Lamar smith (r-tx) leads the republican war


Each folder contained confidential information that included the initial application, reviewer comments on its merit, correspondence between program officers and principal investigators, and any other information that had helped NSF decide to fund the project.

The visits from the staffers, who work for the U. House of Representatives committee that oversees NSF, were an unprecedented—and some say bizarre—intrusion into the much admired process that NSF has used for more than 60 years to award research grants. Click here to see a spreadsheet of the requested grants. And the feud appears to be escalating. How did things get to this point? NSF has defended itself at congressional hearings, in personal meetings with committee staff and the chair, and with a stream of letters and e-mails.

White House officials, university leaders, and Democratic legislators have joined the fray, roundly criticizing Smith for what they see as an attempt to impose his political judgment on a process that draws upon the wisdom of scientific experts. The committee made this and another letter available to Science Insider. On the other hand, NSF constantly assures scientists that every aspect of the peer-review process will remain confidential.

NSF does not share any information about, or even acknowledge the existence of, proposals that have been rejected. Smith wanted the material shipped to his offices on Capitol Hill. First, the committee staff could see everything related to the grant except for the names of the reviewers, which would be redacted. Third, the staff could take copious notes, but none of the information could be photocopied or otherwise reproduced.

In many cases, NSF staffers had already sounded the alarm. Folmar says that his first reaction after hearing that his grant had been singled out was to hunker down and keep quiet. Measuring how social inequality can cause depression and anxiety is valuable information for U. The project was a bargain, he adds. The scientific community is scratching its head over how Smith compiled his list of questionable grants.

Many have also been flagged by other legislators, notably Senator Tom Coburn R—OKwho issue annual lists of what they consider to be wasteful government spending. Research grants often appear on such lists. In fact, the practice has become so widespread that 3 years ago a coalition of scientific organizations created a counterpoint, called the Golden Goose Awardswhich honors federally funded basic research that later turned out to have huge societal benefits.

Smith so far has asked to take a look at 50 grants. Note: Science Insider was able to identify just 47 unique awards. And the list is hard to characterize. One grant goes back toand 13 appear to have expired. More than half of the grants appear to involve work outside the United States. What the science committee expects to learn from its investigation is a burning question from scientists.

A committee representative declined to answer repeated queries about the criteria used to select the grants. His broader research into operator control of mechanical systems has applications across many areas, he explains. So far, neither side has shown any signs of backing down. Johnson certainly seems prepared to continue defending NSF and, in particular, its funding of the social sciences. Correction 3 October, a. By Charlotte Hartley Jul. All rights Reserved. Ask, answered How did things get to this point?

Got a tip? How to contact the news team.Share This:. Like, someone with cancer should not be denied access to early screenings and life-saving treatment.

lamar smith (r-tx) leads the republican war

Seriously, they needed to create a standard for that. Also, victims of sexual assault in detention facilities should feel safe reporting the abuse and should receive the mental and physical treatment they need. And if detainees feel that their health or safety is in danger, they should be able to file an emergency grievance so that their concerns can be addressed quickly.

These are all the basics of a civilized society. Basically, Smith and his anti-immigrant colleagues are opening another front in the war on women. Plus, how do you verify that that, in fact, is the case? Again, this comes down to government funds being used to advance radical social policy that is masquerading as health care. The callousness that House Republicans and their allies are showing toward immigrants detained by our government is galling, and this hearing is not an isolated incident.

There have already been ugly immigration hearings before Smith — like the one trying to pit Latinos against African-Americans. Fortunately that was a complete fail. But, this one is going to be especially ugly. To put it bluntly: People going through the deportation process—one of the most traumatic and difficult experiences imaginable—are denied basic legal and human rights.

So, Smith intends to mock their situation in an attempt to score very cheap political points. In each case, the victims say they were abused on the way to the airport after posting bond to be released from detention facilities. All three women say they came to the United States — without authorization — to escape sexual or physical abuse in their native countries, according to the ACLU.

lamar smith (r-tx) leads the republican war

Each says the abuse she suffered by detention officers gave her frightening reminders of earlier abuse. Two guards were convicted of sexual abuse; three others have been terminated from their positions.

