In 1986, four-term incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Loeffler of Texas' 21st congressional district decided to retire to run for governor of Texas. Smith led a crowded six-way primary with 31% of the vote and then defeated Van Archer in the run-off election 54%–46%. He won the general election with 61% of the vote.
During this time period, henever won re-election with less than 73% of the vote.
Smith's district was significantly altered in the 2003 Texas redistricting. While he lost most of the Hill Country to the 23rd District, he picked up a significant portion of Austin, including the area around the University of Texas, a traditional bastion of liberalism. Smith won re-election with 62% of the vote, Smith's lowest winningpercentage since his initial run in 1986.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2006
In 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States threw out the 23rd District in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry on the grounds that it violated the rights of Latino voters. The 23rd is the largest district in the nation (not counting the at-largedistricts), stretching across 800 road miles from El Paso to San Antonio. Due to its size, nearly every district in the El Paso-San Antonio corridor had to be redrawn. Smith regained most of the Hill Country, but kept a large portion of his share of Austin, including the area around the University of Texas.
In November 2006 the Texas Legislative Council  found that nearly two-thirds of voters inDistrict 21 cast ballots for statewide Republican candidates in 2004. In the November 2006 open election, Smith faced six candidates. He defeated Democrats John Courage and Gene Kelly 60%–24%-9%. This was Smith's lowest winning percentage of his career.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2008
He only faced one candidate, Libertarian nomineeJames Arthur Strohm, and defeated him with 80% of the vote.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Texas, 2010
He faced two candidates, Democratic nominee Lainey Melnick and Libertarian nominee James Arthur Strohm, and won with 69% of the vote.
Smith has consistently supported restrictions on abortion. In 2009, Smith voted toprohibit federally funded abortions. In 2006, Smith voted for the Abortion Pain Bill, which would “ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child,”  and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would “prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortiondecisions.”  In 2008, the National Right to Life Committee, a strong advocate for the rights of the unborn, gave Representative Smith a rating of 100 on a point system in which points were assigned for actions in support of legislation they described as pro-life.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
On April 23, 2006 CNet reported that Smith was introducing a bill that "would expand theDMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers." The move sparked a negative response among technology enthusiasts in opposition to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011
On June 23, 2011, H.R. 2306 was introduced to Congress by Barney Frank and co-signer RonPaul. The intent of the bill was to end the Federal prohibition on Cannabis, turning over the regulation of marijuana to states (similar to alcohol). The bill was the first of its kind since prohibition began. H.R. 2306 would limit federal powers to interstate transfer; while laws for cultivation, sales, use, and taxation would be determined by each state. This bill was well received by the...