As a senior Member of the Texas Congressional Delegation, Congressman Lamar Smith has represented residents of the 21st Congressional District since 1987.
In his two decades in Congress, he has shaped American public policy and left his imprint on national politics through a variety of leadership positions and by advancing dozens of pieces of legislation.
A fifth-generation Texan, Congressman Smith and his wife, Beth, have a son and daughter.
Congressman Smith has varied professional experience, including:
Business and Financial Writer, Christian Science Monitor, 1970-1972
Management Intern, Small Business Administration, 1969-1970
Partner, Lamar Seeligson Ranch
Law Firm of Maebius & Duncan, San Antonio.
Representative, United States House of Representatives, 1986-present
Commissioner's Court, Bexar County, 1983-1985
Representative, Texas State House of Representatives, 1981-1982
Chair, Republican Party, Bexar County, 1978-1982
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.
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.
Congressman Smith has been named one of the 100 most influential people in Washington by the National Journal and one of the nation's top "influencers and innovators" by Fast Company Magazine, which serves technology executives. In the last Congress, Congressman Smith was named Policymaker of the Year by POLITICO for his work on patent reform legislation.
Smith graduated from Yale University and Southern Methodist University School of Law.
Border security is another area neglected by the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress. Congressman Smith believes that the United States has every right to secure its borders. The enforcement of immigration laws is the key to achieving this. It is a national security issue as well as an economic issue, especially with millions of American citizens and legal immigrants out of work.
America is a nation of immigrants, and it's also a nation built on the rule of law. There is a polar difference between legal immigration, and illegal immigration,
Those who are looking for work should not have to compete against people who have entered the country illegally. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, and chairmain of the House Judiciary
Source: texansforlamarsmith.com/issues (05/29/2012)
As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, and chairmain of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Smith has long supported the strong enforcement of our border security laws. The flood of illegal immigration across our borders lowers wages for hard-working Americans and threatens our national security. He will continue to work to keep our borders secure.
One of the adverse side effects of a big government agenda is that when the government intrudes in areas where it does not belong, it neglects its primary responsibilities like national security.
As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Smith thinks that the government needs to stop treating terrorists like citizens and stop treating citizens like terrorists. In Congress, he has fought the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the transfer of dangerous terrorists to our shores.
We must improve terrorist threat assessments and gain control of our borders as quickly as possible.
Source: Candidate Website (10/04/2008)
In Congress, he has fought the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the transfer of dangerous terrorists to our shores.
Congressman Smith knows that the government doesn't create jobs, American ingenuity and entrepreneurs do. But the unprecedented growth of government in Washington is casting a chilling shadow on the American economy.
Small businesses, which have created 66% of all new jobs in the past 15 years, aren't going to hire people when they are worried about paying higher taxes and facing more government mandates. With all the talk coming out of Washington, who would take that risk?
Congressman Smith believes that when Washington eliminates the looming threat of more taxes, more spending and more debt, American entrepreneurs will have an incentive to invest in their businesses and put Americans back to work.
Here are just some of the initiatives Congressman
Congressman Smith supports low taxes because he believes that Americans, not the federal government, know best how to spend their money.
He also thinks that the burden to close the budget deficit should fall on the federal government, not the American people. The government is spending two dollars for every one dollar it takes in, which is irresponsible. Taxes and runaway spending need to be restrained to reduce the deficit and balance the budget.
The Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003 includes all of the elements outlined by the President for his jobs and growth package: acceleration of individual rate reductions, marriage penalty relief, child care tax credits, small business expensing and a dividend tax reduction.
The Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003 includes marriage penalty relief.
Dividend relief is a key goal. The House Republican plan promotes investment by reducing the tax on capital gains. These modifications simplify the tax code, while creating similar tax treatment for both capital gains and dividends.
Eighty-four million or over 50 percent of adult Americans are invested in the stock market and over 70 million Americans own a home. Reducing the tax on dividends and capital gains to five percent for the lowest two tax brackets and 15 percent for the remaining brackets, putting dollars back into the pockets of millions of families. This provision will not only increase economic growth, but increase incomes for working Americans.
