Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Rep. Smith Votes for a Strong National Defense, Pay Raise for Troops

2016/12/02

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) released the following statement after the House passed the conference report to the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Article 1 Section VIII of the Constitution states the Congress is charged with providing for the common defense of the United States. Each year an updated bill is voted on to authorize what’s needed for a national defense best suited to protect and defend our country.

Rep. Smith: “Today the House took action on a bill that allows for the highest pay raise for our troops in six years.

"While serving our country, service members need the ability to train for and execute their missions without being limited by an arbitrary lack of resources. In addition to increasing personnel, this bill provides the means to improve readiness and maintenance so troops can do their jobs safely and effectively.

"We also voted to strengthen military health care – ensuring no TRICARE increases for those currently serving and requiring full disclosure for any changes for those that join the military in the future.

"The bill keeps Guantanamo Bay open and prohibits transferring Guantanamo detainees to American soil. It also improves our ability to fight ISIS through counterterrorism and prioritizes strong cybersecurity defense.”

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Smith Statement on FBI’s Reopening of Clinton Email Investigation

2016/10/28

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, today released the following statement following the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) announcement that it has reopened its investigation of the use of an insecure, private email server to conduct official business by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “A smoking gun has long been evident in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the decision to reopen the investigation is a step in the right direction to determine who pulled the trigger.  On September 28 at a Congressional hearing, I called on FBI Director Comey to reopen the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server because of the many unanswered questions that remained after its initial inquiry closed.  Today’s news that the FBI has discovered new information that has led it to determine that its investigation is incomplete and requires additional review by FBI investigators is a welcome and overdue development. 

“Throughout the investigation of the security of former Secretary Clinton’s private server, the committee’s inquiries have been met with resistance and obstruction by companies and organizations associated with former Secretary Clinton.  Given this reasoning, I recently announced that the committee intends to hold her private server company, Platte River Networks, in contempt of Congress.

“The American people deserve a transparent government and the assurance that our nation’s security will not be jeopardized. I look forward to continuing the committee’s investigation into the security of former Secretary Clinton’s private email server.”

Background

On Oct. 20, Smith announced plans to hold the company that set up and maintained former Secretary Clinton’s private server, Platte River Networks, in contempt of Congress. 

At a Sept. 28 House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Smith urged FBI Director James Comey to reopen the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

On Sept. 20, Rep. Smith issued a subpoena to FBI Director Comey for documents and information related to the security of Clinton’s private email account and server. The Committee requested these documents in a Sept. 9 letter. Director Comey has failed to produce any documents pursuant to the previous request.

On Aug. 22, Smith issued subpoenas to the three companies who maintain former Secretary Clinton’s private server with the support of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, after the companies failed to comply with the Science Committee’s voluntary request for documents and interviews.

Smith’s subpoenas built on July 12 bicameral efforts to request information and earlier investigations initiated separately by Chairman Smith and Chairman Johnson.

The Science Committee has jurisdiction over the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which sets standards pursuant to the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA). The materials subpoenaed by the Science Committee center exactly around the Committee’s jurisdiction over cybersecurity standards in FISMA.

Release also viewable at https://science.house.gov/news/press-releases/smith-statement-fbi-s-reopening-clinton-email-investigation​ 

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Rep. Smith Presented “Taxpayers’ Friend Award”

2016/10/27

WASHINGTON – This week Congressman Smith was recognized by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) for having a strong voting record on lowering taxes and limiting government. Rep. Smith is one of the few members on Capitol Hill whose votes during the past legislative session are worthy of the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” for 2015.

Rep. Smith said of the award: “Americans deserve a fairer, simpler tax system and our economy needs tax relief. The best way to refuel the economy and keep Texas competitive and growing is to reduce taxes. I will continue to support policies that reduce the tax burden on Americans and reign in the government’s spending.”

NTU has recognized Representatives and Senators since 1979 whose voting record deems them a “Taxpayers’ Friend.” Only 14 Senate and 43 House Members won the award for 2015.