The documents, together with interviews of dozens of detainees, employees, investigators and officials, present a portrait of detainees with few effective recourses if they are victims of crimes while in detention. Many say they face continuous pressure to sign deportation orders. And unlike in the criminal justice system, immigration detainees do not have a guaranteed right of legal representation, and so have difficulty with access to counsel if they have a grievance.

The coordinator said she later resigned because of the treatment of detainees at the facility. The attack goes beyond women. Dana Rohrabacher R-CA made it clear that he sees immigrants as less than human, when discussing the case of a man who was denied a kidney transplant on account of his undocumented status:.

Abuses perpetuated in detention centers over the last several years have been nothing short of appalling.Here are some of the fake accounts, misleading memes, and real events that helped propel Trump. Part 1 of a series.

Lawmakers have a duty to protect the sovereignty of the United States, both by warding off foreign interference in policymaking and by guarding the integrity of elections. Smith holds a more cynical view, dismissing Russian meddling on behalf of the Trump campaign, then offering exceptional credence to theories that Russian activities have threatened his biggest donor. Intelligence officials say that Russia deliberately attempted to influence the election via social media.

Russia infiltrated the Democratic National Committee, hacked into voter databases, and shared anti-Clinton messages on Facebook and Twitter. Smith gave the companies until Tuesday to submit documents. In recent months, Smith also suggested that Russia is bankrolling U. Notably, Smith has a history of harassing scientists and environmental advocates. Last year, he demanded emails related to a NOAA study showing temperatures are rising faster than previously thought.

There are plenty of reasons to oppose hydraulic fracturing. S and British environmentalists have repeatedly drawn attention to the negative health and climate impacts of the practice. According to U. A January U. That was until the U.

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Innatural gas production took off in the United States, thanks to improvements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that allowed producers to access previously inaccessible stores of shale gas at low cost.

Gas output surged and prices fell. The United States lags behind in exports, trading largely with Mexico and Canada.

ICYMI: In USA Today, Republican Chairmen Blast Obama’s Legacy of Secrecy

Because gas must be conveyed by pipeline, both the United States and Russia do most of their business with neighboring countries. Until recently, there was little risk of a turf war.

It is costly to both cool natural gas to the point where it becomes a liquid and to heat it back up again. And liquefaction facilities are sparse on both sides of the Atlantic — although the United States has several under development. So, in an effort to undercut U.

Lamar Smith

Contact Us.Before the event began, my husband overheard some people telling Rep. Smith that they had received phone calls from the local Republican party, asking them to come support him. Knowing this, we both expected the crowd to be fairly evenly split between support for Rep. Smith and opposition to him. The Response to Hurricane Katrina. Smith started out on a faulty note, mis-speaking when he noted that the aftermath of Hurricane "Kratina" will affect our nation for years to come.

Sticking to this week's talking points, he mentioned the "bi-partisan, bi-cameral" committee that will investigate failures at all levels, promising that "Partisanship will be left at the door" and "I'm sure there will be ample time to investigate.

In the wake of the hurricane, he said almost everything else on the legislative agenda has had to be shelved. He discussed how the judicial committee has had to address legislation to permit federal courts based in New Orleans to hear cases outside their juristiction, and noted that many other committees are having to address similar issues never before considered. Asked how Hurricane Katrina will affect the Congress' legislative priorities, and whether this should require a shift away from tax cuts, Smith said, "Yes, mostly.

At this point, a man with silver hair stood up. This guy had to be part of the crowd called in by the Travis County Republican Party this morning to give Smith some cover. I am outraged!

lamar smith (r-tx) leads the republican war

When this catastrophe hit, the president's response was that we should 'give to private charity. We can't deal with our own self-defense. What are you doing with our tax dollars?! At this point, the audience broke into applause. Smith, sticking to message, said it will be investigated: "We don't care who's responsible, we just want to find out who's responsible.

