Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after President Biden signed an Executive Order that will require federally funded construction projects over $35 million to use project labor agreements (PLAs), which are pre-hiring collective bargaining agreements, with one or more union organizations.
 
“I have long advocated for greater utilization of project labor agreements in federal contracts, and today President Biden took a significant action with his executive order to support American workers. PLAs have immense benefits for the government, taxpayers, and our workers, as well as a proven record of raising workplace standards. These agreements reduce the level of uncertainty associated with these large-scale projects – like cost increases and schedule delays – while ensuring that our skilled workforce secures good pay, benefits, and job conditions for these important projects. I am glad the Biden-Harris administration took concrete action to ensure broader implementation of PLAs and I will continue to advocate for the expansion of this tool in the federal government.”
 
###
WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed his bill, H.R. 1593, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021, which was included in the America COMPETES Act of 2022, a package of bills passed today in the House of Representatives by a vote of 222 – 210.
 
“Today, I am incredibly proud to say that my bill, the Adoptee Citizenship Act, was passed by the House of Representatives as part of the America COMPETES Act. This is a major step forward for many international adoptees who currently do not have U.S. citizenship. This bipartisan piece of legislation would finally grant citizenship to international adoptees who were brought to the United States as children but were never granted citizenship. These individuals grew up here and started careers and families, but through no fault of their own they never received citizenship and are living in uncertainty about their future. The Adoptee Citizenship Act will provide much needed certainty to affected adoptees, ensuring that these individuals have full access to their rights as American citizens.
 
“I appreciate the leadership of my co-leads on this legislation – Representative Curtis (R-Utah) and Senators Blunt (R-Mo.) and Hirono (D-Hawaii). And thank you to the numerous organizations, advocates, and impacted adoptees who continue to work tirelessly to build support for this issue. I look forward to working with my colleagues to keep this provision in the final agreement between the House and Senate.”
 
BACKGROUND
Families who adopted children from abroad were previously required to go through a lengthy process to naturalize and gain United States citizenship for their adopted children, in addition to the long, costly, and burdensome adoption process. Sometimes, the necessary paperwork was not entirely completed, and significant numbers of adoptees grew up for years unaware that they were living in the United States as non-citizens.
 
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) eliminated the need for many adoptive families to apply to naturalize their newly adopted children. This law grants automatic citizenship to all foreign-born children brought to the United States under the age of 18 and have at least one parent who is a U.S. Citizen. It applied to all future adoptees as well as those under the age of 18 who were adopted prior to the CCA’s effective date.
 
Unfortunately, the 2000 CCA law only applied to future adoptees, and adoptees who were under the age of 18 on its effective date; it did not apply retroactively to those adoptees who faced the same dilemma but aged into adulthood before the CCA took effect. For these international adoptees, the U.S. is the place they grew up and the place they call home. Yet, through no fault of their own, they never received their citizenship and are living in uncertainty about their future.
 
The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 introduced by Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and John Curtis (R-Utah) corrects this gap in the law by confirming international adoptees’ U.S. citizenship status, regardless of if they were over the age of 18 when the CCA took effect.
 
Read the full text of the amendment here.
###
WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, a package of bills that will invest in American workers, manufacturing, research, and innovation to power our economy and bolster our competitiveness, by a vote of 222 to 210.
 
“The legislation passed by the House today addresses some of our most pressing challenges by bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., supporting American workers, strengthening supply chains, promoting international cooperation, and putting the U.S. at the forefront of technology and innovation. The America COMPETES Act takes a comprehensive approach to ensure that we can continue to be a leader on global challenges in the future.
 
“The America COMPETES Act invests tens of billions of dollars to jumpstart domestic manufacturing of semiconductors and strengthens our supply chains, bringing good paying jobs to the U.S. and supporting critical industries such as automobiles, health care, and clean energy. The bill is a win for America’s workers. It reauthorizes and strengthens Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and includes the National Apprenticeship Act, which will create a million new apprenticeship opportunities in the next five years. It improves the way the federal government can support research and innovation across the country in areas like technology, climate change and energy, health care, and cybersecurity.    
 
“I am especially proud to have successfully included my bill, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021, in this package of legislation. For years we have worked to advance this bill and passage in the House marks important progress to finally provide much needed certainty to impacted adoptees and ensures that these individuals have full access to their rights as American citizens.
 
