Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Smith Praises RAISE Act

2017/08/02

Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue’s (R-GA) introduction of the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. Senators Cotton and Perdue announced the introduction of legislation to reform our legal immigration system Wednesday morning with President Trump at the White House.

Rep. Smith: “Each year one million legal immigrants are admitted to the United States. Our immigration system is the most generous in the world. However, our current system fails to prioritize immigration based on skills and abilities. Less than 15 percent of green card holders are admitted based on education and skills. Existing immigration policies do not prioritize the interests of American workers and taxpayers.

“The RAISE Act ensures that our legal immigration system admits those with the highest training and abilities to spur economic growth and innovation. These reforms make sure that our immigration policies protect hard-working Americans.

“I thank Senators Cotton and Perdue for introducing the RAISE Act. We’ve been working with the senators for months on this effort and I plan to introduce the House companion bill soon. We appreciate President Trump’s support of this legislation and his help in fulfilling the pledge we made to make our immigration laws better serve America.”

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Rep. Smith Supports Funds for Strong National Security

2017/07/27

Washington, DC – Today Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) voted to provide critical funding for our national security with his support for H.R. 3219, Make America Secure Appropriations Act. The bill passed 235-192.

Rep. Smith: “Today we funded multiple measures to make America more safe and secure, including funding physical barriers along our Southern border. These barriers, in combination with additional border personnel and technology, play a critical role in reducing illegal immigration.

“Important to Texas’ 21st District, this legislation funds our military priorities and overhauls the way the VA does business. The bill funds a 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops and ensures they have adequate training. It keeps our military on the cutting edge of defense technology with investments in updated equipment and weapons and research and development. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs is funded at its highest rate ever to support medical care for 7 million VA patients, modernize records, and reduce the disability claims backlog.”

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Rep. Smith Tele-town Meeting Reveals Continued Obamacare Frustration

2017/07/25

Washington, DC – On Monday evening, Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) held a tele-town meeting with constituents from across the 21st Congressional District. During the event, the Congressman answered questions and took comments on a variety of issues including health care, border security and tax reform. Participants were asked four poll questions during the tele-town meeting. Results can be found below.  

Rep. Smith: “A majority of poll respondents voiced their disapproval of President Obama’s health care law in my telephone town meeting. We still need to replace Obamacare with a health care policy that lowers premiums, lowers taxes and makes better health care accessible to all.

“I value these opportunities to hear from constituents and exchange ideas with them. Whether it’s discussing border structures or programs like E-verify, which shuts off the jobs magnet for illegal immigrants, these tele-town meetings provide a forum for me to learn how my constituents feel about many issues.”

July 24, 2017 Tele-town Meeting Poll Results

Do you support the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare?
Yes – 22%
No – 70%
Undecided – 8%
 
Do you support programs like E-verify to ensure American jobs only go to legal workers?
Yes – 85%
No – 8%
Undecided – 7%
 
Do you support reducing the corporate tax rate?
Yes – 69%
No – 22%
Undecided – 9%
 
Do you believe the country is headed in the right direction?
Yes – 56%
No – 31%
Undecided – 13%

 

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Rep. Smith Votes to Boost Resources for the Military

2017/07/14

Washington, DC – Today Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) voted to provide critical resources for our national security with his support for The National Defense Authorization Act. The bipartisan bill passed 344-81.

The 21st Congressional District is home to Joint Base San Antonio-Ft. Sam Houston and over 60,000 active duty servicemembers, veterans and their families. Congressman Smith gave the following statement on the bill.

Rep. Smith: “As we know in Texas, a state where military culture runs deep, the men and women who keep us safe are our country’s most valuable asset. Congress has the responsibility to provide them the resources, care and pay raise they need, earned, and deserve.

“After a decade and a half of cuts, we are providing the measures to rebuild and maintain our military. The 2.4 percent pay raise in the bill is the highest in eight years. The legislation also increases the number of troops, provides greater training opportunities, and prioritizes the restoration and modernization of our military facilities. I will continue to work for the servicemen and women who sacrifice so that all Americans can be free.”

