Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith


Is your ObamaCare information safe?


[[{"fid":"385","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full"}}]] As the second year of ObamaCare enrollment approaches, the focus this time is on the security of information the government requires enrollees to provide. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over security of the website, said, "we've had hearings on the subject of the security or lack of security with the ObamaCare website and what we've discovered is that it seems to be easy to be hacked, the security is not secure." Smith isn't the only one worrying. A security expert noted that the health care website is one of the largest federal collections of personal information ever assembled. Security analyst David Kennedy, of a company called TrustedSec, explained, "they require first name, last name ... they require your home address, require your social security number, and then payment information" -- including credit card data. Worries increased when a test site for ObamaCare was hacked on July 8 but not discovered until Aug. 25. Officials said no information was compromised and that comprehensive testing was now underway. But just last month, a Government Accountability Office report said, “Until these weaknesses are fully addressed, increased and unnecessary risks remain." Officials now say they have met 19 of 22 GAO recommendations. One security specialist, however, warned that hacking of all kinds is rapidly rising. "We're seeing it on an unprecedented level," said David Kennedy. "I mean attacks this year have gone up 400 percent from the prior year. We see it from China, Russia, you know inside the United States itself, organized crime units ... I mean it's a mess out there right now." Dan Mendelson of Avalere Health said, "Look, when J.P. Morgan gets hacked, you've got to worry about everything and the fact is that consumers are putting a lot of confidential information onto the site."  Smith had concerns last fall. But in testimony, Todd Park, the former Chief Technology Officer for the administration and assistant to the president, testified last November he knew nothing about security problems. “I'm not, uh, deeply familiar with, uh, the development testing regimen happened prior to September 1," Park testified. Smith, however, said he thinks security problems were known but ignored, and is issuing a subpoena for Park to come back and testify again. "When we found out we weren’t getting all the information from him that we should and it may or may not have been accurate, that's when we decided to issue the subpoena," Smith said. One security expert noted is a still a huge ripe target ... and that unlike the private sector, no law requires the federal government to even inform you if your information has been hacked. Click HERE for video. Read More

Smith, Palazzo Statement on Failed Launch at Wallops Island


House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) released the following statement in response to Tuesday's failed launch attempt at a Wallops Island,Virginia launch facility.  Chairman Smith and Palazzo: “We add our disappointment to the thousands in the space community who worked tirelessly in support of Tuesday evening's launch attempt at Wallops Island. We are relieved to hear there are no reported fatalities, and we anticipate learning more about the circumstances surrounding the launch failure in the near future." Tuesday's launch was intended to carry a Cygnus spacecraft into orbit to dock with and deliver supplies to the International Space Station. The Antares rocket carrying the craft appeared to explode just moments after liftoff.   Read More

Smith Issues Subpoena to Uncover White House’s Role in Faulty Security


Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) this week issued a subpoena to former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, a top Assistant to President Obama during the launch of last November. The subpoena compels Mr. Park’s appearance before the Subcommittee on Oversight to answer questions regarding his role in developing and evaluating the operations and security of  Chairman Smith: “The Obama administration has failed to provide this Committee with information about the security of the Obamacare website. What is the White House trying to hide?  News reports in July revealed that a hacker successfully breached the Obamacare website. And we don’t know how many other security breaches have gone unreported. The American people deserve to know their personal information on is absolutely secure. That is why I issued a subpoena to compel Mr. Park to testify under oath about his role in the website’s development.” Emails obtained by the Committee show that Mr. Park may have misled Congress and had more knowledge of the website’s development than he represented in testimony last November before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR). Mr. Park testified that he didn’t have “detailed knowledge” of the website before it was launched, and said that he was “not even familiar with the development and testing regimen that happened prior to October 1.” Released today, the interim Majority Staff Report includes a timeline of events and emails obtained by the Committee that raise further questions about Mr. Park’s role and knowledge of security issues prior to October 1, 2013. Mr. Park, who recently stepped down as Chief Technology Officer, was the co-chair of the White House’s Affordable Care Act Information Technology Exchanges Steering Committee, a body responsible for overseeing security protocols during development of the website. After refusing to testify on five different occasions, Mr. Park scheduled a briefing for members of the Oversight Subcommittee on Wednesday September 10, 2014, regarding his management and oversight of the website, including security protocols. However, less than 24 hours in advance, the White House cancelled the briefing because it did not want any official transcript of the discussion. The subpoena requires Mr. Park to appear before the Science Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee to provide testimony under oath on Wednesday, November 19.  A previous subpoena for documents was issued that required the White House to provide documents and emails pertaining to Mr. Park’s role in development of the website. The Science Committee held two hearings since the website’s botched launch and heard from leading security experts, including David Kennedy, a “white hat hacker,” who warned that Americans’ personal and financial information remains vulnerable to hackers and cyber criminals.                                                                                                                             Read More

