Press Releases

WASHINGTON - Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement today following his No vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment:

"I opposed the balanced budget amendment considered by the House for two reasons.  First, it does nothing to address the immediate challenges we face in our budget or in this economic crisis.  Congress has repeatedly created commissions or rhetorically claimed that at some future date they will try to get our federal deficit under control.  But that's the easy part.  The tough part is actually cutting the spending and raising the revenue necessary to get us on a path to fiscal responsibility.  This amendment again failed to do that. I strongly believe that Congress passing a ten-year plan that cuts spending and raises revenue in a way that gives people confidence that our government will finally get its fiscal house in order is a critical part of solving our economic crisis.  But this bill simply delayed the tough decisions necessary to make that happen.

"I also oppose this amendment because there are rare circumstances when running an annual deficit is necessary. In an economic crisis or national emergency, requiring a balanced budget would have a devastating impact on our economy. If this amendment were in effect during the 2008 financial crisis, it would have required deep spending cuts or tax increases at a time when such action would have made our economy much worse.

"Congress has the power to do what is necessary to balance the budget without a restrictive constitutional amendment. We don’t need another distraction. We must make the tough decisions on what spending to cut and what revenues to raise."

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WASHINGTON - House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement regarding passage of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act that will lower the rate of unemployment among our nation’s veterans:

“The VOW to Hire Heroes Act is a bipartisan bill that honors veterans for their service and leadership by providing the support they deserve after returning home. After years of service, struggling to find work should be the least of our veterans’ concerns.

“This legislation will improve the transition back to civilian life for thousands of veterans by expanding education, training and counseling, while providing incentives for businesses and organizations that hire veterans who are out of work or who have service-related disabilities. Our nation’s veterans are highly-skilled and have expertise that will greatly benefit our workforce and help strengthen our nation’s economy if given the opportunity.

“There is no better way to offer veterans our gratitude and respect for their service, than by ensuring they receive the best treatment our nation has to offer. I applaud my colleagues for swiftly passing this bill and making sure their well-being is one of our top priorities.

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U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, has introduced legislation to address the inefficient uses and management of public land through the federal grazing permit program:

The Rural Economic Vitalization Act of 2011 would:

  • Save taxpayers up to $115 million each year by reducing the costs of public lands management.
  • Attract private investments that will help stimulate rural economies.
  • Provide federal grazing permit holders the option to exchange permits for market value compensation.
  • Improve wildlife habitat and reduce environmental damage due to livestock grazing.

“The current federal grazing program is among the most economically inefficient uses of our public lands. My legislation opens the door for private solutions to a long-standing problem that costs taxpayers millions and has prevented public land ranchers from efficiently utilizing resources available to them.

“Many permit holders would choose to retire from public lands grazing if they could recoup their investment in their federal grazing permit. REVA provides a private market mechanism to do this. On a voluntary basis, current permit holders will have the option to relinquish their grazing permits in exchange for market value compensation paid by private parties.  

“The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest service run an annual deficit administering grazing permits and managing private cattle grazing operations. My bill eliminates wasteful spending, gives ranchers the choice to retire permits, allows public lands to recover natural habitats and fosters the return of native plants and wildlife.”

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Congressmen Adam Smith and Dave Reichert released the following statement after announcing their plans to host the Help Identify Real Employment (HIRE) for America Jobs Fair on Tuesday, November 22 from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. PST at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington:

“Dave and I are honored to co-host this event in Kent, a city we both represent,” said Smith. “We both strongly believe in working across party lines to address unemployment and improve our local and national economies. We are also committed to working together to empower individuals and strengthen our local community. Our goal is that this event will provide workers the skills and resources they need to find jobs, and make the holiday season less difficult for struggling families. That is and should always be a bipartisan effort.”

“Adam and I understand that Washingtonians want their elected officials to work together to create an environment for economic growth,” said Reichert. “Our hope is that bringing local businesses and individual constituents together under one roof will increase employment in our communities. I am proud to be a part of this unique event and will continue to work across the aisle to help struggling families cope with these tough economic times.”

Representatives from more than 75 local employers are expected to attend. Participants are encouraged to bring resumes and prepare to interview onsite. The fair is free and complimentary parking will be available.

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U.S. Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee and co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force, made the following statement after the announcement of the broad outlines of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement among the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam:

"Today, with the announcement of a framework for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the President has taken a significant step forward in expanding U.S. trade that will improve our national and local economies. With nearly one in three jobs related to trade in Washington State, a regional agreement would help increase access for our local exporters. It would also bring us closer to doubling American exports by the end of 2014, a goal set by the President’s National Export Initiative. Based on the goals set forward, a successfully concluded TPP agreement would reduce barriers for U.S. goods to the world’s fastest growing economic region.  Opening new markets in Asia would create new sources of job creation and economic growth, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

"Looking out at the foreign policy landscape, the countries of the Asian Pacific region will continue to be strategic partners in the years ahead and it is in our interests to boost our engagement in the region through measures that improve diplomacy, development, trade, and security. Pursuing a 21st Century trade agreement that our advances economic ties with the region is solid progress in this process toward better relations. 

"This framework for a 21st Century trade agreement lays out a new approach – one that incorporates high labor standards, promotes innovation, helps small and medium sized businesses participate, reduces costs for utilizing green goods and services, and allows our country to more actively compete in international markets especially against state-owned enterprises. Going forward, I will continue to monitor the development of this agreement to ensure that it is the best deal possible for the American people."

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