Press Releases

SEATTLE, WA – On Tuesday, January 10th, as part of his visit to the Seattle area, Under Secretary of the Treasury Brian E. Nelson participated in a roundtable at the office of Congressman Adam Smith to discuss the challenges facing money services businesses (MSBs) who are unable to get banking access. Congressman Smith brought together Under Secretary Nelson and local MSBs from King County and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions for the roundtable.

“Money service businesses make it possible for people here in Ninth District and around the country to send money to family and loved ones abroad, providing a lifeline to millions of people and communities around the world. The lack of access to banking services for MSBs is a dangerous problem that I have worked to address with stakeholders in the community for years. Not being able to obtain banking services increases costs and makes it incredibly difficult for these businesses to serve their customers – most often immigrant communities and communities of color. It also poses a huge public safety risk for these businesses and employees operating in cash. I appreciate the local MSBs who joined to share their stories and continue to work with my office so that we can make progress on this issue. And I thank Under Secretary Nelson for prioritizing this issue during his visit to the region. I look forward to our continued work together to advance solutions on behalf of MSBs in the Ninth District and across the country.”

See below for a recap of the de-risking roundtable.

Under Secretary Nelson, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, and local MSBs gathered for a conversation about the hurdles that many MSBs face in finding a bank that will serve them. MSB owners shared their stories about the challenges of obtaining banking services and the risks that it poses to their businesses and customers to be unbanked. Throughout the discussion, the MSBs made it clear that the lack of access to banking services is not only a financial obstacle, but a broader issue of racial equity, national security, and public safety. The Treasury Department will be releasing its National De-Risking Strategy with recommendations to tackle these challenges in the coming weeks, and Under Secretary Nelson shared that participating in this conversation and hearing these perspectives will help him as he prepares the report. The de-risking strategy being developed by Treasury was required as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

In January 2022, Congressman Smith sent a letter to the Treasury Department and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) urging them to address the lack of banking access for MSBs. More information about that letter can be found here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after voting to establish the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.

“China is undoubtedly our greatest competitor, and the United States must balance strategic competition and careful cooperation to advance our economic interests and tackle global security challenges. From climate change and public health, to the rise of authoritarianism and China’s aggression towards Taiwan, strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party cuts across multiple issue areas and committee jurisdictions in the House. The Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party has the potential to serve as a forum for policy debates and new ideas to address these cross-cutting issues. I believe that House Democrats’ participation on the Select Committee is the best way to make it as productive and useful as possible, and for that reason I voted today for its establishment. However, the chaos of last week’s Speaker’s race showed us the stranglehold that extremist Republicans have on the House majority, and I want to be very clear that this Committee should not be used as a platform for hateful or violent xenophobia or racism. The rise of anti-Asian hate over the past few years is directly correlated with this form of bigotry, and Democrats in Congress will be working diligently to ensure the Committee is not being used as a place to promote this vitriol. The United States can have a relationship with China that enables a more peaceful and prosperous world and a strong and thriving American economy. This Select Committee has the ability to add to Congress’ examination of challenges related to China if it remains bipartisan and focused on its mandate.”

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Government Funding Package Will Bring Millions of Dollars Back to Washington’s Ninth District

SEATTLE, WA – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the $1.7 trillion government funding package, sending it to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The government funding package provides historic investments for workers, families, and communities across the country. Importantly, this package includes over $24 million for projects that Rep. Smith successfully secured in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations process, which will help fund 15 community projects across Washington’s Ninth District.

“This year’s government funding package not only allows us to make good on our commitments to keep the government open and running smoothly, but also provides additional funding to bolster important social and economic programs that make us stronger as a nation. In negotiating this package, we were able to secure many important victories on health care which will expand access to affordable, quality health care, expand mental health care services, and advance research and development that will lead to future scientific breakthroughs. This funding package will also allow us to send more crucial military, humanitarian, and economic aid to Ukraine as they continue their fight for democracy. There are many things to be proud of in this bill, but I am especially excited about the funding that will go directly towards community projects in the Ninth District. These projects will invest in affordable housing and health care, workforce development, public safety, small business, local economy, and more and will uplift the most vulnerable and underserved individuals and families in our region. Thanks to the tireless work of community leaders and organizations in our district, these projects will undoubtedly make our community a better place to live. I look forward to these federal dollars coming to Washington’s Ninth.”

See below for more information about the FY 2023 government funding package.

Ninth District Community Projects 

  • $4 million for El Centro de la Raza, Pattison’s West Community Campus Property Acquisition in Federal Way 
  • $4 Million for Somali Health Board, Somali Community Cultural Innovation Hub in the Rainier Valley
  • $675,000 for Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women (ANEW), Pre-Apprenticeship Commercial Driver’s License Program in South King County 
  • $1 Million for Plymouth Housing, Eastgate Permanent Supportive Housing and Health Clinic in Bellevue 
  • $4 Million for Friends of Little Saigon, Little Saigon Landmark in Little Saigon, Chinatown-International District
  • $750,000 for Low Income Housing Institute, Skyway Affordable Housing and Early Learning Center in Skyway
  • $750,000 for African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest, African Business Innovation Center (ABIC) in Tukwila 
  • $2.2 Million for Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Kent Medical Clinic and Affordable Housing Mixed Use Facility in Kent  
  • $1 Million for Central District Community Preservation and Development Authority (CD CPDA), McKinney Center Capital Project in the Central District
  • $750,000 for Southeast Seattle Senior Foundation, Southeast Seattle Affordable Housing and Home Ownership in the Rainier Valley
  • $500,000 for Congolese Integration Network, Washington Refugee Healing Center in SeaTac 
  • $500,000 for UTOPIA, Mapu Maia Clinic in Kent 
  • $1.5 Million for Public Defender Association, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program in Chinatown-International District and Southeast Seattle 
  • $1.5 Million for City of Renton, Logan Place Market in Renton 
  • $1 million for Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Cowlitz Tribal Health Clinic in Tukwila 
 Find more information about the FY 2023 Community Project Funding Requests, including project descriptions, here.
 