“I am proud of the House for passing this comprehensive legislative package that promotes a strong future by investing in our economy and workforce and spurring innovation and competitiveness. I look forward to working with my colleagues to reach an agreement in the Senate on a final bill.” 
 
BACKGROUND
The America COMPETES Act of 2022 makes historic investments to surge production of American-made semiconductors, tackles supply chain vulnerabilities to make more goods in America, turbocharges America’s scientific research and technological leadership, and strengthens America’s economic and national security at home and abroad. 
 
Read the fact sheet of the bill here.
Read the section-by-section analysis of the bill here.
 
The final text of the America COMPETES Act includes the following.
 
Growing U.S. Manufacturing, Promoting Jobs, Strengthening Supply Chains
The America COMPETES Act makes investments to stimulate domestic manufacturing, allowing more goods to be made right here in the U.S., supports the creation of domestic job growth by promoting competitive wages and benefits, and authorizes funds to help identify and address supply chain disruptions and strengthen our supply chains overall.
  • Establishes the CHIPS for America Fund. Includes $52 billion for CHIPS for America Act which will incentivize private-sector investments and continued American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and ensure that more semiconductors are produced right here at home. Semiconductors are critical components in the manufacturing of cars, trucks, health care devices, consumer electronics, and renewable energy. Importantly, the House-passed bill includes guardrails to ensure corporations are using this funding to grow manufacturing and jobs right here in the U.S.
  • Authorizes $45 billion to improve our nation’s supply chains and strengthen our economy and national security by preventing shortages of critical goods and ensuring that more of these goods are made right here in the U.S.
 
Advancing American Scientific Research, Technology & Innovation
The America COMPETES Act makes major new investments in research and innovation that will lead to breakthrough discoveries for our nation.
 
  • Makes major new investments in every aspect of federal innovation and scientific research, including reforms to the Department of Energy Office of Science, National Science Foundation, and National Institute of Standards and Technology to accelerate advancements in emerging technologies, innovation, and clean energy.
  • Includes provisions to strengthen and expand our nation’s STEM workforce to better represent the diversity of our nation and meet the workforce needs in growing industries.
  • Establishes a regional technology and innovation hub program at the Department of Commerce – incentivizing collaborative partnerships between local governments, colleges and universities, private industry, non-profits, and community organizations to promote and support regional technology and innovation hubs.

Expanding Clean Energy and Combatting Climate Change
The America COMPETES Act invests in the fight against climate change by supporting research and innovation, which will advance the next generation of clean energy technology, while also promoting a global approach to tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
  • Supports research to advance the next generation of energy storage, solar, hydrogen, critical materials, fusion energy, manufacturing, carbon removal, and bioenergy technologies, among many other areas.
  • Authorizes new clean energy programs, including a national clean energy incubator, to accelerate the commercial application of clean energy technologies and support small businesses and entrepreneurs working in clean energy.
  • Invests in domestic solar manufacturing and supply chains, incentivizing the new construction of solar manufacturing capacity and providing grants and direct loans to retool, retrofit or expand existing solar manufacturing facilities.
  • Authorizes $8 billion over the next two years for the Green Climate Fund to further international efforts in assisting developing countries with mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Promoting International Cooperation
The America COMPETES Act includes numerous provisions to promote international diplomacy, including strengthening partnerships and alliances and standing up for international human rights – reaffirming America’s global leadership.
 
  • Includes numerous provisions to strengthen and promote America’s leadership around the globe, including in such areas as investing in partnerships and alliances, investing in standing up for America’s values, expanding our investments in diplomacy, and promoting human rights.
  • Enables the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to expand its investment in projects to tackle challenges facing developing countries including health care, clean energy, food access, COVID-19, and economic security.

