Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after Representative Paul Ryan released his budget proposal for FY2015:

“As we continue to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we need a budget that expands economic opportunity.  This requires a focus on increased job training and improvements to education, while also supporting hardworking Americans who have been pushed out of the economy by restoring unemployment benefits, raising the minimum wage, and expanding the earned income tax credit.  Additionally, the budget must invest in innovation, infrastructure, and advancing comprehensive immigration reform to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.  
“The Republican budget introduced yesterday not only fails to accomplish these goals, it goes in the opposite direction.  The proposal would be devastating to seniors, the middle class, and the poor, while giving even more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans who have already benefitted massively over the last decade from the Bush tax cuts. The Ryan budget radically dismantles Medicare by turning the system into a voucher program. It also cuts funding for programs like SNAP and Head Start, while slashing critical investments in innovation, education, and worker training programs that have been essential in helping families get back to work in a slowly recovering economy.  And it makes these cuts without asking the wealthier to pay a penny more.
“While Ryan’s budget does increase the Defense Budget in future years, it does so at the expense of the investments we need here at home. It is impossible to maintain a strong national defense if we do not maintain our economic prowess. By slashing important programs that invest in our future, this Republican proposal short-changes our economy, the American people and our national defense.”

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after speaking with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson about the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) and deportation policy:

“I had a productive conversation with the DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.  I spoke with him about my recent visit to the NWDC and made sure he was fully aware of all the concerns that were brought to my attention by the detainees I met with, their friends and relatives, and advocates in the community.  Secretary Johnson has visited a detention facility in Texas and plans to visit more in the near future.  I asked that he continue to visit facilities and invited him to come see the NWDC in Tacoma in hopes that these visits will lead to a review of policies at detention centers.  
“Additionally, we spoke about the issue of deportation.  I expressed my concerns about the rising number of immigrants being deported and how this has a devastating impact on families in our community.  Secretary Johnson understands these concerns and ensured me that DHS is reviewing all deportation policies, as the President announced this week.  I have a great working relationship with Secretary Johnson from his tenure at the Defense Department, and I look forward to continuing working with him in his new capacity on this issue.”
Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced agreements on the disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) program:

“I am glad to see that WSDOT took steps to ensure compliance with the DBE program standards.  Over the last year, I have had an ongoing dialogue with community stakeholders on this issue, and have received a lot of feedback.  As this project continues, I will continue to monitor the situation  and remain in close contact with all involved.”

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement regarding reports of a hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma:

“I am very concerned with the reported hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma. Over the last week, I have heard from many constituents that are relatives, friends, and advocates of those detained at the NWDC, who still have many unanswered questions.  On Tuesday, my office initiated a conversation with ICE and the NWDC to directly express my concerns as well as relay questions my constituents and I have about what is going on and what is being done to fix the situation.  Although we received some answers, we are still waiting for a formal response on many questions we submitted with Rep. DelBene’s office, including the bond process, length of detention, and nutrition standards. My staff and I will continue to push for answers and closely monitor the situation at the detention center.”

Today, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-MI) introduced the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Act of 2014 to provide critical job training and worker assistance for Americans who have lost their jobs due to increased competition in the global marketplace.  The U.S. manufacturing, service, farming, and fishing sectors have been hit hard with declines in employment, and American workers need support and training to secure new employment.  At the beginning of this year, TAA expired for thousands of service industry workers affected by trade, as well as for workers losing their jobs due to imports from countries including China.  If Congress doesn’t reauthorize TAA by the end of the year, the entire program will expire.  
"Our nation's economy and success depend on our workers,” said Rep. Adam Smith.   “As we continue to recover from the economic crisis and adapt to a rapidly changing economy, it is critical that we update and improve the TAA program to help workers transition.  In the face of greater global competition, we need to provide training, income support, and healthcare to help displaced workers adjust and enhance their skills for new jobs and careers."
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Act would ensure that TAA eligibility is available to workers and firms in the services and manufacturing sectors, workers whose firms shift production to (or are adversely affected by imports from) FTA and non-FTA countries, U.S. suppliers of component parts, public sector workers, and farmers and fishermen.  The bill also invests in American workers by restoring comprehensive levels of benefits in areas such as job training, case management, income support, and job search and relocation allowances that are critical to workers adversely affected by increased global competition.  
Mr. Levin added, “It is urgent that we reinstate the full TAA program for dislocated workers who are building new careers for themselves.  As we seek to fully benefit from globalization we must maintain structures that allow us to address its challenges for the workers and firms  who are prepared to compete when they are given the tools to do so.”  

Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Charles Rangel agreed.  He noted that “we need to continue to give dislocated workers the option of improving their skills, or learning new ones, as part of our commitment to making sure the American worker benefits from globalization.”

Congress created the TAA program in 1962 in response to the loss of jobs among hard-working Americans as a result of increasing global competition as well as to promote American competitiveness.  TAA benefits have several components: training assistance, income support while in training, and job search and relocation assistance.  The program assists workers dislocated by the elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade.  Additional programs assist farmers, fishermen, and firms with the development and implementation of business plans to enable them to regain a competitive foothold.

Rep. Derek Kilmer added, “As someone with over a decade of experience in economic development, I know that job training is a key catalyst for job growth.  Our workers and employers have to compete with those of countries around the world. That’s why we need to ensure access to training that can protect and produce quality jobs. TAA helps to do just that, which is why I’m going to do everything I can to build support for this bill in the House.”