Seniors, who tend to own a larger share of stocks than other age groups, including a disproportionate share of dividend paying stocks, will benefit greatly from the much-needed tax relief.
Providing a quality education is the key to our future prosperity. Math and science education are particularly important to our high-tech-driven economy.Equal access to education is the best way to reduce social inequality.
In the 21st District, we are fortunate to have good public and private schools and colleges, including the University of Texas at Austin and Trinity University in San Antonio.
Congressman Smith supports expanding educational opportunities as a way to ensure future economic growth.
In the 21st District, we are fortunate to have good public and private schools and colleges.
Math and science education are particularly important to our high-tech-driven economy.
For Texas, CAFTA-DR could translate to thousands of new jobs and pump millions of dollars into the local economy. In 2004, the countries of CAFTA-DR were the 12th-largest export destination for Texas. Several CAFTA-DR markets are multimillion- dollar trading partners for Texas. Last year, Guatemala alone received merchandise exports from Texas totaling $484 million and was the state's 32nd largest market.
CAFTA-DR will boost opportunities for Texas exporters throughout the region, providing new market access for the state's products. More than 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Central America and the Dominican Republic will be duty-free immediately upon entry into force of the agreement, with remaining tariffs
As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I also serve as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. Information technology represents the single largest sector of the economy, employing 4.3 million Americans. From software developers to cyber security experts to filmmakers, we must continue to protect intellectual property.
When criminal activity is prevalent, it affects our security -- both personal and economic. What is true of traditional crime is also true of cyber crime. Whether it occurs in cyberspace or the street, crime is still crime.
If the Internet is the superhighway of information, the express lane ramp to that superhighway is broadband technology. But unfortunately
Consumers who choose the convenience of online commerce should not face unfair taxes. For the past few years there has been a moratorium that bars multiple and discriminatory taxes and access charges from being levied on the Internet. This year the moratorium was scheduled to expire.
When legislation to extend the moratorium was marked up in the Judiciary Committee, I voted to extend the moratorium for an additional five years. This effort was unsuccessful and the House subsequently passed a two-year ban, which expired on November 1, 2003. Legislation is now before Congress that would renew the moratorium.
Technological advances have altered the way we communicate. One of the most popular forms of communication now is e-mail. Individuals rely on it as an inexpensive way to stay in touch and businesses use it as a tool to reach customers.
The only detriment to e-mail is spam, the mass electronic distribution of unsolicited email to individual email accounts and email lists for the promotion of businesses and other activities. Especially prevalent among spam messages are pornographic advertisements. Last year I introduced legislation to protect consumers from spam e-mail while ensuring that businesses can reach their customers.
President Obama came into office promising to cut the deficit in half, to reduce taxes, and to not expand the size of the government. Instead, the deficit has doubled, with no reversal in the spending spree in sight.
That's why Congressman Smith recently sponsored a constitutional amendment ot balance the budget. With 49 of the nation's 50 states having this requirment in their respective constitutions, Lamar Smith feels strongly that Uncle Sam should play by the same rules. Congressman Smith's balanced budget amendment passed in the House, but fell short of the two-thirds needed for amendments to advance due to strong Democrat opposition. Depsite this roadblock, Congressman Smith will keep working to get this amendment through Congress and to the states for ratification.
Congressman Smith recently sponsored a constitutional amendment ot balance the budget. With 49 of the nation's 50 states having this requirment in their respective constitutions, Lamar Smith feels strongly that Uncle Sam should play by the same rules. Congressman Smith's balanced budget amendment passed in the House, but fell short of the two-thirds needed for amendments to advance due to strong Democrat opposition. Depsite this roadblock, Congressman Smith will keep working to get this amendment through Congress and to the states for ratification.
One important goal of health care reform is to help make health insurance available to everyone. The House of Representatives is advancing health care reform proposals to address the issues about which Americans are most concerned: cost, choice, quality, and access.
The American people have had enough of the government trying to take over health care and Congressman Smith stands with the American people. We've all had enough of the 2,000-page bills, the trillion-dollar price tags, the backdoor deals, the cuts to Medicare, the higher premiums, and the trampling of the doctor-patient relationship. That's why Congressman Smith voted to repeal ObamaCare and has begun dismantling this nationalized healthcare mistake piece by misguided piece.