Every roll call vote in Congress affecting fiscal policy is analyzed by NTU and the “Taxpayer Score” is based on how each Member of Congress has stood up for controlling federal spending, taxes, debt and regulations. In 2015, NTU’s scorecard looked at 141 Senate and 267 House votes.

Pete Sepp, President of NTU commented, “Winning the Taxpayers’ Friend Award is no easy feat. It takes a daily commitment to cast principled votes that put the Americans who pay government’s bills first. Congressman Smith has proven he has what it takes to help make Washington work for taxpayers again.”

“Rep. Smith’s pro- taxpayer A rating was one of the best on all of Capitol Hill. Through his consistent voting record, Smith showed his colleagues the way to lower deficits, less burdensome taxes, and a stronger economy. If every Member of Congress had voted as conscientiously as the Congressman did last year, taxpayers could have looked forward to a much more prosperous future,” Sepp concluded.

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Smith Calls for FBI to Reopen Clinton Investigation

2016/09/28

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, today urged FBI Director James Comey to reopen the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

At today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing titled Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rep. Smith questioned Director Comey and described several recent developments that would justify a reopening of the investigation, including:

  • Reports that an employee at a company that managed former Secretary Clinton’s private email server said on the forum Reddit.com, “ . . . I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived emails….” This same employee called a new retention policy designed to delete emails after 60 days a “Hillary cover-up operation.”
  • A former Clinton Foundation employee who also managed the Clinton server destroyed devices used by Clinton by smashing them with a hammer.
  • Two employees involved in maintaining the Clinton server recently pleading the Fifth Amendment to Congress to avoid self-incrimination.

Rep. Smith also urged Director Comey to ensure that the FBI complied with the Science Committee’s recent subpoena of documents related to the server.

Video of Chairman Smith Calls on Director Comey to Reopen FBI Investigation into Clinton Email Server

Click HERE to watch Rep. Smith’s exchange with Director Comey.

Background

On Sept. 20, Rep. Smith issued a subpoena to FBI Director Comey for documents and information related to the security of Clinton’s private email account and server. The Committee requested these documents in a Sept. 9 letter. Director Comey has failed to produce any documents pursuant to the previous request.

The Science Committee has jurisdiction over the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which sets standards for the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014. The materials subpoenaed by the Science Committee center exactly around the Committee’s jurisdiction over cybersecurity standards in the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014.

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www.science.house.gov - contact Kristina Baum for more information

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Smith: President’s immigration policies put Americans at risk

2016/09/22

WASHINGTON – Rep. Lamar Smith, member and former chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, delivered the following statement today at the hearing “Oversight of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” Agency director Sarah Saldaña testified at the hearing.

Rep. Smith: President's immigration policies put Americans at risk
Statement Video

As delivered:

I am going to use my question time to make a statement because after eight years of asking Obama Administration officials why they refuse to enforce our immigration laws, I am confident that the Committee still won’t receive satisfactory answers today. 

The president’s immigration policies continue to put innocent Americans at risk.  The administration has ignored laws, failed to enforce laws, undermined laws, and unconstitutionally changed immigration laws.

Among these dangerous policies is the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, which requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to release criminal immigrants into our neighborhoods where inevitably they commit additional crimes. 

Over the last three years, ICE has released 86,000 criminal immigrants into our communities.  They had been convicted of over 230,000 crimes, which include homicide, aggravated assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, driving under the influence, and other serious crimes. 

Over 30 percent will be arrested again for killing or injuring more innocent Americans.  The administration’s intentional release of criminal immigrants amounts to the largest jailbreak in American history.  And every day Americans across the country are paying a steep price.

Last year ICE deported a total of 235,000 illegal immigrants, the lowest number in ten years.  This was only 2 percent of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.  Of these, only about 70,000 were interior removals. 

Under the current administration, ICE has started counting turnbacks at the border as traditional interior removals in an attempt to pad their deportation numbers.  Previous presidents did not count turnbacks as deportations.  But then no president has done so little to enforce immigration laws. 

