San Antonio – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issuing enforcement memos for the agency on implementing President Trump’s border and interior executive orders.
Rep. Smith: “The American people should thank Secretary Kelly for issuing two enforcement memorandums today that overturn the dangerous immigration policies of President Obama. Secretary Kelly’s actions return the Department of Homeland Security to its central mission.
“These actions prioritize the deportation of criminal immigrants, allocate resources to construct physical barriers along our southern border, and increase the number of immigration and border personnel to keep our communities safe from the scourge of illegal immigration.”Read More
San Antonio – On Sunday, March 5, at 2:00 p.m. at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the office of Congressman Lamar Smith will host an information session for Central and South Texas students, parents, counselors and educators regarding the five service academies: the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Air Force Academy.
Service Academy and ROTC representatives will speak and then be available along with Congressman Smith’s staff to answer attendees’ questions from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Attendees will learn about the nomination process. This event is open to all area residents, not just those in the 21st District of Texas. No RSVP is necessary.
What: Service Academy Day
Who: For students, parents and family, counselors and educators interested in hearing more about the U.S. Service Academies and the nomination process
When: Sunday, March 5, 2017 – 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: UTSA Campus – One UTSA Circle Main Building, Ground Floor, 0.104. Parking is available off Bauerle Rd. in Lot 3.
Washington, DC – Today, legislation authored and introduced by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to penalize lawyers for filing baseless lawsuits passed in the House Judiciary Committee. The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction ACT (LARA) of 2017 passed by a vote of 17-6.
Chairman Smith: “Every day, innocent Americans face the scourge of frivolous lawsuits. Their reputations and livelihoods are jeopardized by attorneys who have everything to gain and nothing to lose by filing baseless lawsuits. LARA fights this legalized extortion. I look forward to working with Chairman Goodlatte and Senator Grassley to get this commonsense bill to President Trump’s desk.”Read More
Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Rep. Smith: “President Trump has long spoken of his conservative vision for our country’s next Supreme Court Justice being in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia. Last November, the American people decided what type of Justice they wanted to fill the vacancy on the Court. President Trump made it clear that he would nominate a jurist who would interpret and defend the Constitution as intended by our Founders. He has done just that by nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch.”
Washington, D.C. – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, the former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation today to reduce frivolous lawsuits that bog down the United States legal system and cost businesses billions of dollars every year.
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA) would impose mandatory sanctions for lawyers who file meritless suits in federal court. Federal rules requiring sanctions for frivolous suits were watered down in 1993, which resulted in increased lawsuit abuse. The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act restores the mandatory sanctions which hold attorneys accountable for lawsuit abuse. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia is an original cosponsor of the bill.
“The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act is just over one-page long but it would prevent the filing of thousands of frivolous lawsuits in federal court. Lawsuits have been filed against the Weather Channel for failing to accurately predict storms, against television shows people claimed were too scary, and against fast-food companies because inactive children gained weight. These types of absurd cases wrongly cost innocent individuals and business owners their reputations and their livelihoods. LARA requires lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits to pay the attorneys’ fees and court costs of innocent defendants. I look forward to working with Chairman Grassley to get this common sense bill to President Trump’s desk,” Smith said.
“Our American legal system is designed to be a tool for justice, and justice delayed is justice denied. However, too many baseless claims, often filed by unscrupulous lawyers, are clogging our legal system, increasing costs and delaying swift resolution of genuine legal grievances. Targets of frivolous lawsuits, often small businesses, are also burdened with unnecessary legal expenses. This bill helps to rebalance the scales of justice by weeding our legal system of frivolous claims and deterring lawyers from engaging in abusive and meritless litigation practices,” Grassley said.
“Lawsuits are complicated, but this bill is simple. Thousands of frivolous lawsuits have no place in our legal system, and the true victims are often small businesses or individuals who cannot afford to fight these claims. Members of both the House and Senate have been trying to make our legal system work properly for the American people for years, and now we are taking action to get truly meaningless lawsuits out of our courts,” Goodlatte said.