This is an important point for the Democratic party to pursue - that taxpayers did not get their money's worth with this Republican administration. This may attract outraged voters like this man. A young woman stood up and introduced herself as a small business owner and from a family of veterans.

How do you defend your vote? She followed up asking about a bill to increase health insurance rates for Guard and Reserve troops to the same level as Tricare which regular troops receive, which missed by 7 votes and for which Smith voted 'No. Asked about his support for the Iraq war, Smith spouted party platitudes about "seeds of democracy growing and freedom will justify the effort.

During his opening remarks, Smith pointed out that he's on the House Ethics Committee, "but I can't say anything about that because of confidentiality. Another questioner stood up later and thanked Smith for coming out to meet with his constiuents. When will congress pass laws requiring independently-drawn districts? The shouting and hisses continued for a few moments. Smith pretended not to understand what redistricting people were talking about he "thought" they meant Texas house districts, not Congressional.

He complained that he had been a victim of redistricting in the Texas House back in And he denied that Tom DeLay had any hand in the matter at all.I've seen some surreal moments in our nation's capitol, but few can compare to watching Republican members of Congress lecture John Holdren last week on the meaning of "science.

Holdren, the president's science advisor, was the lone witness at a hearing held by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to review the White House's fiscal year budget request for science agencies. You can watch the two-hour video here —or better yet, don't. We've watched it for you. Plus, you don't want to be more embarrassed than you already are about a science committee that includes a congressman who describes evolution as a "lie from the pit of Hell" and another who claims that climate change is a liberal plot to "create global government to control our lives.

Committee Chair Lamar Smith R-TX set the tone of the hearing right away, beginning with the observation, "Unfortunately, this Administration's science budget focuses, in my view, far too much money, time, and effort on alarmist predictions of climate change. And that was one of the more courteous exchanges during the hearing.

What came next was a series of Bizarro World lectures on climate change. Dana Rohrabacher R-CA demonstrated his inability to grasp the idea that the world's climate varies across different regions which, in fairness, is a sensible line of questioning—if we were living on the forest moon of Endor :.

Rohrabacher: Do you believe that tornadoes and hurricanes today are more ferocious and more frequent than they were in the past? Holdren: There is no evidence relating to tornadoes. None of all. And I don't know any spokesman for the administration who has said otherwise. With respect to hurricanes, there is some evidence of increased activity in the North Atlantic, but not in other parts of the world.

With respect to droughts and floods, there is quite strong evidence that in some regions they are being enhanced by climate change—not caused by [climate change], influenced by climate change. Rohrabacher: "I don't mean to sound pejorative Is that correct?

Holdren: If you want to take a global average, the fact is a warmer world is getting wetter, there's more evaporation so there's more precipitation, so on a global average there's unlikely to be more droughts. The question is whether drought-prone regions are suffering increased intensity and duration of droughts, and the answer there is yes.

Rohrabacher: [snickering] So we actually have more water and more drought? Okay, thank you very much. Note to Rohrabacher: You can read about how increasing levels of temperature and precipitation can worsen droughts here.

Or, if reading is not your thing, here's a short animated video with pretty colors! Holdren: The Earth has undergone climate changes throughout its entire history. The difference is that, for most of that history, there weren't 7 billion people on the planet who needed to be fed, clothed and kept prosperous. And the other difference is that the pace of change was generally much slower.

Posey: I'm aware of that. You know, obviously, we've had global warming for a long time. You can't have one single ice age encompassing three ice ages. We had to have warming periods between each one of those, so that is a natural phenomenon. You know, just because we're alive now, the tectonic plate shifts aren't going to stop, the hurricanes and tsunamis aren't going to stop; the asteroid strikes aren't going to stop.

These things have been going on for eons and they're going to continue to go on for eons What do you think the temperature was on Earth before the disappearance of the dinosaurs? Holdren: There have been periods when the temperature was 3, 4 or 5 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now.To improve your visit to our site, take a minute and upgrade your browser. Countless Republicans have waged this war over the last decade, but its battle strategy was the brainchild of one man: Lamar Smith.