Investigation of immigrants who overstay their visas has disappeared.  At least 40 percent of the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the country entered legally and overstayed their visas.   

Yet ICE only deported 2,456 visa overstayers in 2015.  That is less than one-tenth of one percent of the total number of visa overstayers.

In addition, the administration has done nothing to hold any of the three hundred sanctuary cities accountable.  These local governments violate federal law when they refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the apprehension and deportation of illegal immigrants. 

Congress mandated the cooperation of local officials in an immigration enforcement bill in 1996.  I know, I wrote the law. 

Tragically, the number of sanctuary cities has exploded under the Obama Administration.  During testimony at our last oversight hearing, Director Saldana couldn’t name a single instance in which ICE tried to prevent a jurisdiction from becoming a sanctuary for criminal immigrants.  The lawlessness of these sanctuary jurisdictions has had disastrous consequences. 

Last year Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a five times deported career felon, shot and killed Kathryn Steinle.  Lopez-Sanchez was set free to prey on innocent Americans, like Ms. Steinle, because of San Francisco’s sanctuary law. 

Unfortunately, similar tragedies have occurred across the country as a result of these laws.  So add these casualties to the current list of Americans who have become victims because of President Obama’s immigration policies.

These facts and figures demonstrate that enforcement of our immigration laws runs contrary to the Obama Administration’s amnesty agenda.  Until the immigration policies of this administration are overturned, illegal immigrants will continue to victimize innocent Americans.

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Smith: The President’s Ransom Put Americans Abroad at Risk

2016/09/22

WASHINGTON – On Thursday evening, Congressman Lamar Smith voted in support of Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act (H.R. 5931) of which he is a cosponsor.

Congressman Smith: “Earlier this year, the Obama administration made an undisclosed $400 million cash payment to Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. President Obama again bypassed Congress and secretly financed our enemies, who might well use the funds for terrorist activity.”

H.R. 5931 prohibits the United States Government from making any cash payments to the Government of Iran until the President certifies Iran is not a primary money laundering concern or a state sponsor of terrorism. The bill states that the policy of the United States Government is not to pay ransom or release prisoners for the purpose of securing the release of United States citizens taken hostage abroad.

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On Fifth Anniversary, Smith’s Patent Reform Bill Continues to Spur Innovation

2016/09/16

WASHINGTON – On the fifth anniversary of its enactment, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) celebrated the achievements of the America Invents Act. Spearheaded by Smith and Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the legislation passed 2011 at a time when the country’s patent system was long overdue for reform.

The patent system had served Americans well for years, but by 2005 it needed to be modernized to apply to computers, smartphones, and software. The laws could no longer protect unanticipated inventions. Patent ownership was in question. And overly broad patents were awarded that shouldn’t have been granted in the first place. The outdated system was dragged down by frivolous and costly lawsuits. Hundreds of thousands of patent applications were backlogged at the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

For six years Smith championed the need for comprehensive improvement to patent law, working across the aisle in the House of Representatives and with the Senate to make changes all could agree on. On September 16, 2011, the America Invents Act (AIA) was signed into law by President Obama.

The AIA made the first comprehensive reforms to the patent system in 60 years. Since its implementation, the reforms have aided the PTO and have helped improve the quality of patents.

The new law has helped the PTO reduce the backlog of patent applications, created a post-grant review system to eliminate questionable patents that have already been issued, and reformed court procedures to limit abusive patent litigation.

Updates to patent laws have also harmonized the U.S. system with the global patent framework, which helps smaller inventors compete on a worldwide scale. 

The AIA also established satellite offices of the Patent and Trademark Office, including an office in Dallas, to more closely connect patent filers with the USPTO, and improve the speed and quality of patent examination.