Smith Briefed on Ebola Response at Fort Sam Houston


Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today after being briefed on Ebola response team efforts at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston: Congressman Smith:  “Fort Sam has the resources, expertise, and desire to help train the Ebola response team. I appreciate Major General Simeon Trombitas and Brigadier General Barbara Holcomb for giving me this timely briefing. Although we hope this team’s services will never be needed, it is clear that they will be trained and prepared to deploy anywhere needed by next week.” Read More

Rep. Smith Called ‘Most Effective’


[[{"fid":"383","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full"}}]] WASHINGTON — Rep. Lamar Smith has been named Capitol Hill's most effective lawmaker by political scientists as part of the Legislative Effectiveness Project. The project of researchers from the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University put Smith, R-San Antonio, at No. 1 out of 449 House members who served in the 112th Congress between 2011 and 2013. Craig Volden, professor of public policy and politics at the University of Virginia, said they wanted to look at lawmakers' effectiveness objectively and rate members in a way that looked beyond the political gridlock. “It's more important now than ever to have effective members because it is so difficult to get things done in Congress and have people work across party lines,'' Volden said. Alan Wiseman, associate professor of political science at Vanderbilt, said they studied every bill introduced from 1973 until 2012. He said they calculated member's “legislative effectiveness scorecard'' based on five steps in the legislative process, identifying how many bills were sponsored and tracking to see if they became law. Also weighing seniority as a factor, Wiseman said Smith was considered one of the most effective leaders even before he started serving as chairman of the House science committee at the start of 2013. Volden said Smith appeared in those lists four times when Republicans had the House majority as well as in the top 10 overall regarding labor and employment issues. Full story here: Read More

Smith Named Most Effective Lawmaker


Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) was recently identified as the most effective lawmaker in the 112th Congress, according to a study conducted by political scientists at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University.    Researchers assigned lawmakers “Legislative Effectiveness Scores” using an equation to measure the member’s ability to push bills “through the legislative process and into law.” According to the scores, Smith rated as the highest lawmaker out of 449 congressional representatives that were scored in the 112th Congress. The study weighed factors such as legislators’ seniority, the number of bills authored that became law, and the relative substance and weight of bills authored. The results were recently unveiled in a website,, and accompanying book, “Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Congress: The Lawmakers.” Read More

Smith Statement on Ebola Response Training at Fort Sam Houston


Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today following the announcement that the Pentagon will train an Ebola response team at Fort Sam Houston in Smith’s congressional district in San Antonio.   Congressman Smith: "Given its reputation as a premier Army medical training facility, I can think of no better place to assemble this team than Fort Sam Houston. I also hope that this administration will finally place a travel ban on African countries most affected by the Ebola virus. This is truly a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Fort Sam Houston has been called the “Home of Army Medicine” and is one of the largest military medical training facilities in the world. A recent Washington Post- ABC News poll showed that 91 percent of Americans support stricter screening of people entering the United States who have been in African countries affected by the outbreak, and 67 percent support completely restricting entry to people traveling from those countries. Smith has repeatedly called for a travel ban to be put in place after a Liberian man was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas in early October.    Read More