Like many of his peers in the GOP, the Texas congressman has long distrusted the scientific evidence that humans are causing climate change. Though routinely passed by the Republican-controlled House in recent years, these bills have proven too extreme for passage the Senate, at least thus far. And yet, when Smith retires next year after 31 years in Congress, he will do so knowing that his goals have been achieved—even if the bills themselves never become law.

Those goals were not merely to undermine climate and air pollution science in the public eye, but to ensure that science cannot influence public policy. Barely more than a year into the Trump administration, Smith and the Republicans have won the war on science. No longer would the EPA use scientific research that includes confidential data to develop rules intended to protect human health and the environment.

But the policy, which is opposed by most scientists and non-profit scientific societieswill force the EPA to ignore most of the research showing air pollution can cause premature deaths including a landmark MIT study in that found air pollution causes aboutearly deaths each year. That body of science, for instance, supports t he Mercury and Air Toxics Standardwhich restricts the amount of mercury and other heavy metals that coal plants can emit.

It also supports the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which control emissions of soot, ozone, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and lead.

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate all the pollutants these rules cover, but only to the exposure level that scientific literature says is safe for humans. But it also gives Pruitt the necessary legal cover to weaken those rules himself, which he has said he intends to do. In October, he banned scientists who have received EPA money from advising him on environmental policy. This is another brainchild of Smith: His Science Advisory Board SAB Reform Act is based on the presumption that environmental scientists who have received money from the EPA for research—as many of them have—are biased in favor of regulation.

Pruitt agreed. He has also appointed industry representatives and red-state government officials to his Science Advisory Board, even though industry representatives are likely biased against regulation and state governments receive money from the EPA. Joe Arvai, a University of Michigan professor who served as an EPA science advisor until his six-year term expired in late September, said this restructuring has already had chilling effects.

Under the Obama administration, the SAB averaged about 11 reports per year. Though Smith knew these policies were essential to preventing science from influencing public policy, he also knew the power of public opinion. An investigation published Monday by Reveal shows just how far the Trump administration will go to deny climate change.

The Interior Department delayed the release of an page report on flooding risks in U. Such interference has proven common for the Trump administration, and it appears to be influencing scientists and members of the voting public.

lamar smith (r-tx) leads the republican war

Only 35 percent of Republicans believe likewise, compared to 40 percent in On the left, the opposite is happening. In the Trump era, Democrats are increasingly accepting the scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change. The issue is also rising on the priority list for Democrats: A recent Harvard University poll showed climate change ranked alongside healthcare and Russia as the top tissues motivating Democratic voters in This suggests the party could mobilize its supporters by developing and championing an aggressive climate and air pollution policy platform, which it has failed to do so far.

The impacts of even a few years of weakened air pollution regulations would fall disproportionately on low-income and minority communities, leading to premature deaths —at least according to the scientific literature that Pruitt wants the EPA to ignore.

What is clear is that the war on science has been won, and its opponents must now wage a war of their own. They need their own Lamar Smith. He was interviewed by a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation, a nonprofit news organization closely associated with the for-profit Daily Caller.

Emily Atkin is a contributing editor to The New Republic and the author of the climate newsletter Heated. Emily Atkin emorwee.Should the federal government entice schools to physically open in the fall, considering the unpredictable severity of COVID?

Jul 15, He served from to I want to urge Smith to take an action on a bill. Visit Rep. Look for a contact form on Rep. Head over to Rep. If you are having a problem with a government agency, look for a contact link for casework to submit a request for help.

Otherwise, look for a phone number on that website to call his office if you have a question. Not all Members of Congress will accept messages from non-constituents. Otherwise, try contacting your own representative:. You are currently on the website GovTrack. Choose from the options above to find the right way to contact Smith. Read our Report Card for Smith. Each dot was a member of the House of Representatives in positioned according to our liberal—conservative ideology score left to right and our leadership score leaders are toward the top.

The chart is based on the bills Smith sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, to Dec 21, See full analysis methodology. Does 42 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a it is enacted itself, b it has a companion bill in the other chamber as identified by Congress which was enacted, or c if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the th Congress.

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