Every year, billions of dollars are wasted on frivolous lawsuits, forcing individuals and businesses to spend thousands of dollars on litigation. This ultimately costs jobs and damages the economy because money that could be spent hiring new employees or investing in new businesses is instead directed toward legal fees. The annual direct cost of American tort litigation has been estimated at more than $250 billion.
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act restores accountability to the U.S. legal system by providing penalties for filing baseless, meritless and frivolous lawsuits. Specifically, the bill:
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act is also cosponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), chairman of the House Small Business Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Trent Franks (R-AZ.), Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Ken Buck (R-CO).
A copy of the bill can be found here.
Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order which aims to protect Americans from potential terrorists with stricter vetting of refugees and immigrants coming from terrorism-sponsoring countries.
Rep. Smith: “I appreciate President Trump’s effort to protect innocent Americans from those who enter the United States to do us harm. We ought to take every reasonable step possible to protect the American people from terrorism. Two years ago, President Obama designated these seven countries as a security threat for travel purposes. These countries were designated based on the threat of terrorism, not religion or any other factor. Those from terrorist sponsoring countries should not be admitted until they can be properly vetted by our national security agencies.
“This action is temporary. The regular process will resume once security policies are updated over the next 90 days. That is what President Trump’s action does.”Read More
Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued the following statement today in response to President Donald Trump signing executive orders to enhance border security, provide the necessary personnel and resources to enforce immigration laws, and compel sanctuary cities to comply with the law.
Rep. Smith: “Less than a week after President Trump took office he is honoring his commitment to secure the border. Close to half a million illegal immigrants cross our borders every year. They take jobs away from American workers and reduce the wages of other American workers. They often use government services, which costs American taxpayers. I have long supported efforts to secure our borders and appreciate the President’s efforts to do so.”Read More
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) voted in support of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7) which passed in the House 238-183.
Rep. Smith: “Americans’ tax dollars shouldn’t fund abortions, but under Obamacare that tragedy occurs. In 2014, taxpayer dollars went toward over 1,000 Obamacare health care plans that included abortion, despite President Obama’s promise that Obamacare would not cover abortion.
“H.R. 7 prohibits funds authorized or appropriated by federal law to support any abortion. I urge the Senate to approve this important legislation to save countless more lives.”Read More
SAN ANTONIO - KSAT 12's Mark Austin sat down with Republicans Will Hurd and Lamar Smith as well as Democrats Joaquin Castro and Henry Cueller and asked them what they expect from Donald Trump's inauguration speech and his first 100 days in office. Here's what they had to say:
Rep. Lamar Smith
"I am guessing that the inauguration speech is going to be a little different because President Trump is not a typical politician. I think he is going to emphasize many of the same themes we heard on the campaign trail, appealing directly to the working men and women of America."
President Donald Trump's inaugural speech "spoke directly" to the American people and "inspired" them with assurances that "'I'm on your side and I'm against Washington,'" Rep. Lamar Smith told Newsmax TV.
In an interview Friday with host Joe Pagliarulo on "The Joe Pags Show," the Texas Republican and chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee said the "American people know who [Trump] is.
"He spoke directly to them that 'I'm on your side and I'm against Washington,'" Smith said. "I think they heard exactly what they wanted to.
"Here's the president out in the open speaking really to the world even beyond America," he added. "It's really a testament for our freedoms and our liberties here in the United States that we can do this out in the open and is not behind closed doors — and he speaks to the people themselves.
"I think people were inspired by that," he said.
Those who are still skeptical should "give him a chance," Smith said.
"I hope those who are skeptical will remember what [former] President [Barack] Obama said — he hopes he's successful," Smith said, adding that Trump has "surrounded himself with good people. He's off to a fast start. Let's give him a chance."
Smith said raucous protests that erupted in Washington during the inauguration didn't create any "major disturbance."
"Maybe they're there to get publicity, maybe they're there just to protest what they think the president might do," he said. "I do think he's going to keep his promise to the working men and women of America and I think he's going to keep his promise to put America first. I'm not sure too many people disagree with that."Read More
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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