Additional Selected Projects Benefiting the Ninth District
  • $750,000 for Byrd Barr Place, Minority-Owned Small Business Emergency Assistance Program
  • $4.4 million for Public Defender Association, JustCare Program
  • $900,000 for Tabor 100, Minority and Women Business Enterprises Support Services Program
  • $2 million for African Community Housing & Development, Affordable Homeownership Cooperative Pilot
  • $2.23 million for Americans for Equality, MLK-Gandhi Empowerment Initiative
  • $225,000 for South Seattle Women’s Health Foundation, Rainier Valley Birth & Health Center
  • $4 million for Food Lifeline, South Seattle Community Food Hub
  • $1 million for City of Seattle, El Barrio Small Business Development
These are just some of the projects that received funding in the government funding package at the request of Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell that will benefit the 9th District.
 
Find a summary of Democratic funding priorities here.
Find a full summary of the appropriations-related provisions of the package here.
 
Other Key Provisions
  • Provides another consequential round of security, economic, and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine to support them in their fight against Russia’s unlawful invasion.
  • Provides increased funding for the National Labor Relations Board for the first time in more than a decade.
  • Includes the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, helping ensure pregnant workers are not discriminated against and receive the reasonable accommodations they deserve.  
  • Includes emergency disaster support to help victims of hurricanes and wildfires throughout our country, to address the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, and $1 billion for Puerto Rico’s electrical grid.
  • Reforms the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which will help thwart future attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power like what we saw attempted leading up to January 6, 2021.
Key Health Care Wins
  • Requires all states to cover children on Medicaid and CHIP for 12 months regardless of changes in income, reducing unnecessary coverage loss for the 40 million children on Medicaid and CHIP.
  • Makes permanent the option for states to provide women with uninterrupted Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, which will help address the maternal mortality crisis that has been especially devastating for communities of color.
  • Extends COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities for two years, through December 31, 2024.
  • Funds 200 new graduate medical education residency positions, with 100 specifically going towards psychiatry or psychiatry subspecialty residencies.
  • Provides payment stability for physicians through a 2.5 percent increase in the physician fee schedule conversion factor for 2023, and a 1.25 percent increase for 2024.
  • Strengthens, expands, and establishes more programs that collectively aim to provide crisis care coordination and response, and support mental health care and substance use disorder prevention, care, treatment, peer support, and recovery support services in communities across the nation.
  • Includes the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act of 2021, which eliminates the X-waiver and lifts the patient cap on practitioners registered to dispense buprenorphine for opioid use disorder maintenance or detoxification treatment.
  • Includes funding for Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to accelerate the pace of scientific breakthroughs for diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Provides an increase in funding for National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support a wide range of biomedical and behavioral research.
Find a summary of the health care provisions included in the package here.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) with Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.), led colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Blinken and Secretary Mayorkas urging the administration to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia.

“Somalia is facing a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by protracted armed conflict. The security situation in Somalia remains extremely fraught, as Al-Shabaab continues to threaten the stability and safety of Somalia. Violence is rampant, with the highest number of recorded civilian casualties since 2017 according to the UN. An estimated 40 percent of the population, or 6.1 million people, are left hungry due to the drought and soaring inflation,” the members wrote.

“A designation of TPS for Somalia is in line with U.S. commitments to the nation and its people,” wrote the members. “An estimated 400 beneficiaries are on the verge of losing their work authorization and facing deportation if the administration fails to extend the designation. Deportation would not only threaten the safety of these individuals but would also have devastating consequences for U.S.-citizen children of Somali TPS holders. Parents would have to make the impossible choice of whether to leave their child behind in the U.S. or take them back to dangerous conditions in Somalia,” the members concluded. 

The designation of TPS for Somalia is set to expire on March 17, 2023, with a decision date on January 16, 2023. The members are requesting that the administration provides an 18-month extension and expand the protections to more recently arrived Somali individuals present in the U.S. by redesignating Somalia for TPS.

The letter was signed by: Adam Smith (WA-09), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Alma Adams (NC-12), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Cori Bush (MO-01), André Carson (IN-07), Troy Carter (LA-02), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Jesús García (IL-04), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Betty McCollum (MN-04), James McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Eleanor Norton (D.C.), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Trone (MD-06), Marc Veasey (TX-33), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which finally repeals the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, protects marriage equality for federal purposes, and provides additional protections for same-sex marriage at the state level.

“When the Supreme Court released their opinion this summer overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear that other constitutional rights – including the right to same-sex marriage – are under threat. As LGBTQ+ individuals and families face discrimination in states across the country, the House today passed a bill which will enshrine marriage equality at the federal level. Same-sex and interracial couples can rest assured that their right to marriage will be protected despite what this extreme Supreme Court could rule in the future. With the passage of this bill, Congress sent a resounding message to the American people that we will continue our work to uphold the promise of equal rights, liberties, and freedoms for all – and that love still wins. I am thrilled to have voted for this important legislation, and I look forward to President Biden signing it into law very soon.”

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