Smith Says Texas Succeeds Where Federal Government Failed on Ebola


Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today in response to an announcement that the Texas Department of State Health Services is enacting its own travel ban on health workers who have treated Ebola patients. The decision comes as the Obama administration continues to refuse to enforce a flight ban on travelers coming from countries most affected by the Ebola virus. Smith has been calling for increased scrutiny on travel since early October when the first U.S. case of Ebola was confirmed in Dallas. Congressman Smith: “In the wake of this administration’s failures, I welcome today’s decision by the Texas Department of State Health Services to enact its own travel ban on health workers who have treated Ebola patients. Once more, the state of Texas has succeeded where the federal government failed. I believe this is truly a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is time for the president to take common-sense measures, and past time to institute a travel ban on those coming from the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. We should also immediately cease issuing the hundreds of visas that are being given out daily at our embassies in these three countries. “It is appropriate to allow our military forces to take the lead transporting personnel in and out of the West African countries as they assist in battling this deadly virus. The White House has given many empty excuses for not issuing a travel ban. By refusing to institute a ban on grounds that some might try to violate it, the president is admitting defeat from the start. We cannot abdicate our responsibility to protect the American public simply because the task appears difficult. “We will continue to keep all those working to fight this deadly virus in our thoughts and prayers. Our first priority must continue to be the safety and well-being of the American public.” A recent Washington Post- ABC News poll showed that 91 percent of Americans support stricter screening of people entering the United States who have been in African countries affected by the outbreak, and 67 percent support completely restricting entry to people traveling from those countries. On Thursday, Smith joined fellow Texas Republicans in a letter to President Obama formally asking that a travel ban be put in place for those traveling from West African countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak. Smith first called for officials to “review our policies for travel to and from the countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak” after a Liberian man was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas in early October. Read More

Smith Supports Travel Ban to Stop Spread of Ebola


Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today joined fellow Texas Republicans in sending a letter to President Obama asking that he put a travel ban in place for those traveling from West African countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak. In part, the letter reads: “Second guessing will not protect Texans and other Americans who are worried about the spread of Ebola in the United States. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives you the authority to deny entry into the United States of any class of aliens whose entry 'would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.' We strongly urge you to use that authority to put in place a travel ban for individuals traveling from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. As you know, these countries have been struggling to contain the Ebola outbreak. According to the World Health Organization, the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest and deadliest in recorded history and has killed more than 4,000 people. It is time to take proactive precautions to prevent additional Ebola cases from arriving on our shores. “Northeastern University Professor Alessandro Vespignani has developed a computer model that calculates the risk of Ebola being spread through air travel. According to his analysis, the United States is one of the top 16 countries at risk of Ebola from passengers arriving on commercial air flights. Professor Vespignani’s analysis went on to conclude that if we restrict air travel we reduce that risk by at least 50 percent. … “Implementing travel restrictions is the most effective way to prevent the continued spread of Ebola in this country. We strongly urge you to immediately use your authority to implement a travel ban and protect Americans from this deadly disease.” Smith previously called for officials to “review our policies for travel to and from the countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak” after a Liberian man was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas earlier this month. Read More

Smith Statement on U.S. Ebola Case


Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today released the following statement regarding the case of Ebola recently confirmed in Texas. “I’m glad to know that local, state, and federal officials are working to treat the patient and those he has come in contact with since re-entering the U.S. While we have compassion for those struggling with this terrible disease, our first priority must be the safety and well-being of Texans and the American public. That is why I believe it’s appropriate for us to review our policies for travel to and from the countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak.” ### Read More

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Contact Information

2409 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4236
Fax 202-225-8628

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


Ted Poe


Sam Johnson


Ralph Hall


Jeb Hensarling


Joe Barton


John Culberson


Kevin Brady


Michael McCaul


Michael Conaway


Kay Granger


Mac Thornberry


Randy Weber


Bill Flores


Randy Neugebauer


Pete Olson


Kenny Marchant


Roger Williams


Michael Burgess


Blake Farenthold


John Carter


Pete Sessions


Steve Stockman


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