Supporting the American Workforce
The America COMPETES Act uplifts our workers by preserving existing collective bargaining agreements, supporting union organizing efforts, and providing workforce development and monetary support to workers who have lost their jobs due to trade.
  • Contains the National Apprenticeship Act of 2022, which would create nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years. Registered Apprenticeships are one of the most successful approaches to workforce training, providing workers with paid, on-the-job training that leads to good-paying, in-demand jobs.
  • Includes Rep. Smith’s legislation to enable pre-apprenticeship programs to offer stipends to pre-apprentices to assist with the financial costs of participating in these programs such as housing, childcare, transportation, and more. This financial assistance will remove those barriers so workers can more easily obtain the initial credentials needed to enter an apprenticeship program and will ensure both pre-apprenticeship programs and apprenticeship programs are more widely accessible for individuals with barriers to employment.
  • Reauthorizes and strengthens Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which provides a lifeline of key workforce development services and monetary support to workers wo have lost their jobs due to trade. It modernizes TAA programs to ensure benefits reach the most severely affected communities and help ensure that the program helps address inherent racial disparities and inequities in our economy.
  • Authorizes a new competitive grant program operated by the U.S. Department of Education to support equitable access to postsecondary STEM pathways that expose students to high-quality STEM coursework, reduce college costs, and improve postsecondary credit transfers.
###
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, released the following statements after the introduction of their bill, the TSA Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act, which would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to streamline the application and renewal process for transportation workers applying for multiple credentials and establish a reduced fee structure for applicants.
 
“Many transportation workers across the country are required by law to hold multiple TSA credentials, yet the application and renewal process for the credentials is not streamlined. I have heard from workers in my district who end up spending a significant amount of time and money to keep their credentials up to date – this process clearly needs to be fixed,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “The bipartisan legislation introduced today will require TSA to make it easier and less costly for workers to maintain their credentials, taking some of the burden off our transportation workers who are critical to keeping our economy running. I appreciate Ranking Member Katko for working with me on this commonsense bill.”
 
“I’m proud to join Chairman Smith in introducing this important legislation. Our bill streamlines the process for transportation workers to apply for and enroll in multiple credentials from TSA. We need to remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles that burden our transportation workers from doing their important jobs. Our transportation sector is imperative to our economic recovery from the pandemic, and this legislation eliminates redundant and costly requirements,” said Rep. John Katko.
 
Certain transportation workers across the country are required by law to hold multiple Transportation Security Administration (TSA) credentials, including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), the Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME), and TSA PreCheck. The TSA Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act will require TSA to create a streamlined application and renewal process for workers applying for more than one of these credentials. It will also require TSA to establish a reduced fee structure for workers who are applying for or renewing multiple credentials.
 
Importantly, this legislation does not make any modifications to the back-end security assessment conducted on individual applicants, ensuring that applicants must undergo the same level of review as they do under current law. This bill simply modernizes the consumer-facing applicant process to reduce the burden on American transportation workers who must maintain more than one TSA credential.
 
The TSA Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act is endorsed by several organizations representing transportation workers and industry including: Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, American Trucking Association, Washington Trucking Associations, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association, Association of American Railroads, Border Trade Alliance, California Trucking Association, International Longshore & Warehouse Union: ILWU Local 19, National Energy and Fuels Institute, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and National Tank Truck Carriers.
 
A fact sheet about the bill can be found here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
 
See below for statements of support for the TSA Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act.
 
Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
 
"Our coalition of transportation labor unions applauds this important legislative effort to reduce the amount of time and money that transportation workers dole out to maintain multiple TSA security credentials as a requirement of their frontline jobs. Best of all, we can streamline this administrative process for workers without making any modifications to each individual security assessment. We commend Representatives Adam Smith and John Katko for their continued commitment to national security and America's transportation workers."
 
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, is a coalition of 33 member unions that provides a bold voice for workers in every mode of transportation – both in the private and public sector – and is devoted to protecting middle-class jobs, expanding collective bargaining, and ensuring modern, safe, and secure transportation operations and infrastructure.
 
Edwin Gilroy, Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs, The American Trucking Association
 
“On behalf of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the 7.9 million men and women employed by the trucking industry in every state and congressional district across the nation, I write to express our strong support for the Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act. This critical legislation will standardize and streamline the enrollment process for individuals applying for multiple Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Threat Assessment (STA) programs, relieving truck drivers of duplicative fees and redundant background checks, and empowering them to meet the needs of supply chains moving hazardous materials and operating in secure facilities.”
 
American Trucking Associations is the largest and most comprehensive national trade association for the trucking industry.
 
