Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made this statement following President Obama’s remarks on the economy:

“Recent discussions about the economy outlined today reflect sharp contrasts in visions for our economic future.

“Republicans have historically favored a top-down, trickle-down approach to economic recovery and growth that relies heavily upon indiscriminately cutting taxes, slashing regulatory safeguards, and trusting corporations to do what is necessary for the well-being of Americans.  This approach has been tried time and again, most recently during the last Bush Administration, and has simply not worked.  As a result, our country suffered a financial system breakdown and continues to suffer from the effects of a deep and painful economic recession that has hurt millions of American families.

“Now, Republicans are proposing we try this failed approach again. Our country needs a recovery that is focused on and driven by the middle class.  Only when American families are once again able to purchase what they need and are able to more fully participate in the demand-based economy, will we see a strengthening of our country.

“To achieve this, sound public policies that support individuals and enable them to achieve more from their work are necessary. Businesses must be encouraged to hire, innovate, and remain globally competitive so they can create opportunities for workers to be hired into well-paying and rewarding jobs.  The only way this can happen is through policies that enable us to enact fair and efficient tax reform, improve our transportation infrastructure, education and worker training systems, promote the sale of U.S. products and services abroad, and ensure that economic security and fairness remain our top priorities.”

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– House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith recently concluded a trip to Kenya to assess issues surrounding security, particularly progress in joint U.S.-Kenyan efforts to combat the terrorist organizations Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Shabaab.
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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith recently concluded a trip to Kenya to assess issues surrounding security, particularly progress in joint U.S.-Kenyan efforts to combat the terrorist organizations al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Shabaab.

“The United States and Kenya have a shared value in democracy, and face common threats in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Shabaab,” said Ranking Member Smith. “By working together, we can strengthen the institutions of governance here, and work to eliminate the external factors that pose a threat to Kenya as well as to the United States. The challenges the Kenyan people face are complex, but the leadership here is sound, and the resolve of the people is strong. I met with a wide range of citizens and leaders from across Kenya, and their commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life of and security for the Kenyan people is unquestionable.”

Al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based militant Islamist group, has been terrorizing the people of Somali and the region for years and was formally recognized as part of al-Qaeda in 2012. The group controls large swathes of land in southern parts of Somali and continues to recruit and orchestrate attacks within Kenya and throughout the region. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a similar violent extremist organization, primarily active in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, but also aggressively working to expand its operations in Somali and the Horn of Africa. Together, these two groups represent a threat to the United States, and the stability of the entire region.

To help provide for the security and stability of Kenya – a burgeoning democracy and growing economy - the United States provides equipment and training to Kenyan security forces, both civilian and military, and actively promotes economic development as a means to support continue progress. According to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. assistance strategy is built around five broad objectives: advancing shared democratic values, human rights, and good governance; fighting disease and improving healthcare; fighting poverty and promoting private sector-led prosperity; cooperating to fight insecurity and terrorism; and collaborating to foster peace and stability in East Africa.

As co-chair of the effective foreign assistance caucus, part of Smith’s trip also focused on USAID and development projects, which help promote long-term stability.  For example, Smith visited with Feed the Future, a USAID program designed to combat global hunger and promote food security, where the group was working to develop hybrid corn and drought tolerant sorghum, a type of grass that grows in harsh environments and can serve as a stable source of food.

On the trip, Smith met with key leaders including the Minister of Defense, Mohamed Yusuf Haji, and business and trade groups, such as the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, and Kenya Association of Manufacturers. Other meetings included the Security and Defense Cooperation, Members of Parliament, including Speaker Kenneth Marende, women, youth, religious, and peace groups to discuss preparations for Kenya’s 2013 election, prospects for instability, and key issues that will influence prospects for peace.

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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, recently concluded an official trip to Uganda to assess international efforts to root out Joseph Kony and the Lords Resistant Army (LRA), a destructive and ruthless rebel group responsible for widespread human rights abuses in the region.
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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, recently concluded an official trip to Uganda to assess international efforts to root out Joseph Kony and the Lords Resistant Army (LRA), a destructive and ruthless rebel group responsible for widespread human rights abuses in the region.

“I applaud the Ugandans for their efforts to bring Joseph Kony and the LRA to justice and I am encouraged by the progress being made by the international coalition that is committed to restoring peace and stability in the region,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith. “Kony and the LRA have killed thousands, and destroyed the lives of thousands more and the efforts to advise, train and assist local forces have helped our partners in Central Africa make real progress in ridding themselves of this murderous group. While the LRA is just one part of a larger problem in the region, eliminating it would prove to be a powerful step in the right direction for Uganda, and the entire region.”

The Lords Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony, an internationally wanted terrorist, originated in Uganda in the 1980s with the goal of overthrowing the Ugandan government, but has since expanded its deadly reach to a number of African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The LRA has committed widespread human rights violations, including torture, slavery, rape, the abduction of civilians, the use of child soldiers, and other brutal abuses, resulting in a severe humanitarian crisis.

Eliminating the LRA would be a positive step in the right direction and would allow our work with the Ugandan people to grow and serve as a template to reduce ungoverned areas and promote stability, security and prosperity in the region. In particular, the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan continue to be victimized by the LRA and similar groups that rape, kill, pillage and displace people from their homes.  The LRA is one piece of a larger problem in central Africa, and success in Uganda could provide a model to support similar efforts throughout the region.

To address this problem, in the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Ranking Member Adam Smith authored a provision that requires the President to improve strategic planning and more effectively integrate efforts to deny safe havens to terrorist organizations and strengthen at-risk states as they seek to confront challenges posed by al-Qaeda and its violent extremist affiliates (Section 1032, pg. 275). 

Additionally, in October of last year President Obama sent a small number of U.S. troops to Central Africa tasked with assisting in removing Joseph Kony and other senior leaders of the LRA from the battlefield. Ranking Member Smith’s trip was designed to assess the progress made in this effort, and meet with local leaders, stakeholders and citizens to gain a stronger understand of the situation on the ground.

As co-chair of the effective foreign assistance caucus, part of Smith’s trip also focused on USAID and development projects.  For example, Smith visited with the Northern Uganda Development of Enhanced Local Governance, Infrastructure, and Livelihoods (NUDEIL) program and CARE's Village Savings and Loan Program.

The two day trip to Uganda included meetings with the President, Yoweri Museveni, U.S. AFRICOM Commander General Ham, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier, and other senior U.S. and international officials.  The trip also included stops at development project sites, health centers, meetings with business and university leaders and local civic and political leaders.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), made the following statement today in celebration of LGBT Pride month, which is celebrated during the month of June:

“This June, we celebrate our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and recognize their resilience in the pursuit of complete equality under the law. This is an important time in the history of our country’s LGBT community. While we’ve made great strides toward full marriage equality, the awareness and protection of bullied teens, and aggressive prosecution of bias-based crimes, there is still much more to do to ensure every individual is granted equal and fair treatment within their community.

“The LGBT community’s pursuit of liberty reminds us that we all have a stake in protecting the equal rights and freedom of every person in our nation.  While we celebrate our diversity this June,   I hope we also take time to think about how we continue moving forward in making all parts of the American dream everyone’s reality.”

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), released the following statement clarifying the intent and impact of the Thornberry-Smith amendment in the NDAA.
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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), released the following statement clarifying the intent and impact of the Thornberry-Smith amendment in the NDAA: 

“Unfortunately, recent articles have misinterpreted the intent and impact of the Thornberry-Smith amendment in the NDAA. This amendment is intended to ensure that the US government can get factual information out in a timely manner to counter extremist misinformation and propaganda. It does not and is not in any way intended to ‘legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences’ and, in fact, specifically ensures that the content to be rebroadcast or republished domestically by the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) shall not influence public opinion in the US. It clearly states, no funds authorized to be appropriated to State Department or BBG for any activity shall be used to influence public opinion.

“The language of the legislation states very clearly that no funds authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State or the BBG shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States.  Rather, this law allows for timely release of accurate and unbiased information that has been produced by the Department of State and BBG and developed for foreign audiences to be rebroadcast or republished, upon request, here in the US. “

Read the full amendment text

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