Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.— With the Asian American community celebrating Lunar New Year on Tuesday, Representative Adam Smith released the following statement to recognize the holiday:  

“Lunar New Year celebrations highlight our country’s cultural vibrancy.  For the Asian American community, Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year, and a time to celebrate the important heritage of Asian Americans,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “We must do more to acknowledge this annual observance, including official recognition by all levels of government. As the representative of a diverse district with many vibrant Asian American communities, I join in celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian American families here in the 9th District and around the world. I offer my warmest wishes to all those celebrating the Year of the Pig. May the coming year be filled with happiness, health, and good fortune!”

Background:  Smith is an original cosponsor of a resolution recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year. Rep. Grace Meng introduced the resolution to recognize the cultural and historical significance of the 2019 Lunar New Year.  It also expresses the deepest respect for Asian Americans and all individuals throughout the world who celebrate the holiday.  In addition, the resolution details the history and customs of Lunar New Year, and wishes Asian Americans and all who observe the Lunar celebration a happy and prosperous new year.

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in advance of President Trump’s State of the Union address:

“At tonight’s State of the Union, where President Trump will have the opportunity to lay out his Administration’s vision and plans for the coming year, I worry the President will once again prioritize appeasing his base instead of putting the interests of the entire country first. On the heels of the longest shutdown in our country’s history, caused by the President’s arbitrary demand for billions to build his border wall, he should use this unique platform to talk about meaningful solutions to the true challenges facing Americans. Our national priorities must include affordable health care, fighting climate change, addressing the rising cost of housing for middle class Americans, rebuilding our infrastructure, and increasing access to education.

“His recent addresses to the nation during the shutdown were riddled with mischaracterizations and lies about immigrants and our border. I hope the President will refrain from his campaign-style rhetoric about immigrants that is rooted in intolerance and racism, and instead talk about meaningful reforms to our immigration system focused on what works while making the case that the United States values the lives and dignity of immigrants. Additionally, with the government funding deadline less than two weeks away, the President should reassure federal workers and the American people that he won’t shut down the government again over a wall that he has failed to convince Congress and the American people is needed.

“The President should also be honest about our economic situation. More must be done to ensure that our economy works for everyone, not just the wealthiest and most fortunate. Income inequality in America continues to grow as wages stagnate and wealth becomes more concentrated in the hands of fewer Americans. The recent Trump tax cuts have further ballooned our federal deficit, at the expense of working families and led to a trillion in stock buybacks with very little investment in our nation’s workers. We should be working to enact policies that create broad-based economic opportunity for every American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or the zip code where they were born, not providing wealthy shareholders with profit windfalls. 

“Democrats are ready to rebuild our economy and are prepared to meet the challenges of the future. The President needs to show he stands for more than empty promises and fear-mongering. Our country deserves leadership that brings us together and delivers real solutions for hard-working American families.”

Washington, DC House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) and House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Jim Cooper (D-TN) released the following statement about withdrawal from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty:

“The Trump administration is needlessly ignoring the concerns of our allies and partners on an issue that should unify NATO, not divide it,” said Smith. “By withdrawing from the INF Treaty instead of making an honest, good-faith effort to collectively punish Russia for its treaty violations and bring it back into compliance, we are playing into President Putin’s hands.

“The administration’s ideological aversion to arms control as a tool for advancing national security is endangering our safety, as well as that of our allies and partners. The risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding is already higher than at any point since the end of the Cold War, and this decision only makes it worse,” Smith continued. “President Trump withdrawing from this treaty reopens a field of competition with yet another class of nuclear weapons and, perhaps ironically, reverses one of President Reagan’s most important historical achievements in a way that benefits Moscow. We must not allow Russia to receive a free pass for violating the INF Treaty, which is exactly what the Trump administration is handing President Putin.”

