Press Releases

“I have the utmost respect for Khizr and Ghazala Khan, and to all the family members of our fallen service members. Americans of all faiths and ethnic groups have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country by losing their lives in the line of duty. As a nation, we humbly honor the service of the diverse men and women of our Armed Forces. We know that America's incredible diversity only serves to make us stronger. For anyone to denigrate a Gold Star family's service and sacrifice is reprehensible.” 

Smith Statement on Hanford Tank Farm Operations

Congressman Adam Smith issued the following statement in response to the decision of Hanford Site tank farms contractor Washington River Protection Solutions to cut back on operations. This action follows a July 11, 2016 Atomic Metal Trades Council stop work order for all Hanford waste storage tank farms unless workers are supplied with air respirators to protect them from toxic vapors:

July 28, 2016

“I remain concerned about the source of the tank vapor problems at the Hanford Nuclear site, and the need to implement a permanent solution that will protect Hanford workers. This has been an on-going issue that has sickened dozens of workers and must be more decisively resolved in order to protect worker health and safety.

“As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I remain committed to ensuring a rigorous, safe clean-up at Hanford and I will continue to fight to ensure that during this process the health of all workers is a priority.”

Smith Statement on Separation of Powers Restoration Act

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the passage of the Separation of Powers Restoration Act:

July 13, 2016

“Congress has the very serious responsibility of addressing the challenges our country faces with rational policy solutions. We are tasked with the duty of developing legislation that creates broad-based opportunities for all, grows our economy, and keeps our country strong and forward-looking, while making government work better for everyone.

“Unfortunately, House Republican leadership chose to spend large portions of Monday and Tuesday of this week debating and voting on the deceptively named Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016, H.R. 4768. While H.R. 4768 claims to restore the separation of powers, it in fact subverts it by forcing the judicial system to wade into the executive rule-making process. H.R. 4768 would undo decades of judicial precedent established by the Supreme Court, where courts defer to the expertise of government agencies when reviewing challenges to Federal Agency actions. The legislation would open up all agency actions and rules to challenges that could make the rule-making process exceptionally lengthy and render it ineffective, while overly-burdening government agencies with unnecessary record keeping and data recording. Instead of ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent in the most efficient and effective manner, the bill would vastly increase the cost to the taxpayer of agency rule-making. Additionally, the bill will have the adverse effect of trapping critical consumer protections in a web of judicial reviews that would make passage of an agency rule almost impossible.

“The historical practice of courts deferring to agency expertise was established for good reason, and has been proven effective. Rather than wasting time on pushing through an unnecessary solution in search of a problem, I encourage my Republican colleagues to instead focus on improving the lives of Americans.”

“This week our nation has experienced immeasurable heartbreak. My deepest sympathies are with every family and community that has been touched by violence over the past few days. As we move forward, there are many difficult questions and issues that must be addressed as those whose lives have been torn apart begin to heal.” 

“As a country, it is imperative that we come together to address the violence that devastates countless families. We must continue to support efforts to end the senseless violence fueled by hatred that has become a far too frequent pattern in cities throughout America.” 

Smith Statement on the Defense Department’s New Policy on Transgender Servicemembers

Washington, DC- Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Defense Department’s newly announced policy on transgender servicemembers:

June 30, 2016

“This policy is an important step toward ensuring that our military is strong and inclusive. It will protect the rights of transgender individuals who already serve in the U.S. armed forces, with minimal impact on the operations of the Department of Defense.

“These changes will involve a very small number of individuals serving in the armed forces, on the order of 0.1 percent of the approximate total of two million active and reserve members in the U.S military. The evidence indicates that modernizing our policy in this way will not meaningfully reduce readiness. In fact, according to research by the RAND Corporation and retired flag officers, it should enhance readiness by enabling commanders to better provide for the needs of the men and women they lead. Similar policies have already been adopted by U.S. allies such as Israel, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“By providing clarity for the service branches and removing an obsolete policy that has made it more difficult for our men and women in uniform to do their jobs, this policy will strengthen, not reduce, the military’s ability to defend the United States.”

In June 2016, Congressman Smith wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in support of the decision to repeal the Department of Defense’s (DOD) outdated policy prohibiting transgender individuals from openly serving in the military and urged the expeditious implementation of this policy change. Ending the ban on ?transgender individuals serving in our military will allow the armed forces to better realize the full potential of all service members and make our nation safer and stronger. Read the full letter here: