Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee made the following statement after the announcement that Japan will request membership in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations:
 
“Japan’s interest in joining negotiations is a major step toward expanding the economic reach of TPP, which negotiators are already seeking to shape into an ambitious and comprehensive 21st Century agreement.  Japan is a major economic partner and strategic ally in a geopolitically essential part of the world. There are remaining issues that the Administration has raised and, while progress has been made, I would encourage both governments to dedicate themselves to resolving these legitimate issues.  
 
“The countries of the Asia Pacific region will continue to be essential strategic partners in the future.  It is in our national interest to engage this fast-growing region and deepen our relations through regional and bilateral diplomacy, increased military engagement, and improved economic relations.
“If done right, TPP will promote innovation, high labor standards, help small and medium sized businesses participate, and allow our country and the Pacific Northwest to more actively compete in international markets.  Nearly 40 percent of jobs in Washington State are trade related, and by potentially reducing barriers for U.S. goods to this region, exporters will have greater access to markets and opportunities for growth.  I will continue to monitor TPP negotiations as they advance to ensure that our trade partnerships are the best deal for the American people.”

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Today, the U.S. Air Force announced that the Air Mobility Command’s (AMC) biennial Rodeo readiness competition has been cancelled this year because of budget shortfalls.  The event would have been held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in July.   Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after the cancellation was announced:

“The AMC’s Rodeo competition at JBLM is a great event that includes airlift, air-refueling, aeromedical evacuation, aerial port, and maintenance crews competing against one another in many mission-related competitions.   It is very disappointing that this training event has been cancelled, but I understand the decision since mission-essential requirements are prioritized over events like these,” said House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith.  “This represents a real example of how the fiscal uncertainty and across-the-board cuts of sequestration are negatively impacting Washington State.  Congress has a responsibility to the American people to address our fiscal issues in a balanced and effective way, and I will continue to work to that end.”

Over 20 U.S. and a dozen allied nations teams were planning to attend AMC’s 2013 Rodeo event at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  For more information, see the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command press release here.     
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement regarding the release of the Republican budget:

“Instead of finding a balanced, comprehensive approach to dealing with our deficit right now, the Republican budget introduced today radically reforms Medicare by cutting benefits and turning the system into a voucher program, slashes investments in education and worker training programs for working class families, and fails to raise a penny of revenue.  It is intolerable to make these severe cuts without raising any revenues.

“Over the last decade, spending has significantly increased while revenue has been cut leaving us with a deficit around $1 trillion.  This is not a recipe for fiscal responsibility.  We have a deficit problem that must be addressed, and we need to find savings in all areas of government, but we cannot simply cut our way to a balanced budget.

“Without raising revenues, Medicare, Medicaid, Social security, education, transportation, and other essential programs will face deep, destabilizing cuts.  I support raising the revenue necessary to protect these programs.  By taking an all-cuts approach to deficit reduction, the Republican budget burdens seniors with cuts to health benefits, deeply cuts essential programs for millions of underserved families, and limits national growth by undermining the investment to our national priorities.  This is not fiscal responsibility.  

“I hope the House Budget Committee can come together and put forward a balanced approach that responsibly reduces our deficit by making strategic cuts in mandatory and discretionary spending, while also raising revenues.  Congress has a responsibility to the American people to address our fiscal issues in a balanced and effective way, which the Republican budget does not offer.”
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement following the crash of an Navy EA-6B Prowler in Eastern Washington:
 
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who died in today’s tragic accident.  Our servicemen and women take the ultimate risk while training at home and serving abroad.  Nothing can replace the service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives today.”

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Today, the House passed H.R. 933, a bill that represents a missed opportunity to avoid damaging cuts through sequestration. After voting against the bill, Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement:
 
“While this bill does allow the Department of Defense some discretion in implementing the across-the-board spending cuts through sequestration, it is a missed opportunity to remove these cuts all together and address our budget in a balanced way. Additionally, this bill fails to address the impact of sequestration on other important programs such as education, transportation, and scientific research.
 
“We should be squarely focused on removing cuts through sequestration, not implementing them. Regardless of how the cuts are implemented, they will still be extremely damaging. The deep, indiscriminate cuts threaten jobs, our economy, and our national security. We must repeal sequestration.  This spending bill fails to end these devastating cuts and essentially locks them in for the remainder of the fiscal year without giving any department or agency, with the exception of the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, the ability to manage their budgets given our current budget situation.  
 
“It is my hope that the Senate will be able to pass a balanced approach that removes sequestration and provides our economy with some certainty.  Congress has a responsibility to the American people to address our fiscal issues in a balanced and effective way. Over the last ten years, we have dramatically cut taxes and increased spending. This is unsustainable. We need to take steps to address our long-term budget problems, but this bill is the wrong way to achieve that goal.”

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