“Of course the Russians have been cheating on the INF treaty for years; the question is how we punish them for cheating,” said Cooper. “The Trump approach is to reward them by withdrawing from the treaty ourselves. If a student cheats on a test, does the teacher suddenly decide the test doesn’t count? No, we should rally NATO, the main beneficiaries of this treaty, to condemn Russia. But our President has been too soft on Russia and too hard on NATO. He’s got it backwards.”

Washington, DC House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan regarding the Armed Services Committee’s hearing on the Department of Defense’s Support to the Southern Border this Tuesday, January 29, 2019. The full text of the letter is available here.

Chairman Smith released the following statement about the letter:

“The number one thing that the House Armed Services Committee wants from the Defense Department this Congress is transparency. We did not get full transparency during this week’s hearing about DOD support to the southern border. 

“I am deeply troubled that the witnesses did not disclose the upcoming increase in guard, reserve, and active duty personnel, even though we asked them multiple times during a two-and-a-half-hour hearing what would happen next on the border. They never mentioned it, despite the fact that the Secretary of Defense was revealing an increase in personnel that same day. This was at best an error in judgment, and at worst flat-out dishonesty.

“The Members of the Committee would have been extremely interested in discussing what the 3,500 troops going to the border in response to DHS’s latest request will be doing there. This is a violation of the executive branch’s obligation to be transparent with Congress, which oversees, authorizes, and funds its operations. It also raises questions about whether the Department thinks the policy of sending additional troops to the border is so unjustified that they cannot defend an increase in public.

“I have followed up on that hearing with a phone call to Secretary Shanahan, and he has provided more details on the increase. I appreciate his willingness to discuss it with me, but a phone call is not a substitute for transparency before Congress and public candor. Does their refusal to publicly discuss what they are doing indicate that this is a policy they believe they cannot defend in an open public hearing before the full Armed Services Committee, where all 57 members have the opportunity to ask questions?”

WASHINGTON – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA), Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan requesting he revise a report on climate change and its impacts on national security. The report, presented to Congress on January 10, failed to meet the basic requirements laid out in statute.

The text of the letter is attached and pasted below.

Climate Letter

Quotes from the co-signers:

 

“In 2017, House Democrats successfully required the Department of Defense to report on the impact that climate change will have on U.S. military installations. The Trump administration has now released that report and, unfortunately, it is inadequate. It demonstrates a continued unwillingness to seriously recognize and address the threat that climate change poses to our national security and military readiness,” said Chairman Smith. “While this climate report acknowledges that nearly all the military installations it studied are vulnerable to major climate change impacts, and provides numerous installation-level examples of those impacts, it fails to even minimally discuss a mitigation plan to address the vulnerabilities. The Department of Defense presented no specifics on what is required to ensure operational viability and mission resiliency, and failed to estimate the future costs associated with ensuring these installations remain viable. That information was required by law. The Department of Defense must develop concrete, executable plans to address the national security threats presented by climate change. As drafted, this report fails to do that.”

 

“The Defense Department’s initial report does not adhere to the requirements plainly spelled out in my amendment, and it does not reflect the magnitude of the threat that climate change poses to our military bases around the globe,” said Congressman Langevin. “The Pentagon must complete the necessary analysis to meet the parameters set forth in law. Our military service members, the installations they rely on, and the threat environments they deploy to are living with the reality of climate change. It is incumbent upon the Department and Congress to ensure we are properly preparing for a warming planet, and the report issued earlier this month falls well short of what is required to responsibly address the issue, protect our national security, and ensure military readiness.”

 

“It’s shameful that the Trump administration refuses to take the threat of climate change seriously,” said Congressman Garamendi. “As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Readiness, I am deeply concerned about the impact climate change will have on military readiness. The inadequate report that was provided to Congress failed to offer any solutions or strategies to address the impact climate change will have on our national security. That’s why I joined Armed Services Committee Chairman, Adam Smith, and Rep. Jim Langevin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, in sending a formal request to Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan to issue a comprehensive revised report to Congress. The administration is required by law to provide this information to Congress, and I will do everything in my power to ensure we receive this vital information in a timely manner.”