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Smith Votes to Protect Americans with ‘No Sanctuary for Criminals Act’ and ‘Kate’s Law’

2017/06/29

Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) voted today in support of the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate’s Law – bills that strengthen immigration enforcement and crack down on the dangerous sanctuary policies have failed the American people and cost too many lives.

Rep. Smith: “These bills are a down payment on our pledge to protect innocent Americans from criminal immigrants who deserve to be jailed or sent back to their home countries.

“There is absolutely no excuse for local governments to ignore immigration laws at the expense of the safety and well-being of Americans like Kate Steinle. Kate’s Law protects public safety by enhancing penalties for deported felons who return to the United States. Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminal Act keep dangerous criminal immigrants off our streets and out of our neighborhoods, a goal that should be shared by all.”

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Smith Statement on President Signing VA Accountability Bill into Law

2017/06/23

Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith gave the following statement today following President Trump signing the bipartisan Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1094) into law.

Rep. Smith: “President Trump is honoring his promise to hold accountable VA employees 'who let our veterans down.' The legislation signed today allows the VA Secretary more flexibility to remove, demote or suspend employees who are engaged in unprofessional behavior and not providing the quality of service our veterans deserve. It’s unfair to veterans and the vast majority of dedicated staff at Texas VA facilities when the agency doesn’t hold employees accountable.”

Background:
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ arcane civil service rules have allowed for months of paid leave for an employee who was involved in an armed robbery, a nurse who took part in surgery while intoxicated and a manager responsible for hospital construction delays costing over $1 billion. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 creates a more efficient and streamlined removal process for poor performing employees while still protecting due process rights and the right to appeal. 

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Rep. Smith Statement on Trump Administration Ending Obama Executive Amnesty Program

2017/06/16

Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) gave the following statement today on the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.”

Rep. Smith: “The DAPA program is an unconstitutional action taken by President Obama that granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. I support the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind this illegal program and restore the rule of law.” 

Background compiled by the House Judiciary Committee:

  • Before taking executive action on immigration, President Obama stated 22 times that he does not have the authority to change immigration laws on his own. On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced unilateral changes to the nation’s immigration laws, allowing potentially millions of unlawful immigrants to stay in the United States without a vote of Congress.
  • In December 2014, 26 states – led by the State of Texas – filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration.
  • On February 17, 2015, a federal judge temporarily blocked President Obama’s unilateral immigration actions.
  • Following this decision, Chairman Goodlatte, Congressman Smith and other Members of Congress filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a continued injunction against President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration in the case of United States v. Texas.
  • On November 10, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction preventing President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration from being implemented. Following this decision, the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the case.
  • On March 17, 2016, the House, approved H. Res. 639, a resolution allowing the Speaker to file a brief on behalf of the whole House of Representatives defending Congress’ Article I powers to write our nation’s laws. The House filed its brief on April 4, 2016.
  • On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court effectively blocked President Obama’s executive overreach on immigration from being implemented for the remainder of the Obama Administration, allowing a lower court ruling to stand.
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Smith Votes to Create a Culture of Accountability at the VA

2017/06/13

Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith voted today to support The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1094).

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ arcane civil service rules have allowed for months of paid leave for an employee who was involved in an armed robbery, a nurse who took part in surgery while intoxicated and a manager responsible for hospital construction delays costing over $1 billion. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 creates a more efficient and streamlined removal process for poor performing employees while still protecting due process rights and the right to appeal.

Rep. Smith: “This legislation allows the VA Secretary more flexibility to remove, demote or suspend employees who are engaged in unprofessional behavior and not providing the quality of service our veterans deserve. It’s unfair to veterans and the vast majority of dedicated employees at Texas VA facilities when the agency doesn’t hold employees accountable.”

In March, the House passed H.R. 1259, the VA Accountability First Act of 2017. The Senate passed S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 on June 6, 2017. Because the Senate accountability bill passed today in the House, it will now go to the President Trump to be signed into law. 