Sheri Call, President and CEO, Washington Trucking Associations
 
“On behalf of the Washington Trucking Associations (WTA) and the 150,000 men and women employed by the trucking industry in Washington State, I write to express our strong support for the Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act. This critical legislation will standardize and streamline the enrollment process for individuals applying for multiple Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Threat Assessment (STA) programs, relieving truck drivers of duplicative fees and redundant background checks, and empowering them to meet the needs of supply chains moving hazardous materials and operating in secure facilities.”
 
The Washington Trucking Associations (WTA) is the Washington trucking industry's information center and spokesperson; providing services tailored to its trucking industry members and keeping them informed.
 
Chuck Baker, President, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association
 
“For some short line freight railroad workers, obtaining security credentials through TSA is a critical but often costly and time-consuming ordeal. We congratulate Reps. Smith and Katko for their leadership in advancing this smart, bipartisan bill to lessen unnecessary burdens and streamline the application process. We urge its swift consideration, as we’re confident the bill’s passage will help short line rail employees have more time to focus on our key mission: serving our customers and ensuring the speed and efficiency of our country’s supply chain.”
 
Founded in 1913, ASLRRA proudly represents the entrepreneurial owners and operators of short line and regional railroads throughout North America.
 
Ian N. Jefferies, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads
 
“The Association of American Railroads write in support of enactment of the TSA Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act. As the trade association representing all seven Class I railroads, Amtrak, and numerous shortline and commuter railroads, we applaud the bill’s common-sense solutions to streamline the enrollment process for individuals applying for multiple Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment programs.”
 
Founded in 1934, AAR is the world’s leading railroad policy, research, standard setting, and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry. AAR Full members include the major freight railroads in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak.
 
Britton Mullen, President, The Border Trade Alliance
 
“We believe your legislation will standardize and streamline the enrollment process for individuals applying for multiple Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Threat Assessment (STA) programs and relieve truck drivers of duplicative fees and redundant background checks, an important step in modernizing the hazardous materials supply chain.”
 
The Border Trade Alliance (BTA) is North America’s premier authority on key issues affecting trade, travel, and security on the U.S. northern and southern borders, representing a large grassroots network of over 4.2 million public and private sector representatives.
 
Ryan L. Streblow, President and CEO, National Tank Truck Carriers
 
“The American supply chain crisis is now a prominent topic of national conversation, and NTTC firmly believes that this legislation is one crucial step needed to resolve logistics inefficiencies by streamlining background checks needed by certain truck drivers.”
 
National Tank Truck Carriers (NTCC) is committed to improving the tank truck industry’s safety through advocacy and education. NTTC has represented the interests of the tank truck industry since its founding in 1945 in Washington DC.
 
###
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal, and Senators Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell sent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan a letter regarding the cleanup of the East Waterway at the mouth of the Duwamish River in Washington State. The members voiced their support of the EPA’s decision to pause the release of its Proposed Plan for cleanup and strongly urged additional community engagement measures to address the harmful pollutants and contamination that have severe impacts on human and environmental health.
 
“The completion of a Proposed Plan, and ultimately the issuance of a Record of Decision, is an important step towards cleanup of the East Waterway. We strongly urge the EPA to set cleanup standards to the highest and most protective standards feasible. The Proposed Plan must also be developed with extensive community engagement, especially with frontline impacted communities,” the members wrote. “Further, we urge the EPA to include community input in the final Proposed Plan as those on the frontlines living in this area have a wealth of knowledge about what needs to be done. The community has expressed strong interest in working with you on the plan and we are available to facilitate those conversations if needed.”
                                                       
A century of industrial and commercial activity surrounding the East Waterway has led to high levels of pollutants in the waterway, which has serious implications for the health of the ecosystems and communities in the surrounding area. The predominately low-income communities of color that live around the Duwamish River have been disproportionately burdened by the higher health risks that come along with this contamination. In the letter, the members urged the EPA to approach the cleanup as a matter of environmental justice and equity to adequately address the disparate impacts that this community faces.
 
Community members throughout the Duwamish River face a multitude of environmental and public health challenges, including some of the worst air quality in the Seattle region, disproportionate health impacts, and shorter lifespans than surrounding areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges.” The members concluded the letter, “We applaud your focus on environmental justice and equity. We stand ready to work with you to ensure these principles are applied as cleanup plans are developed and advanced for the East Waterway.”

A full copy of the letter can be found here.
 
###