facilities would never have had to house the thousands who have come across our Southern border. Now he must also act to address the root of the problems along the border- his own policies. In addition to ending the use of military bases as shelters, the president should focus on enforcing current immigration laws rather than threatening new actions outside of his authority. “Many Americans support the common-sense provisions within the House bills that we passed last week, and an overwhelming majority do not think the president is doing a good job of handling immigration issues. I hope the president will listen to the American people and act today to enforce current immigration laws and prevent further increases in the border surge.” The House package that passed on Friday prohibits housing unauthorized immigrants on military bases if doing so will displace active duty military personnel or interfere with military activities at the installation. It also includes language to end the expansion of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. It would also close loopholes in existing laws and allow Central American minors to be treated the same as Canadian and Mexican minors with regard to expedited deportations. A recent Associated Press- GfK Public Affairs poll showed that a majority of participants favored changing current law so that illegal immigrants from other countries are treated the same as those from Mexico or Canada, which can be sent back to their home countries without a deportation hearing. Smith also recently sent a letter to President Obama listing actions he could immediately take to improve the situation along the border. The letter was signed by all 24 Texas Republican Members of the House of Representatives and both Senators. Read More

Smith: Nothing Extreme About Border Solutions Americans Support

2014/08/01

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement in response to statements made by President Obama characterizing a House border package as ‘extreme.' Congressman Lamar Smith: “There’s nothing extreme about the House bills with border solutions Americans support. Recent polling shows that many Americans support specific provisions within our bill, and an overwhelming majority do not think the president is doing a good job of handling immigration issues. Given the choice to stand with the president or the American people, I’d choose to stand on the side of the American people any day.   “The House bills contain strong language to address the border crisis. The crisis was created when the president issued an executive order to allow almost a million illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. The House stayed in town to address these issues before the August work period. The Senate should come back and do its job. And the president should focus on enforcing current immigration laws rather than threatening new actions outside of his authority. “It is a shame the president has refused to take responsibility for his actions that created this crisis, and that he has refused to halt the border surge by enforcing current immigration laws. Contrary to his oath of office to enforce laws, he has given amnesty to almost a million illegal immigrants in the U.S. And he has repeatedly threatened to take even more unlawful actions to expand amnesty and make the current border problems worse. The only actions he should take in the coming weeks are to enforce current immigration laws and reverse his policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”   The House package includes language authored by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) that Rep. Smith cosponsored last week. That bill would end the expansion of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. It would also close loopholes in existing laws and allow Central American minors to be treated the same as Canadian and Mexican minors with regard to expedited deportations. Smith recently sent a letter to President Obama listing actions he could immediately take to improve the situation along the border. The letter was signed by all 24 Texas Republican Members of the House of Representatives and both Senators. Read More

Smith: President Plans to Make Border Problems Worse

2014/07/31

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today released the following statement regarding the current situation on the U.S. Southern border. Congressman Lamar Smith: “The president owns the border crisis because his policies created it. He needs to take responsibility for his own actions. Contrary to his oath of office to enforce laws, he has given amnesty to almost a million illegal immigrants in the U.S. This has inevitably led to more illegal immigration. The president could halt the border surge now if he enforced current immigration law. He has decided not to fix this problem. “The president has repeatedly threatened to take even more unlawful actions to expand amnesty and make the current border problems worse. That is one of the reasons why I voted this week to bring a lawsuit against the Obama administration. In addition to the president’s failure to implement Obamacare, the border crisis is another grievance the American people have with this runaway presidency.” Smith recently sent a letter to President Obama listing actions he could immediately take to improve the situation along the border. The letter was signed by all 24 Texas Republican Members of the House of Representatives and both Senators. Read More

Smith: Strategic Technology Development Can Help Secure U.S. Border

2014/07/31

The Subcommittee on Research and Technology and the Subcommittee on Oversight today held a joint hearing on the technologies needed to better secure our nation’s borders. Congressman Smith, who chairs the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, attended today’s subcommittee hearing and issued the following statement. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “Technology is a key component to securing our 2,000 mile Southern border.  Customs and Border Protection and National Guard troops cannot be everywhere. Sensors deployed along the border can detect and track the “coyotes” who smuggle children—as well as illegal drugs and firearms—across the border.  We need to get this technology in the hands of our immigration officers.  Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security has a poor track record when it comes to developing and fielding sensors and tactical communications infrastructure along the Southwest border.” In 2002, the Homeland Security Act established the Directorate for Science and Technology (S&T) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).   The S&T Directorate manages and carries out science and technology research for our federal homeland security needs.  It is responsible for developing new technologies that can help secure our nation’s border. A 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report notes that, “The Department of Homeland Security does not know the total amount its components invest in research and development.”  While DHS has since provided a definition for R&D, GAO testified today that it has “not yet determined the most effective path to guide R&D across the department.”  Further, a 2013 GAO report cites examples where projects were delayed and cancelled due to an inability to obtain data from DHS. The following witnesses testified today: Dr. K. Jack Riley, Vice President, RAND National Security Research Division; Director, RAND National Defense Research Institute; Mr. David C. Maurer, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, U.S. Government Accountability Office; and Dr. Joseph D. Eyerman, Director, Health Security Program, RTI International; Director for Research and Management, Institute for Homeland Security Solutions, Duke University. The Committee plans to hold a follow-on hearing in September with the Undersecretary of Science and Technology to inform upcoming legislation to reauthorize research and technology development projects at the DHS S&T Directorate. For more information about the hearing, including witness testimony and the archived webcast, visit the Science, Space, and Technology website. Read More

Smith: VA Bill Balances Accessibility and Accountability

2014/07/30

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today voted in favor of Veterans Affairs legislation that would expand access to care for veterans, expedite the firing of negligent VA employees, provide for additional medical staff, and lease facilities for 27 new VA hospitals and clinics. Specifically, the legislation would consolidate several San Antonio-area clinics into a new, 191,000 square foot facility as part of a broader VA medical facilities lease plan.   Congressman Lamar Smith: “America’s veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms. They deserve the best health care, not delayed health care. This bill starts moving the VA in the right direction. “This legislation will benefit thousands of veterans in San Antonio and across the 21st Congressional District of Texas who have been subjected to unacceptable delays in care. This bill balances increased access to care for veterans with increased accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” The measure, which was championed by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller of Florida, also received praise from groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Disabled Veterans of America (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). Similar to legislation Rep. Smith supported earlier this summer, this bill would allow veterans who experience wait times longer than 30 days, and those living more than 40 miles from a VA facility, to seek private care at the expense of the VA. It would also give the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs more authority to fire employees guilty of wrongdoing. The legislation would also require the VA to combine several San Antonio-area medical and benefits facilities into one new 191,000 square foot facility to ease access for veterans seeking any number of services. Specifically, the bill would consolidate the Frank Tejada Outpatient Clinic, two existing annexes, three existing specialty care clinics, one contract clinic and Veterans Benefits Administration offices into a single, one-stop-shop facility. The new facility would integrate medical and surgical care facilities with laboratory, pathology and radiology services in order to decrease visits for patients and deliver test results on the same day of appointment. Read More

Smith: ‘More Than An Empty Suit’

2014/07/30

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today released the following statement in anticipation of a House measure to bring suit against President Obama for failure to implement Obamacare provisions from 2010.   Congressman Lamar Smith: “This is more than an empty suit: the American people have a long list of grievances that merit the legal action being pursued by the House of Representatives. In addition to changing the terms of Obamacare, the president has ignored, undermined, and gone around Congress to create new immigration laws. This has created the current crisis on our border and significantly weakened our nation’s security. Yet this president continues to threaten even more overreaching executive actions to extend amnesty to millions. “The time has come for a lawsuit to hold this runaway presidency accountable. The Constitution says the president must faithfully execute the laws. However, the current president believes he has the power to make his own laws. But no president has the power to make laws on their own. “We have an obligation to defend the Constitution and the balance of powers our government has had for more than 200 years.” Read More

Smith Supports Bill to Boost Working Families

2014/07/25

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today voted in favor of the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act. Congressman Lamar Smith: “Child Tax Credits have traditionally been a way our government recognizes the valuable role families play in caring for the next generation. By allowing parents to keep more of their hard-earned money, this bill will give working families a much-needed boost. “In addition, it also reins in bad IRS policies that have paid out more than $4.2 billion in taxpayer dollars to millions of illegal immigrants. Our bill puts an end to this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars and ensures our policies place the highest priorities on working American families.” Read More

Texas Republicans to Obama: Enforce Immigration Laws

2014/07/24

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today sent a letter to President Obama signed by all 24 Texas Republican Members of the House of Representatives and both Senators. The letter in part read: “Mr. President, you have the authority to stop the surge of illegal entries by immigrant minors today. Enforcing current immigration laws will go a long way to solving the border crisis.” Complete text of the letter can be found below:   July 24, 2014   President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, As members of the Texas delegation, we watch our state endure the impact of illegal immigrant children streaming across our border. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered during their long journeys to the United States. But we cannot allow this tragedy to continue. A country that has lost control of its borders has lost control of its future. Mr. President, you have the authority to stop the surge of illegal entries by immigrant minors today. Enforcing current immigration laws will go a long way to solving the border crisis. We therefore urge you to take the following actions to address the current national security and humanitarian crisis on the Southern Border: 1. Suspend your efforts to issue new Executive Orders that weaken enforcement of our immigration laws.  Your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Executive Order has shielded over half a million illegal immigrants from current law.  And it has sent the regrettable message that illegal immigration will not be punished in the United States. 2. End the catch-and-release policy that gives convicted criminal immigrants and illegal immigrants a free pass.  Last year, 36,000 criminal immigrants with 88,000 convictions were released from jail to roam our neighborhoods and commit additional crimes instead of being detained and deported. 3. Improve cooperation with local law enforcement agencies so they can help enforce our immigration laws and identify criminal immigrants. 4. Don’t tolerate immigration fraud, which encourages more illegal immigrants to make false claims so they can remain in the United States. 5. Expedite the processing and removal of illegal immigrants who are apprehended at our Southern Border.  We can only deter future waves of illegal immigration through swift and certain enforcement of our immigration laws. Your administration has used existing laws as an excuse for your failure to end the national security and humanitarian crisis on our Southern Border.  However, the majority of immigrants apprehended at the border during this crisis can be legally repatriated immediately.  Instead, you have permitted almost all to remain in the United States, further encouraging illegal immigration. Please take the actions cited above to enforce our immigration laws and restore order on the Southern Border.  This will save lives and discourage those you have enticed to enter illegally through your current policies.   Twenty-five members joined Rep. Smith in calling for the President to stop the illegal surge on the southern border, including:  Rep. Joe Barton (TX-06), Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08), Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26), Rep. John Carter (TX-31), Rep. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Rep. John Culberson (TX-07), Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17), Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12), Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), Rep. Sam Johnson (TX-03), Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22), Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02), Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-32), Steve Stockman (TX-36), Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-13), Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14), Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). 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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