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Rep. Smith: “Communities Across Texas Will be Well-Served by Financial CHOICE Bill”

2017/06/08

Washington, DC – Today Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) gave the following statement on his vote in support of the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10), which passed in the House 233-186:

Rep. Smith: “The Dodd-Frank law over-regulates the financial services sector and has permanently closed the doors of hundreds of local banks across the country. Under Dodd-Frank it has become more expensive for families to buy a home, send a child to college, plan for retirement or to start a business.

“The Financial CHOICE Act removes burdens that discourage bank lending, decreases the cost of compliance, and improves access to credit. The CHOICE Act also ends Dodd-Frank’s taxpayer bailout of banks, called “Too Big To Fail.” Communities across Texas and America will be well-served by the accountability, opportunities and transparency in Chairman Hensarling’s bill.” 

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Let’s Put an End to One-Sided Science

2017/05/26

Science plays a critical role in the lives of all Americans. Every day, people around the world devote their lives to science and strive to advance our understanding of such complex subjects as human health and the environment.

To uphold the highest professional standards means to support the scientific method. This model helps guarantee that theories undergo rigorous experimentation and that when results do not match the original hypothesis or when reproducibility is not possible, that scientists reconsider their theories.

The media often overlook the fact that many of these “scientific discoveries” cannot be reproduced, which is a basic tenet of the scientific method. In 2016, Nature conducted a survey of over 1,500 scientists, which found that 70 percent of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments.

Scientists should be held to the same level of scrutiny as professionals in all fields. They are not without fault and their work should not be exempt from inspection. In fact, because their work frequently leads to costly environmental regulations paid for by hardworking Americans, scientists should be held to the highest standards. It does a disservice to all scientists if some are dismissing basic principles of the scientific method and producing results that cannot be verified.

Scientists today are hesitant to consider contradictory viewpoints and change their hypotheses, even when presented with contradictory credible data. This comes as no surprise when the media are quick to publish what they call mainstream scientific findings and scientists are largely funded by those with a predetermined agenda.

In effect, the media are dictating what science is worth believing. This type of behavior is anti-science and should be shut down. Let science stand on its own merits, and let American citizens have access to all the science. We should also invite open and honest debate, not stifle differing scientific opinions. These basic scientific principles underpin commonsense legislation that I have sponsored such as the HONEST Act, which requires that Environmental Protection Agency regulations be based on data that is publicly available.

Those who claim to be on the side of science, yet reject scientific data that does not fit their worldview, appeared to be overwhelmingly represented at the “March for Science.” Marching for science should mean having the courage to consider all credible viewpoints, even those that could potentially disprove long-standing theories. Marching for science means accepting that science is never settled, and that new observations and discoveries cannot be ignored and should even be encouraged.

The Science Committee is committed to advancing science by upholding its core principles. Just last month, the committee held a hearing on climate science and the scientific method with notable and respected scientific scholars. Unfortunately, many chose not to focus on the remaining scientific uncertainties we face before meaningful action is considered. Scientific debate should continue to enhance our understanding of issues such as the world’s changing climate.

It is unfortunate that those who question what the media and others consider the scientific “status quo” are stigmatized as being “against science.” It is time to recognize that science is not a set of facts, but a path to discovery, with rapidly changing theories and persistent inquiry.

We as a society should welcome commentary from both sides of scientific debates. When it comes to science on which environmental regulations are based, for example, a holistic approach is the only way to move from “trust-me science” to science that has a strong foundation based on the scientific method.

Congressman Lamar Smith represents the 21st district of Texas in the House of Representatives and is the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

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Rep. Smith: Majority of Voters Back President's Travel Vetting

2017-07-12 21:33:28


The Proper Role of the Judiciary

2017-05-17 18:17:14


Rep. Smith speaks about the impact of environmental regulations

2017-04-06 14:02:47


Rep. Smith: Was Surveillance of Trump Illegal?

2017-04-05 01:30:30


Smith: Restoring Enforcement of our Nations Immigration Laws

2017-03-28 19:30:44


News 4 WOAI: Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act

2017-03-16 19:28:44


President Hits Home Run

2017-03-01 20:57:03


Keep Americans Safe

2017-01-31 20:06:45


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


Contact Information

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

Committee Assignments

Science, Space, and Technology

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

Jodey Arrington

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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