Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement today in response to reports that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria:

“Based on the intelligence that we have, it appears that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against the Syrian people.  If true, this is a sad and worrisome development in an ongoing humanitarian crisis. We must work with our partners in the region and the international community to confirm beyond a doubt that chemical weapons were in fact used and, if so, determine who used them and when. The seriousness of the situation dictates a thorough and thoughtful approach.  

“If it turns out that chemical weapons were used, it would be the latest atrocity committed by the Assad regime. The civil war in Syria is an enormous humanitarian catastrophe caused by a brutal and desperate regime. But as we consider options to respond to this atrocity, I am not convinced that military action is appropriate at this time. There is no evidence that U.S. military action will achieve anything, except cost American lives and treasure. As we respond, we must remember the lessons we have learned from the war in Iraq.

“We should work with the international community, as well as our allies in the region, to consider the best options to remove Assad from power and promote a regime that has the support of the Syrian people. However, we should be under no illusions that this will be easy. It won’t. We must exercise extreme caution, and we must not assume that the U.S. military can resolve this civil war.

“The Syrian people deserve the right to live free of tyranny and oppression and the United States must continue to be a force for good in the world. I encourage the Administration to take the time necessary to confirm what has taken place and to develop an appropriate response.”

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Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after 5 people were killed in a Federal Way shooting:
 

“I am stunned and saddened by the shooting that left 5 people dead in Federal Way.  As details continue to emerge about the shooting, I will work with law enforcement to help provide any assistance they may need to keep our community safe.”

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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement after the decision to charge Boston bombing suspect in civilian court:

“I agree with President Obama’s decision to charge the Boston bombing suspect in civilian court.  At this point in time, there is no evidence that the suspect was connected with al Qaeda or its affiliates, while there is an abundance of evidence that suggests he committed both state and federal crimes.  There is no basis for him to be held as an enemy combatant at this time.  Our civilian law enforcement and courts have a proven track record of success in crimes related to terrorism, and I have full confidence in their abilities.  It is also critical that the suspect be interrogated to gain information and intelligence.  We must ensure that we do all we can to understand the scope of the attacks and prevent a similar attack from happening again.”
 

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after the House passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA):
 
“There has been an increase in cyber attacks on government agencies, financial institutions, and other private industries in the United States and globally.  Our current defenses are not keeping pace with the increasing amount and sophistication of attacks, and our nation is at greater risk as a result.  I voted for CISPA because it offers us an important opportunity to begin to get a handle on the real and growing cybersecurity threats that face us, but the bill is not perfect.

“I was pleased to see notable improvements in this legislation’s protection of privacy and civil liberties over previous versions.  The elimination of a broad provision that allowed information sharing for “national security uses” was a major step to improve privacy concerns.  Now the bill only allows information sharing for more specific threats: cybersecurity, cyber crimes, protection from mortal danger or harm, and protection of minors from child pornography.  CISPA also mandates the government to minimize or remove personally identifiable information obtained from the private sector, requires civilian entities within the government to receive cyber threats and crimes, and adds oversight responsibilities for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB).

“With that said, I do have significant privacy concerns with the legislation.  The bill is still in need of stronger requirements for private companies to protect personal information and privacy before cybersecurity data is shared.  Along with that, I have concerns that the liability protection provided by CISPA remains too broad for action taken by private entities in response to cyber threat information.

“CISPA will go to conference with cybersecurity legislation that is eventually passed by the Senate, and during that process I will continue to fight to protect personal privacy and alleviate civil liberty concerns.  However, given the many intelligence briefs I have received as Member of Congress detailing previous cyber attacks and our vulnerabilities to future attacks, doing nothing to improve our defense against cyber attacks right now is unacceptable.” 
 

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Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after the bipartisan group of senators introduced their immigration reform proposal:
 
“Immigration reform is long overdue, and this bill is a first step toward comprehensively addressing our broken immigration system.  Under this legislation, the legal immigration system would be overhauled, our nation’s border security would be enhanced, and the 11 million undocumented immigrants and their families would gain a path to citizenship.
 
“We have to make it easier and simpler for individuals who support and grow our economy to come and remain here legally.  Legal immigration is not an obstacle to growth, but rather supplements our economic competitiveness and American jobs by attracting needed workers, high-skilled entrepreneurs, and investors.  We also must ensure that we keep families together.
 
“This bill is not perfect, and as it advances through the legislative process,  I will  continue to work to ensure that our immigration system will allow families to stay together, businesses to thrive, and our nation to be secure.”
 

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