WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) gave the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-3 vote to strike down a Texas law (H.B. 2) designed to provide essential protections for the health and safety of women inside the state’s abortion facilities.
Congressman Lamar Smith: “Today, the Supreme Court ruled against life, common-sense safety measures and states’ rights. The court has encroached on the State of Texas’ ability to self-govern. And the court’s decision jeopardizes the safety of women who pursue abortion services.
“The Supreme Court chose to side with pro-abortion advocates at the expense of an individual’s health care needs. I remain steadfast in my belief that life is precious, and no life is more vulnerable than that of an unborn child.”
Earlier this year, Smith and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX), along with U.S. Representatives Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Pete Olson (R-TX), led a broad Congressional coalition filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Texas HB 2.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s 4-4 decision in United States v. Texas, which upholds the lower court’s decision that the president’s use of executive action to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants is unlawful:
Congressman Smith: “The Supreme Court’s decision today in their ruling on the United States v. Texas rightfully upheld the Constitution. The president’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants is unconstitutional. Congress has the sole authority under the Constitution to write immigration laws, not Barack Obama. His unlawful amnesty agenda to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants and to grant them work authorization is contrary to the law and hurts unemployed Americans.”
Smith has vocally supported the Texas-led, 26 state lawsuit since it was first filed in December 2014. Smith joined a brief in support of the Texas lawsuit with Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). More than a hundred members of the House and Senate supported that brief.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the early Sunday morning terror attack on an Orlando nightclub in which 50 people were killed and 53 more wounded, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) released the following statement:
Congressman Smith: “Another radical Muslim extremist who pledged his allegiance to ISIS has targeted Americans and our way of life. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the Orlando community.
“This senseless tragedy, the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11, will not intimidate us. We must fight back against terrorism. Terrorism has no one weapon of choice or method of collaboration. The U.S. must use every possible means we have to prevail over extremists.”Read More
Washington, DC – On Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) joined his Texas colleagues in Congress by sending a letter to President Obama requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Travis and 11 other Texas counties in light of the recent severe weather and flooding.
The letter adds further support to Governor Abbott’s request for Individual Assistance, Public Assistance (Categories A and B including Direct Federal Assistance) and Hazard Mitigation Statewide. Senators Cornyn and Cruz also wrote to the president for a disaster declaration.
Congressman Lamar Smith: “Central Texas has been significantly affected by flood waters and storms that took lives and destroyed homes, roads, bridges and businesses.
“Residents, emergency responders, local governments and volunteer agencies have made a tremendous impact with their response, but the continued recovery won’t be easy. I ask the president for quick consideration and approval of Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration request.”
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) voted against H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), which creates a board of managers to address the fiscal condition of Puerto Rico. Smith opposed the legislation because the bill fails to hold Puerto Rican officials accountable for their policies that caused the financial crisis and it lacks reforms to improve their fiscal state.
Congressman Lamar Smith gave the following statement for the Congressional Record:
“House Resolution 5278 creates a board of managers to address the fiscal condition of Puerto Rico.
“However, Puerto Rican officials still have not been held accountable or accepted responsibility for their policies that caused the financial crisis. In fact, just the opposite: the Puerto Rican government ignored its fiscal obligations when it recently voted to approve a moratorium on repaying any of its debt.
“But it is Puerto Rico and not Congress who should take the first steps to adopt reform measures.
“There is no certainty that a financial oversight board would implement any economic growth measures to improve the Island’s fiscal condition.
“The board has no mandate from Congress to address the bloated government workforce, high taxes, an insolvent pension system, limitations on trade under the Jones Act, and excessive welfare benefits, all of which helped cause the fiscal crisis.
“This legislation rewards bad behavior and represents a missed opportunity for Congress to insist on fiscally responsible reforms.”
Washington, DC – On Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-5) sent a letter to House appropriators urging them to prioritize support for K-12 computer science education.
The letter, signed by Smith, Brooks and 22 of their colleagues on both sides of the aisle, notes how only one in four K-12 schools in the U.S. teach rigorous computer science courses. States and school districts understand the need to improve and are leading the way, investing their limited resources in computer science education. By prioritizing support for computer science education at the federal level, Congress can contribute to improving our country’s competitiveness, addressing national security and cyber defense concerns, and creating more jobs for our local communities.
As Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Rep. Smith championed the STEM Education Act. This bill, which has been signed into law, adds computer science to the definition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and strengthens ongoing STEM education efforts supported by the National Science Foundation.
Congressman Lamar Smith: "I’ve heard from countless employers that there are not enough applicants with the technical skills they need to fill the positions they’re looking for. We need to equip our country’s students and teachers with the resources needed to succeed in the 21st century."
Congresswoman Brooks: “As a former community college administrator, I understand the importance of providing our kids with the skills that will help them succeed in college and throughout their career,” Brooks said. “To maintain our nation’s competitive edge, America must raise a new generation of innovators ready to meet the demands of a global and tech-driven economy. Computing plays a crucial role in aligning our current educational attainment gap and opportunities in the workforce, and we must prioritize computer science education for students of all ages.”
In April, a bipartisan group CEOs, of governors, and education leaders wrote to Congress asking for every student in every school to have an opportunity to learn computer science. The House Appropriations Committee will be weighing computer science funding in this year’s Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill.
Other signers of Rep. Smith and Brooks’ computer science letter include representatives:
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 – 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, 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.”
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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