Students today are graduating with more student loan debt than ever before. As someone still paying off their student loans, Rep. Smith knows this challenge personally. He recently introduced legislation to more than double the financial assistance working students can receive from their employers without encumbering additional taxes. This will allow more students to receive more assistance and ultimately help lessen what they owe upon graduation.
In a move many have deemed senseless and unpatriotic, Nike has decided to cancel a line of shoes because it contained the image of the American flag. Although Nike claimed the shoe would offend and detract from the Fourth of July, this is simply another example of political sensitivity going too far.
Deck Hall earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantry Badge during his military service, but never received his medals.
His family reached out to Congressman Smith’s office, and they were able to obtain the medals. Congressman Smith presented Mr. Hall’s medals to family and friends at the Dent County Courthouse on July 4th.
In order to stimulate the rural economy, Congressman Smith introduced the Rural Jobs Act that would bring hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment to some of the poorest communities in America. This act would build on the New Market Tax Credit that has prompted $42 billion in private investment and over 1 million jobs since 2000. Unfortunately, less than a quarter of those jobs have been in rural communities showcasing the need for renewed investment in rural America.
Congressman Smith is fighting to pass measures to enable an easier eradication of feral hogs. Feral hogs cause billions of dollars of damage yearly across America, making easy extermination of these hogs a necessity for many rural communities plagued by their presence. Congressman Smith supports deregulating the laws around killing these hogs in the Mark Twain National forest that have been a blight to farmers in Missouri and made the difficult task of farming even harder.
Congressman Smith visited Detention Centers in McAllen,Texas to better understand the crisis going on at our southern border. Traveling to the busiest of all border sectors, the delegation witnessed a large drug bust. Unfortunately, that is the daily reality for border agents tasked who must deal with the deadly cartels and overcrowded detention centers. Over 144,000 were detained in May 2019, the largest total in 13 years, further emphasizing the need for securing our borders.
As a seventh-generation Missourian, Congressman Smith understands rural America and the challenges they face. Rural America remains the breadbasket of our country and powers a large sect of our economy. Newer members of Congress who don’t have that same background may not understand these issues and how to best work with these communities. In the Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Smith worked to educate other members of Congress on farming and the tax burden farmers take on.
Unnecessary tax breaks continue to be shelled out to those who least need them. A $7,500 tax break given to those who buy electric cars won’t help many in southeast Missouri. Ending this excessive tax break that’s totaled around $5 billion would give us enough to pay for the Wall, benefitting all Americans rather than an exclusive few.
The need for a more secure border is more pressing than ever. Border agents are overwhelmed and frequently draw the ire of the left. Their brave service was highlighted recently when a record 254 pounds of fentanyl was recovered in a drug bust in Arizona. Listen to Congressman Smith speak on it here.
Three Rivers Publishing, October 10, 2018
Too many Missouri families have felt the heartache of the loss of a loved one or friend to opioid addiction. The epidemic has ravaged homes and small communities and left children without parents and parents without their children. There are many things we need to do from furthering tightening the flow of goods across our borders to continuing to give law enforcement at the borders and in our towns the resources they need to fight this outbreak of opioid abuse in the U.S. One area I have focused on is where most patients are first exposed to opioids and the setting where they are often left with unused medications, surgery. I recently authored and had President Trump sign into law the Perioperative Reduction of Opioids (PRO) Act which will reduce patients exposure to unnecessary opioids post surgery, look at alternative forms of rehabilitation, and give patients and information they need on how to safely dispose of leftover opioids when they are no longer needed. We have a long way to go in this fight, but I am hopeful my legislation can be one small step towards getting our county on the winning side of this battle.