Jason Smith (R-Mo.) has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2013, representing Missouri’s 8th Congressional District. He is currently the ranking member of the House Budget Committee and was previously secretary of the House Republican Conference from 2017–21. He ran for reelection in 2022 with Trump’s endorsement and won in his solidly Republican district.
Before joining Congress, Smith served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005–13. In addition to his political career, he managed a family farm and was a lawyer in private practice in Missouri.
In January 2018, Smith was widely criticized for yelling “Go back to Puerto Rico!” at fellow Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) during a House debate on a partial government shutdown. Smith later apologized and said he hadn’t intended to shout a racial slur at Cardenas, but rather comment on the 30 congressional Democrats who took a trip to Puerto Rico during the shutdown.
Since the 2020 presidential election, Smith has been one of the more vocal congressional proponents of the Big Lie. He took it upon himself to send letters to then Attorney General Bill Barr and state election officials across the country calling for investigations into unfounded allegations of fraud. Smith also boldly blamed Democrats for the Jan. 6 insurrection just days after the event.
January 6, 2021
- Just hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Smith joined 146 other congressional Republicans in refusing to certify Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election.
- In a statement released on Jan. 8, 2021, Smith blamed the insurrection on Democrats who had failed to denounce previous forms of political “violence.” He wrote, “In fact, when the statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down this past summer in Baltimore, Speaker Nancy Pelosi shrugged it off as ‘people will do what they do.’ This lack of accountability undoubtedly contributed to the shameful display this week in the United States Capitol building.”
- Smith voted against impeaching Trump for his role in inciting the attack on Congress and the Capitol, and for fanning the flames once the riot broke out. Speaking on the House floor, he said that Democrats were not putting “people before politics” and the impeachment was unnecessary because Trump only had seven days left in office.
- Smith also voted against establishing a House committee to investigate the genesis of the violent assault that disrupted the congressional proceedings underway that day.
The Big Lie
- Just days after the 2020 election, Smith wrote two letters demanding investigations into voter fraud. He sent one to Attorney General William Barr on Nov. 6 calling for “the United States Department of Justice to investigate all credible allegations of election fraud.” He also sent a letter to state election officials that same day stating that “serious questions have been raised regarding the way this election has been conducted.”
- On Dec. 10, 2020, Smith signed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election in four swing states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- In an accompanying statement released on Dec. 11, 2020, Smith said he believed “the widespread voter fraud that occurred during this election was enabled by the very processes this case highlighted.”
- In announcing that he would vote against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results, Smith tweeted: “This is not a decision made lightly, but it is the right one. The American people deserve the truth.”
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