Congressman Smith: Today’s anniversary marks an important date for the American patent system. The America Invents Act continues to improve the quality of patents, reduce patent application backlogs, and provide a better alternative to costly and prolonged litigation over the validity of existing patents. Congress, the Patent and Trademark Office, and stakeholders should remain committed to the America Invents Act’s continued success to unleash American innovations.”

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Smith Votes to Increase Accountability at the VA

2016/09/14

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lamar Smith and House Republicans voted to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs by giving more authority to the VA Secretary to hold employees accountable for poor performance or misconduct. By a vote of 250-171, the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 (H.R. 5620) passed in the House and will go on to the Senate.

Congressman Smith: “Under existing law, it’s nearly impossible to replace employees at federal agencies like the VA, no matter how bad their behavior or work product. This bill takes a positive step forward by allowing the VA Secretary more flexibility to remove employees. The VA should not employ individuals who falsify records and ignore the needs of Veterans.”

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Smith Statement on Attack in Nice

2016/07/15

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) released the following statement after the Thursday night attack in Nice, France:

“Yesterday evening the world saw again senseless loss of life – this time in Nice, France, including two Central Texans.

"We’re still learning details but this tragedy shows once more that terror has no weapon of choice. We must unite together to eliminate this scourge of evil. Today Nice and the community of Lakeway, TX, will be in our prayers.”

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Rep. Smith Protects Health Care Providers’ Conscience Rights

2016/07/13

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) voted in support of The Conscience Protection Act (S. 304), which protects health care providers who decline to participate in abortions as a matter of conscience. The bill passed in the House 245-182.

Congressman Smith: “My vote today was for common sense – no health care provider should be forced to violate their conscience to fund, support or perform abortions. The bill also rightly maintains that federal funding – Americans’ tax dollars – should be denied to any entity that discriminates against individual providers who morally object to abortion services.”

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Rep. Smith: Has the Media Learned Any Lessons?

2016-11-15 18:15:52


Rep Smith and Sheriff Pamerleau discuss Oct. 19 Community Safety Event

2016-10-18 14:10:08


Rep. Smith: President's immigration policies put Americans at risk

2016-09-22 16:01:16


Smith: IRS conduct "abuse of office," "attack on freedom of speech"

2016-09-22 14:18:07


Media Fairness Caucus (MFC): Floor Speech - The Media Shows Their Bias

2016-09-13 21:11:58


Media Fairness Caucus (MFC): Poll - Americans Believe the Media is Biased

2016-09-13 21:05:29


Rep. Smith Speaks on FBI's notes from interviewing Hillary Clinton

2016-09-13 19:28:02


Media Fairness Caucus (MFC): Is Facebook Suppressing Conservative Views?

2016-07-15 21:01:49


Media Fairness Caucus (MFC): Networks' Coverage of Orlando Attack Biased

2016-07-15 20:40:23


Smith: Ginsburg Showed Bad Judgement

2016-07-15 20:33:11


Rep. Smith Questions FBI Director Comey at Homeland Security Hearing

2016-07-14 21:38:02


Administration's Immigration Policies Hurt Americans

2016-07-06 19:45:24


Smith Questions Feds on Immigrant Visa Overstays

2016-06-15 20:11:50


Rep. Smith's Memorial Day Message

2016-06-01 16:43:00


Media Fairness Caucus (MFC): Media Fails to Cover Court's Obamacare Decision

2016-05-17 18:56:00


Media Fairness Caucus (MFC): Rep. Smith on Facebook's Censoring of Conservative Media

2016-05-11 21:38:09


Rep. Smith Questions Witness on EPAs Predetermined Efforts to Block the Pebble Mine

2016-04-29 19:46:41


Rep. Smith Statement at Immigration Subcommittee Hearing on Criminal Aliens

2016-04-20 12:59:33


Smith Speaks on House Resolution to 'Reinforce the Rule of Law'

2016-03-17 15:58:57


Last Man on the Moon Gene Cernan Praises Chairman Smith's Support of U.S. Space Leadership

2016-02-24 16:07:03


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

John Ratcliffe

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

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd 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

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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