Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 7027, the Child Care Is Essential Act, and H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act.

“Families and child care providers face unprecedented uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Without additional investments in child care, parents across the country will be unable to return to work. Even before this pandemic, many working families struggled to find affordable, high-quality child care in their communities and this public health crisis has widened existing racial, social, and gender-based inequities in accessing child care.

“These critical child care bills would invest in desperately needed resources to scale up child care infrastructure and expand household access to refundable child care tax credits to soften the blow of child care expenses. Together, these two pieces of legislation help parents going back to work while providing struggling child care centers the ability to stay open or reopen safely.

“The Child Care Is Essential Act would enable child care providers to keep their staff on the payroll and cover operating expenses, provide tuition and co-payment relief for working families struggling to afford child care, and promote healthy child care facilities that meet public health standards. 

“The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act would modify and expand child care tax credits for families as well as payroll and employee retention tax credits to stabilize the struggling child care industry. This bill invests specifically independent care for essential workers during COVID-19, recognizing the significant challenges faced by these families in particular.

“Lack of access to high-quality, affordable child care not only hurts families but also hinders the public health response to COVID-19, the ability to reopen our economy safely, and an equitable economic recovery. I will continue to fight for more federal funding and support to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care services in Washington State and across the country to ensure both families and child care center workers are supported during this public health crisis and beyond."

For more information, you can read the Fact Sheets for the Child Care Is Essential Act here and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unveiled his version of the COVID-19 supplemental legislation, which includes billions in additional funding for the Department of Defense.

“At the onset of the health crisis, President Trump denied the very existence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the Trump Administration has failed to consistently acknowledge, much less confront, the pandemic. President Trump’s response has been a complete disaster.

“Now, more than two months after the House passed the Heroes Act to help Americans cope with the pandemic, Senate Republicans have rolled out their rebuttal, which directs billions of taxpayer dollars to the Department of Defense while doing very little to address the economic and health crises our country faces.

“While it is true that COVID-19 poses a real and credible threat to our national security, you don’t have to be doctor or a four-star general to understand that spending billions on new helicopters, combat vehicles, and fighter jets is not the solution to this complex problem. It is also true that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on small manufacturers who play a crucial role in our industrial base. We need to implement smart policies that actually support these small manufacturers and maintain the stability of our supply chain – Leader McConnell’s procurement wish list is not the solution.

“It is also no secret that earlier this year the Trump Administration abused the reprogramming authority to divert funding from military equipment and modernization accounts to pay for the President’s vanity wall. Now, Republican Senators are trying to capitalize on the urgency of the moment to backfill these accounts while in the same breath arguing that unemployment benefits should be cut in the name of fiscal responsibility.

“It is clear that a divided Republican Conference produced a weak bill, and I have faith that Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer will work tirelessly to make significant improvements before this legislation is seriously considered by either chamber of Congress.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 7608, the first minibus of the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bills which includes State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs:

“This appropriations package makes important investments to promote and maintain our global leadership in development and diplomacy, combat climate change, protect public lands, invest in SNAP and food security, and support America’s veterans and their families. The bill also provides much-needed emergency appropriations for global COVID-19 relief efforts.

“This package provides funding for our nation’s most vital food security programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and child nutrition programs. The bill also puts pressure on the US Department of Agriculture to extend child nutrition program waivers through the end of the next school year to ensure low-income children and families can continue to receive meals even if schools continue in a distanced learning format. As our nation grapples with the economic impact of the pandemic, and millions remain unemployed, it is even more imperative that Congress ensures that everyone who is struggling to make ends meet can still receive nutritious meals.  

“The federal government must play a lead role in the effort to address the existential threat of climate change. This bill prioritizes investments to do this both in the U.S. and around the world. Funding for the EPA and Environmental Justice programs are significantly increased from last year. It also fills the void of U.S. leadership on the international stage left by the Trump Administration, investing in international funds and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, this bill continues funding by the federal government for Puget Sound recovery and restoration.

“This bill also includes increases in the Urban Indian Health Program (UIHP) and Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) to support health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives.  We are fortunate to be home to the Seattle Indian Health Board, which serves thousands of patients in King County. The SIHB also houses the Urban Indian Health Institute, the only TEC in the country serving Urban Indian Health Programs nationwide. The research, data, and disease surveillance conducted for indigenous people throughout the U.S. is as important as ever amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the world faces a global pandemic, the value of our investments in development and diplomacy has never been clearer. From humanitarian assistance to global health security to child and maternal health, U.S. investments abroad help reduce poverty and famine, promote stability, and protect public health. In addition to increased funding in all of these areas, we restore funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) that was cut by President Trump and provide emergency funding for our international response to COVID-19.

“I am also pleased that this bill funds several international programs in areas that have been targeted by the Trump Administration. We provide funding for international reproductive health and family planning and repeal the Global Gag Rule. The bill also increases funds to promote equality for the LGBTQ+ communities abroad.

“This bill provides increases in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs budget to better serve and protect our veterans and their families. These funds will expand access to medical services and support medical facilities while boosting oversight across the VA to ensure proper implementation of VA programs. This package makes critical investments in mental health care, suicide prevention outreach, women’s health, and homelessness assistance programs. It also includes much-needed funding for the VA Electronic Health Record System, which will enhance the patient experience across all VA facilities.

“The programs that Congress chooses to fund reflects its values and priorities. I will continue to fight for funding that reinforces our commitment to the health and wellbeing of communities here in the U.S. and around the world.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) issued the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 2486, the NO BAN Act, and H.R. 2486, the Access to Counsel Act:

“The United States should be a place that welcomes and embraces people of all religions and nationalities. One of President Trump’s first acts in office was the Muslim travel ban, and at every turn, he has pushed similar bigoted immigration policies. By passing the NO BAN Act and the Access to Counsel Act, the House is putting forward a different vision for America, one that better reflects America’s values and where we do not shut our doors for xenophobic reasons.

“The NO BAN Act would repeal the multiple versions of the Muslim ban put forward by President Trump and establish guardrails to prevent future attempts at discrimination in our immigration system. I have met and heard from countless constituents who have been forced to live apart from their loved ones because of the Muslim ban. This is unacceptable and the NO BAN Act makes clear that we do not stand for this needless and cruel policy.

“Many individuals entering the U.S. are held by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for secondary inspection for hours and often with no ability to contact loved ones or lawyers. We saw this in the wake of President Trump’s Muslim ban when countless individuals were detained at airports across the country, including Sea-Tac. Recently at the beginning of this year, CBP unnecessarily detained hundreds of Iranian Americans at the Canadian border in Washington with no access to counsel and little transparency on why they were being detained. The Access to Counsel Act seeks to ensure that individuals entering the U.S. who are subjected to secondary inspection can rightfully access and communicate with legal counsel.

“The two bills passed today address policies that have caused unnecessary suffering which I have heard about from constituents for years. We must continue to reject these bigoted policies and work towards comprehensive immigration reform that is fair and just.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House passed the Great American Outdoors Act:

“The Great American Outdoors Act is one of the most significant investments in environmental conservation in a generation. The bill provides permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a vital program for Washington state and the most successful conservation program to conserve public lands, increase access to green spaces for underserved and low-income communities, and preserve natural habitats.

“The bill also creates the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to help address the backlog of desperately needed repairs of trails, buildings, and other public infrastructure within the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education.

“As the impacts of climate change increasingly harm communities around the country, this bill is an enormously important investment in our children, our environment, and our quality of life that will help protect the great outdoors for generations to come.”

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