A crime is still a crime, whether it occurs on the street or on the web.
Since 1984, some 40,000 computer viruses have been identified. Viruses and computer hacking cost U.S. businesses an estimated $266 billion last year.
In this age of increasing digital and technological sophistication, cybercrimes and cyberterrorism pose a serious threat to the United States. Both law enforcement and the private sector must be prepared to deal with these crimes.
These are the reasons I introduced H.R. 3482, the Cyber Security Enhancement Act of 2002. This legislation will promote cooperation between law enforcement officials and the private sector, add resources to combat cyber crime and cyber terrorism, and send a clear signal that if you engage in cyber crime or cyber terrorism, you will be punished.
We must bring offline common sense to the online world.
Although many Texans are satisfied with their own health care, skyrocketing costs have crept into our health care system, creating a lot of uncertainty about the future of health care for employers, working Americans, and the uninsured. Americans need more, not fewer, choices for something as important and personal as health care.
I want to give Americans greater choice in health care options, greater access to health care, and improve incentives to purchase and to consume health
I want to give Americans greater choice in health care options, greater access to health care, and improve incentives to purchase and to consume health care services in a responsible fashion without complex government regulations and mandates. Any legislation should attempt to make our health care system more accountable and accessible to patients.
The health care system will continue to change and I look forward to seeking solutions so that all Americans have access to affordable health care coverage.
As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Smith takes very seriously his obligation to uphold and defend the Constitution.
It's a responsibility spelled out in the very oath of office he and all member of Congress give:
"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
As a daily visual enforcer of this duty, Congressman Smith keeps in his office the signature of James Madison, primary author and most ardent champion of the Constitution.
When President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, it was hard to imagine the impact it would have on our economy and on rural communities. Although the positives of the Federal Interstate System greatly outweigh the negatives, Texans today face an accompanying problem: congestion and safety.
On April 1, 2004, the House passed the Transportation Equity Act, which included $14 million I obtained for transportation projects along the I-35 corridor. This legislation will make our roads safer, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and create jobs.
Our roads and bridges are in critical need of repair and improvement. We should be able to travel between San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos and Austin without being injured
Our roads and bridges are in critical need of repair and improvement. We should be able to travel between San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos and Austin without being injured or losing valuable work time. Anyone who lives in these areas knows the importance of good and unobstructed transportation.
Our local traffic is unacceptable and at times intolerable. Only a decade ago, 20,000 loaded trucks crossed the border at Laredo and up the I-35 corridor each year. That number has increased to 120,000, which is largely due to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
We can encourage economic growth and job creation if we repair our transportation infrastructure. New roads and highways are needed to meet the population growth.
Our country and
An improved transportation system reduces fatalities and injuries. That should be the primary consideration building new roads and highways. There were more than 100 traffic fatalities last year on I-35, making it the deadliest highway in Texas and one of the most deadly in the country. Every $100 million invested in highway safety improvements will result in approximately 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a 10-year period.
The bill also includes an authorization request I made for $350 million to be used for a commuter rail project on existing rail lines along the Austin - San Antonio I-35 corridor.
Even as America faces economic uncertainty and a war against terrorism, seniors may rest assured that their benefits are safe and secure. Seniors should know that they will receive the benefits promised to them.
Last year I held the first three hearings of my Subcommittee on piracy issues: Piracy on university campuses, piracy and the broadcast flag, and piracy related to organized crime and terrorism.
I strongly believe we need more enforcement of already-existing laws on piracy - patent and copyright holders need assurance that their inventions are protected, especially in the new digital world.
No one can deny that piracy and intellectual property theft cost American businesses billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs each year. But a double standard exists when a vast majority people who would never shoplift a CD at a record store think nothing when it comes to downloading entire albums from peer-to-peer networks.
For technological advancement to march forward, research and development must be encouraged. I have advocated that we must make the necessary investments in basics research to ensure that the United States continues its technological dominance. Our security, economy and well-being depend on it.
Our farm laws provide farmers and ranchers with new opportunities to protect themselves against income losses due to low market prices or natural disasters. Texas farmers must have the resources they need to prepare for future needs, and to compete in the global economy.