Bob Goodlatte

Bob Goodlatte

VIRGINIA's 6th DISTRICT

ELEVENTH HOUR FISA PROPOSALS NOT OPTIONS

2015/05/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued the following statement regarding attempts at a short-term extension in the Senate of the Patriot Act and other reported proposals. 

“The USA Freedom Act is a carefully crafted compromise that has been worked on for nearly two years and was passed overwhelmingly in the House by a vote of 338-88. It has been fully vetted and has won the backing of the intelligence community, civil liberties groups, private industry, the Attorney General, and the President, as well as having the support of the American people. Importantly, the National Security Agency has said that the 180-day transition period contained in the bill is enough time to get the new call detail record program up and running.

“The House of Representatives has now acted twice to reform our intelligence-gathering programs, making sure it protects Americans’ liberties and our national security, but the Senate has failed to act. The Senate should immediately pass this bipartisan bill instead of hastily and irresponsibly trying to scramble something together in the eleventh hour. The short-term extensions and other proposals being discussed in the Senate don’t have the support to pass in the House of Representatives. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled the bulk collection program as unlawful and extending it any further is unacceptable. 

“If the Senate rejects the USA Freedom Act, Section 215, including the bulk collection program some Senators are trying to preserve, will expire. While Section 215 was used to wrongly justify the government’s bulk collection program, it is also routinely used by the FBI in individual national security investigations to identify and apprehend terrorists and spies. The USA Freedom Act eliminates bulk collection while retaining the necessary tools to maintain our national security. The only way for the Senate to ensure that Americans’ civil liberties and our national security are protected is to pass the USA Freedom Act before June 1.”

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GOODLATTE APPLAUDS HOUSE APPROVAL OF BILL TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

2015/05/19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved by a vote of 420-3 the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (S. 178) and the bill is now headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. This comprehensive anti-human trafficking bill provides additional resources to law enforcement and service providers, helps to facilitate human trafficking investigations, criminalizes the demand side of this crime, and strengthens the existing federal criminal laws against trafficking. The House has already twice passed companion legislation introduced by Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) to fight human trafficking, once in the 113th Congress and again earlier this year.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) applauded House passage of S. 178 in the statement below.

Chairman Goodlatte: “The sale of children for sex sounds like something that could only happen in faraway places, but tragically it is happening right here in the United States every single day. According to the FBI, sex trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world.  Sadly, this immoral and illicit industry is also a profitable one. It’s estimated that child sex trafficking in the United States alone is a $9.8 billion industry. Together as a nation, we must send the strong message that our children are not for sale.

“The House of Representatives today acted for the third time to fight human trafficking. The legislation passed today holds everyone involved in these crimes accountable, whether they sell, buy, or market these children to potential buyers. It also ensures that exploited children are treated as victims rather than as criminals and provides much-needed resources to victims of sex trafficking that will help them reclaim and rebuild their lives. I thank my colleagues, Representatives Ted Poe, Kristi Noem, Erik Paulsen, and Ann Wagner, for working tirelessly on this issue, and am pleased this bill will soon be signed into law so that we better protect our nation’s children.”

S. 178 contains a number of separate anti-human trafficking bills that were originally passed by the House Judiciary Committee and then by the House of Representatives: 

  • The Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act (H.R. 350): This bill, authored by Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), launches a review that will look into federal and state trafficking prevention activities in order to identify best practices to stop human trafficking; requires an inventory of existing federal anti-trafficking efforts to make sure all federal agencies and programs work together and that federal resources are being targeted where needed; and improves existing Department of Justice grants, ensuring that the grants also support shelters for survivors. 
  • The Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act (H.R. 159): This legislation, sponsored by Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), provides incentives to states to adopt safe harbor laws that treat trafficked children as victims, rather than as criminals or delinquents. The bill also provides an avenue for victims to access job skills training so that they can begin to rebuild their lives. 
  • The Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act (H.R. 285): This bill, authored by Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), criminalizes those who knowingly advertise or profit from advertisements that offer the commercial exploitation of children and trafficking victims.
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GOODLATTE ANNOUNCES CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION WINNER

2015/05/19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte announced today that Kayla Prillaman, a senior at William Fleming High School, is the winner of the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia’s 2015 Congressional Art Competition. Her photograph, Autumn Trails, was taken at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve in Roanoke County. Kayla resides in Roanoke and is the daughter of Tonya Prillaman. Her photography instructor at William Fleming High School is David Spangler. 

“Congratulations, Kayla! We are blessed to be surrounded by so much natural beauty in the Sixth District, and Autumn Trails truly captures the beauty of the landscape that draws many to our region each year. Kayla’s eye for photography shines clearly in this photo. I am pleased that her piece will be on display in the U.S. Capitol to allow others the opportunity to experience what we have right in our backyard. The talent of our students in the Sixth District is always impressive, and I applaud the efforts of each student who submitted artwork this year. Thank you to everyone who participated as well as the teachers and parents who are encouraging them to discover their artistic talents.”

Autumn Trails by Kayla Prillaman

Kayla’s photograph will be on display in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for one year as part of a display of artwork by high school artists from across the nation. Only one piece from each congressional district is selected for display. Kayla’s achievement will be honored at an awards ceremony at the Capitol in June. 

The runner-up is Aliyah Decker, a student at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, for her piece entitled No Outlet. This piece will be on display in Congressman Goodlatte’s Lynchburg office. 

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GOODLATTE ON IG REPORT: SECRET SERVICE MUST CRACK DOWN ON MISCONDUCT

2015/05/14

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General today issued a report on the events of March 4, 2015 in which two Secret Service agents suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol disrupted an active bomb investigation at the White House Complex. In its report, the IG concludes that it was more likely than not that the two agents’ judgment was impaired by alcohol, noting that the two agents had just spent the last five hours in a bar and one of the agents ran up a significant bar tab. The report also found that those involved with the situation – the watch commander who initially stopped the two agents, various superiors, and the agents themselves – failed to appropriately report the situation, and that the two agents were permitted to drive home in government vehicles. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on this IG report:

“Not only did the two Secret Service agents endanger their own lives and innocent civilians by choosing to drink and drive, their poor judgement also imperiled the entire White House complex by bumbling into an active bomb investigation. Secret Service leadership must send the strong message to agency employees that there will be consequences for such bad behavior and lack of common sense. Additionally, they also need to make clear that employees are required to report misconduct to the appropriate authorities at the agency.  While the Inspector General’s report notes that some of these issues have been addressed since the March 4th incident, more must be done.

“The House Judiciary Committee has conducted aggressive oversight of the United States Secret Service and will continue to do so. Additionally, I and other members of the Committee have introduced bipartisan legislation that reforms the United States Secret Service. It’s imperative that the Secret Service protect the President, White House personnel, and innocent civilians from threats from outside entities and from within the agency itself.”

Background: In March, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)  introduced the Secret Service Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 1656) to reform the United States Secret Service. The bill strengthens the security of the President, protectees, and the White House complex; enhances Secret Service agents’ training; and improves transparency and accountability at the agency. 

Additionally, the House Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing on the United States Secret Service in November 2014.

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COMMITTEE PASSES LAWSUIT ABUSE REDUCTION ACT

2015/05/14

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The House Judiciary Committee today approved H.R. 758, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA) by a vote of 19-13. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised the Committee’s approval of the legislation that will reduce frivolous lawsuits in the United States. 

Chairman Goodlatte: “Frivolous lawsuits have no place in the American courtroom, and current loopholes allow too many lawyers to take advantage of innocent victims. Current laws allow lawyers to file baseless claims, and pass legal costs on to the victims with no guarantee of compensation. That’s why the passage of LARA is essential to end lawsuit abuse. LARA guarantees that victims are fully compensated for harm done by filers of frivolous lawsuits in federal courts.”

“It is my hope that LARA, one of the Speaker’s top legal reform priorities, is passed again by the full House of Representatives.”

Background:

LARA restores accountability to our legal system by penalizing lawyers for filing baseless lawsuits. The bill specifically ensures that judges impose monetary sanctions against lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits, including the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the victim of the frivolous lawsuit; and reverses the 1993 amendments to Rule 11 that allow parties and their attorneys make frivolous claims without penalty by withdrawing them within 21 days.

LARA supports innocent Americans who are victims of frivolous lawsuits: LARA makes mandatory that victims of frivolous lawsuits be compensated for harm done to them by filers of frivolous lawsuits.

LARA is even-handed: LARA applies to cases brought by individuals as well as businesses both large and small. The bill also applies to both plaintiffs and defendants.

LARA ends the “free pass” for lawyers: The bill eliminates the 21-day “free pass” for lawyers to file frivolous pleadings. Current federal rules allow lawyers to file frivolous pleadings without any sanctions as long as they withdraw those pleadings within 21 days, even if the victims of the frivolous lawsuit had to spend time and money responding to the frivolous pleadings.

LARA protects states’ rights: LARA only applies to federal court and does not change state court rules.

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GOODLATTE PRAISES HOUSE PASSAGE OF USA FREEDOM ACT

2015/05/13

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved by a vote of 338-88 the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048). This bipartisan bill – introduced by Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), reforms our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs operated under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 215 of the Patriot Act, along with two other provisions, are set to expire at the end of the month.  

The USA Freedom Act expands upon the civil liberties protections contained in the bill approved by the House of Representatives last year. It ends bulk collection of data, strengthens protections for civil liberties, increases transparency, and prevents government overreach, while also enhancing national security. The bill is supported by a broad coalition of civil liberties advocates and technology groups, and has been vetted by national security agencies. It also has the support of President Obama. 

Crime Subcommittee Chairman Sensenbrenner, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Nadler praised today’s vote in the joint statement below.  

“The American people have told Congress loud and clear that we need to rein in our nation’s surveillance programs and today the House of Representatives listened to them by passing the USA Freedom Act. This strong, bipartisan bill contains the most sweeping set of reforms to government surveillance practices in nearly 40 years. The USA Freedom Act ends bulk collection once and for all, enhances civil liberties protections, increases transparency for both American businesses and the government, and provides national security officials targeted tools to keep America safe. 

“In light of last week’s ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that the government’s bulk collection program exceeds what is authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the Senate should waste no time defending a program that has been ruled unlawful and take up the USA Freedom Act as soon as possible.”

Key Components of the USA Freedom Act:

Protects civil liberties:  

Ends bulk collection: Prohibits bulk collection of ALL records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, the FISA pen register authority, and national security letter statutes. 

Prevents government overreach: The bulk collection prohibition is strengthened by prohibiting large-scale, indiscriminate collection, such as all records from an entire state, city, or zip code.  

Allows challenges of national security letter gag orders:  NSL nondisclosure orders must be based upon a danger to national security or interference with an investigation. Codifies procedures for individual companies to challenge nondisclosure orders.  Requires periodic review of nondisclosure orders to determine necessity.

Improves transparency and better information-sharing with the American people: 

Expertise at the FISA court:  The bill creates a panel of amicus curie at the FISA court to provide guidance on matters of privacy and civil liberties, communications technology, and other technical or legal matters.

Declassified FISA opinions: All significant constructions or interpretations of law by the FISA court must be made public.  These include all significant interpretations of the definition of “specific selection term,” the concept at the heart of the ban on bulk collection.

Robust government reporting: The Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will provide the public with detailed information about how they use these national security authorities.

Robust company reporting:  Tech companies will have a range of options for describing how they respond to national security orders, all consistent with national security needs.   

Strengthens national security:

Gives the government the tools it needs:  Creates a new call detail records program that is closely overseen by the FISA court.

Contains an additional tool to combat ISIS:  The bill closes a loophole in current law that requires the government to stop tracking foreign terrorists when they enter the U.S. This provision gives the government 72 hours to track foreign terrorists when they initially enter the United States (it does not apply to U.S. persons) – enough time for the government to obtain the proper authority under U.S. law. 

Increases the statutory maximum prison sentence to 20 years for providing material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.  

Enhances investigations of international proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Protects United States’ maritime activities from nuclear threats, weapons of mass destruction, and other threats by implementing the obligations of various treaties to which the United States is a party.

Provides strictly limited emergency authorities:  Creates new procedures for the emergency use of Section 215 but requires the government to destroy the information it collects if a FISA court application is denied.

Learn more about the USA Freedom Act by clicking here.

VIDEO of Congressman Goodlatte's remarks on the House floor in support of the USA Freedom Act.

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GOODLATTE & KAINE INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO HELP ROCKINGHAM COUNTY DAY CARE CENTER

2015/05/13

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine introduced legislation in the Senate and House to remove federal land use restrictions on an area used by a day care center in Rockingham County.  The Plains Area Day Care Center in Broadway, VA, has provided affordable childcare for 25 years and currently provides care for 94 children, many of whom are eligible for free and reduced lunch.  The Center’s building is in need of repair and maintenance but has encountered hurdles in securing financing due to the property’s complex legal status as former federal land conveyed to Rockingham County and leased to the Center.  This legislation would remove the federal land use restrictions, ensuring that routine repairs can take place without further delay in the future. Congressman Goodlatte introduced similar legislation in the 113th Congress that passed the House of Representatives with nearly unanimous support.  

“I was pleased to see the House pass my legislation in the 113th Congress, and I welcome Senator Kaine’s support as we renew this effort,” said Goodlatte. “The Plains Area Day Care Center is committed to providing high quality childcare, and the investments they are making in the community are immeasurable. For 25 years, the land has been deeded to Rockingham County, but with restriction. This legislation is simply a formality. By removing the restrictions on the land, we can ensure this community investment continues to thrive and the children in the community are well-served.”  

“The Plains Area Day Care Center has provided critical services to families in Rockingham County and is a beloved anchor in the community,” said Kaine. “I’m proud to partner with Congressman Goodlatte to introduce legislation that would remove land use restrictions that prevent the Plains Area Day Care Center from planning for its future in a responsible and independent way, consistent with the community’s appreciation for park land.”

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GOODLATTE ON IG REPORT: ADMINISTRATION'S DANGEROUS IMMIGRATION POLICIES MUST END

2015/05/13

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General today issued a report finding that DHS does not track its uses of prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement which may compromise national security and public safety. Prosecutorial discretion is a tool that is meant to be used on an individual basis but has instead been applied to entire categories of unlawful immigrants by the Obama Administration. 

In its report, the IG recommends that DHS develop and implement a plan to collect, analyze, and report data on the use of prosecutorial discretion to assess immigration enforcement activities, improve policy, and increase transparency. The House Judiciary Committee has approved legislation – the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1148) – that would require DHS to report to Congress annually on the Administration’s use and abuse of prosecutorial discretion, among many other provisions. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the statement below on this IG report:

“Not only are President Obama’s unilaterally-created immigration policies and programs unconstitutional, their implementation has proved to needlessly place Americans and our country at risk. As confirmed by today’s Inspector General report, the Department of Homeland Security does not track its use of prosecutorial discretion nor does it always conduct thorough background checks on the individuals benefitting from the Administration’s lax policies. As a result, the American people are left in the dark about the effects of the Administration’s immigration policies and dangerous criminal aliens who have committed a crime in their home country may be able to find amnesty in the United States. While it is inexcusable that DHS does not monitor the use of prosecutorial discretion, it’s even more important that the Obama Administration end its reckless policies.”  

Key Findings from the IG Report:

“Although DHS reports immigration enforcement data such as alien apprehensions, detentions, and removals, it does not include the components’ use of prosecutorial discretion in its reports.” (page 4)

“ICE could not provide the number of DACA-eligible individuals it has released, but it recorded its use of prosecutorial discretion ... ICE officials noted that field office personnel do not always record their use of prosecutorial discretion because they make these decisions daily and it would be too time consuming to record every occurrence.” (page 4)

“The Department does not have a mechanism to continuously monitor its use of prosecutorial discretion and improve future policy.” (page 6)

“When applying prosecutorial discretion, ICE field office personnel said they might not always have access to an individual’s criminal history in his or her country of origin. As a result, aliens convicted of or wanted for a felony committed in their home country, but not convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor in the United States may not be identified as a DHS enforcement priority.” (pages 6-7)

Learn more about the Obama Administration’s lax immigration enforcement policies here

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GOODLATTE APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF BILL TO BAN ABORTIONS AFTER 20 WEEKS

2015/05/13

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) in a bipartisan vote of 242-184, which would ban abortions, with limited exceptions, in the United States after 20 weeks post fertilization.  

Since the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, medical knowledge regarding the development of unborn babies and their capacities at various stages of growth has advanced dramatically. Extensive medical research shows that unborn children begin to feel pain by 20 weeks post fertilization, and probably earlier. Also passed during the 113th Congress, the legislation would directly acknowledge advances in medical research and guarantee unborn children the necessary protections from late term abortions.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised today’s vote by the House of Representatives:

Chairman Goodlatte: “House passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a victory for the most innocent and defenseless among us, our children. 

“The passage of today’s bill comes on the anniversary of the conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was found guilty of murdering three babies by severing their spinal cords following unsuccessful abortions. The facts uncovered during the course of the trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and successive reports of similar atrocities committed across the country, remind us how an atmosphere of insensitivity can lead to horrific brutality.

“Current medical research tells us that late-term abortions are cruel to unborn children and do not exist in the gray areas of morality. Additionally, the majority of the American people—including women, independent voters, and those between the ages of 18-29 years old—support an end to cruel and atrocious practice. 

“In the 2007 Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court made clear that Congress may show such respect for the unborn through “specific regulation because it implicates additional ethical and moral concerns that justify a special prohibition.” 

“Today the House of Representatives once again took a stand against such atrocities and passed legislation that protects babies from such cruelty by banning late term abortions.  Delivered or not, babies are babies, and it has been shown that they can feel pain at least by 20 weeks. These babies deserve to live.” 

VIDEO of Congressman Goodlatte's remarks in support of H.R. 36.

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GOODLATTE SPEAKS IN SUPPORT OF S.665, THE RAFAEL RAMOS & WENJIAN LIU NATIONAL BLUE ALERT ACT

2015/05/12

Chairman Goodlatte: This week in Washington, D.C., we are celebrating National Police Week.  This annual tradition, which draws tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the country, is a time to celebrate the critical role that police play in maintaining a free and safe society.  It is also a time to mourn our nation’s fallen heroes. 

Last year, 127 men and women gave their lives while protecting Americans’ public safety, including 3 officers in my home state of Virginia.  The average age of these fallen officers is just 40 years old, which is too young to be taken from their loved ones.  

The Blue Alert system, which is currently in place in 20 states, is a cooperative effort among local, state and federal authorities, law enforcement agencies, and the general public. S. 665, the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015, seeks to expand on these existing programs by encouraging an enhanced nationwide system for the distribution of time-sensitive information to help identify and locate a violent suspect when a law enforcement officer is injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent and credible threat against an officer. 

Similar to Amber Alerts for missing children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors, Blue Alerts broadcast information about suspects, including a description of an offender who is still at large and, if available, a description of the offender’s vehicle and license plate information.  Like Amber Alerts, Blue Alerts are intended to hinder the offender’s ability to escape and will facilitate their capture.  

S. 665 directs the Justice Department to designate an existing employee as the Blue Alert national coordinator who will establish voluntary guidelines for the program and encourage those states that have not already done so to develop Blue Alert plans.

The House has passed similar versions of this legislation in the past two Congresses, but those bills were not taken up by the Senate.  The version of the Blue Alert bill that we consider today is different for two important reasons.  First, unlike the Blue Alert bills from prior Congresses that passed this body, only to wither away in the Senate, S. 665 will be sent directly to the President’s desk for signature following House passage.  I urge him to sign this legislation without delay.    

Second, S. 665 is named after New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu who, in December 2014, were murdered in cold blood by a malevolent killer who travelled from Baltimore to Brooklyn with the stated intention of shooting police officers. Officer Ramos left behind a wife and a thirteen-year old son.  Officer Liu left behind his wife of just two months.  This bill – a tribute to their service and sacrifice – will hopefully spare other families from the pain of losing a loved one.  

I thank Senator Cardin, Mr. Reichert of Washington, and the many bipartisan cosponsors of both the House and Senate bills for their work on this important legislation. I also thank the many outside law enforcement organizations that have tirelessly promoted the Blue Alert program over the past several years.  

This bill reaffirms Congress’s commitment to ensure the safety of the men and women in our nation’s law enforcement communities and the citizens they serve and protect every day.  I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.

Click here to watch Congressman Goodlatte's remarks on the House floor.

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2015-04-17 15:23:22


Contact Information

2309 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5431
Fax 202-225-9681
goodlatte.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Agriculture

Judiciary

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.

Bob’s service to the people of the Sixth District began in 1977 when he became District Director for former Congressman Caldwell Butler. He served in this position for two years until 1979, and was responsible for helping folks across the District seeking assistance with or encountering problems from various federal agencies. In 1979, he founded his own private law practice in Roanoke. Later, he was a partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman, working there from 1981 until taking office.

In the 113th Congress, Bob was elected to serve as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  He is the first Judiciary Committee Chairman from Virginia in the last 125 years.  Bob has been an active Member of the Judiciary Committee since arriving in Congress, serving in a variety of leadership positions on the Committee including Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet in the 112th Congress, Vice Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member of the Task Force on Judicial Impeachment in the 111th Congress, Ranking Member of the Antitrust Task Force in the 110th Congress, and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property in the 109th Congress. Additionally, Bob also served on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

The House Judiciary Committee will certainly be at the forefront of some of the most significant issues facing Virginia and the Sixth District, including protecting Constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, oversight of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, legal and regulatory reform, innovation, competition and anti-trust laws, terrorism and crime, and immigration reform.  It is likely that many of these issues will be the deciding factors in determining the future direction of our nation.  The jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee is well-suited to many of Bob’s legislative priorities such as protecting Constitutional rights, including private property and Second Amendment rights, securing our borders through immigration reform, strengthening our criminal laws, decreasing health care costs through medical malpractice reform, and oversight of the Judicial branch and Administration.  One of Bob’s top legislative initiatives is his Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget so that Congress will be forced to control spending.  The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over all proposed amendments to the Constitution.

In addition to serving on the House Judiciary Committee, Bob serves on the House Agriculture Committee.  He is a member of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, which is of particular importance to the Sixth District since it is one of the leading turkey and poultry producing districts in the nation.  He also serves on the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition.  Bob has served the Agriculture Committee in a variety of leadership roles including Chairman of the Agriculture Committee (2003-2007), Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee (2007-2008), Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee (2011-2012), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry (1997-2003), and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research (2009-2010).

During his time in Congress, Bob has made a name for himself as a leader on Internet and high-tech issues. He is Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus as well as Chairman of the House Republican Technology Working Group.

Bob is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Government was earned at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He resides in Roanoke with his wife, Maryellen.  He and Maryellen have been married since 1974 and have two adult children, Jennifer and Rob.


Serving With

Rob Wittman

VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT

Scott Rigell

VIRGINIA's 2nd DISTRICT

J. Randy Forbes

VIRGINIA's 4th DISTRICT

Robert Hurt

VIRGINIA's 5th DISTRICT

Dave Brat

VIRGINIA's 7th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Barbara Comstock

VIRGINIA's 10th DISTRICT

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