Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in observation of Veterans Day and after the Senate passed VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011:

“In observance of Veterans Day, it is not only important that we honor our veterans with words, but also with actions. Today, the Senate passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, a bill championed by the President that will help unemployed veterans find work. I encourage the House to quickly follow suit. When our veterans return from defending our nation abroad, they should not have to fight for a job here at home. I applaud the President for making our veterans a priority and leading this effort.

“As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, it is my privilege to represent our service members in Congress. We owe the men and women who have served our country an enormous amount of gratitude and respect. As a Member of Congress who represents thousands of active and retired services members, I will continue working to address the needs of our veterans and, for those newly leaving active duty, to ensure they have the support necessary for their transition back into civilian life.

“As a fierce advocate for our veterans, I will continue to push for the expansion of job and educational opportunities. Moving forward, I will also continue to work with the President and all members of Congress to provide our men and women in uniform, our veterans, and their families with all the benefits that they deserve for their years of faithful service.”

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Grant will assist in improving pedestrian facilities, upgrading traffic signals, and adding additional lanes to address the increased traffic around Madigan Army Medical Center

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Representatives Norm Dicks (D-WA-06) and Adam Smith (D-WA-09) applauded the announcement by the Department of Defense that the City of Lakewood will be awarded a $5.7M grant for a transportation project to improve medical access to Madigan Army Medical Center.

“I’m proud to fight to make sure that our men and women in uniform and their families can access the medical facilities they need in a timely and efficient manner,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I worked to help secure these funds, and I’m so glad that Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be able to start this long overdue project.”
 
“Madigan Army Medical Center is one of the busiest hospitals in the Pacific Northwest, providing critical care to our brave men and women in uniform in a six-state region,” said Senator Cantwell. “The successful operation of this state-of-the-art medical facility depends on modernized and efficient transportation infrastructure that alleviates congestion around Joint Base Lewis McChord. I was proud to support this investment, which will improve vital medical access to this technologically advanced facility for our military community. The men and women who serve our country deserve access to the quality health care they have earned.”

“These tangible improvements are expected to significantly reduce the delays that Madigan patients and JBLM employees experience entering and leaving the base, particularly at peak hours,” said Representative Dicks, who serves as the ranking Democratic Member of the House Appropriations Committee and its Defense Subcommittee.

“Working to reduce congestion around Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a priority to my District,” said Representative Smith, who serves as the ranking Democratic Member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This investment is a step in the right direction that will have a positive impact on our local community, though much more needs to be done and I will continue to make this a top priority. I congratulate the City of Lakewood for putting together a quality proposal and for their work with partners in the region to secure this funding.”

The infrastructure improvements were funded as part of a $300 million package of upgrades to military medical facilities approved earlier this year by Congress, helping to ease congestion at Madigan Army Medical Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and other defense-related hospitals.
 
The funding will allow the City of Lakewood to complete the Madigan Hospital Access Improvement Project, which involves:
•         Adding a third lane to the Berkeley Street overpass;
•         Adding a second left turn lane to the Interstate-5 southbound off-ramp;
•         Upgrading and coordinating traffic signals at the I-5 northbound ramp, the I-5 southbound ramp and Union Avenue;
•         Adding a second receiving lane from the Berkeley Street overpass into JBLM;
•         Improving lane configurations and widening on Berkeley Street and Union Avenue to improve overall efficiencies of the transportation system;  and,
•         Adding pedestrian facilities for improved safety.

When this project is completed, vehicles entering and leaving at the Madigan Gate will save a total of 662 hours in delay on a typical weekday, and individual delays will improve from an excess of 10 minutes to 35 seconds.

The Interstate 5 corridor plays a vital economic role due to both the freight movement and in national defense, serving as the primary access to and from JBLM and Camp Murray, the state’s Emergency Operations Center.  The project is critical to serving transportation mobility affecting commerce in the State of Washington, as well as measurably improving the provision of care for the 1.4 million patients visiting MAMC annually. This will also be a help to the local community as we continue working to reduce congestion along the I-5 corridor.

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall:

“The ceremonial dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial being held Sunday in Washington, D.C. reminds us all of the progress we have made in celebrating diversity and recognizing the human dignity of all people. The memorial reflects the awe-inspiring and prescient message Dr. King delivered during his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. 

“I cannot think of anyone as deserving of this honor as Dr. King, a man so dedicated to peace and so eager to end injustice that his mere presence was a threat to those motivated by hate and intolerance. Not only will Dr. King’s words continue to inspire us for generations, but now his greatness will live on through this eternal symbol set in stone.”

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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 House passed pending trade agreements between the U.S. and South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, along with renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) reforms and expired trade preference programs today: 

“Today, Congress has helped move a balanced trade agenda forward, one that includes Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and the three pending trade agreements.  This builds on the Administration’s continued aggressive enforcement when our trading partners don’t meet their obligations under existing treaties.

“I have pushed for years to improve TAA and the three trade agreements that were considered today.  As a result of my efforts and those of my colleagues, TAA is a better program and the Administration has made significant improvements to the three trade agreements.

“The comprehensive package passed today will support individual workers advance their skills in a changing economy, help struggling businesses adapt to new demands, create more opportunities for Washington State exports abroad and strengthen the job market in our local economy. As the most trade dependent state, nearly one in three Washington jobs is tied to trade.

“Importantly, these agreements include enforceable commitments for our trade partners to adopt, maintain and implement laws that incorporate core internationally recognized labor rights. That means, if our trading partners don’t abide by those obligations, we have measures to ensure that they do.”

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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to the death of Anwar al-Awlaki:

“The death of Anwar al-Awlaki is a significant blow to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to the Al Qaeda movement, which has repeatedly tried to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and the people of Yemen.

“Anwar al-Awlaki will no longer be able to propagate hatred and manipulate impressionable youth to take up arms against the United States and our allies. His hate-filled sermons have inspired multiple recent terror plots and Yemen and the world are safer places now that he is gone.

“Following the death of Osama Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki’s death is the latest in a long line of successes by the President and the men and women of our intelligence community. I applaud them for their excellent work in keeping our country safe.”

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For more information, please visit
http://democrats.armedservices.house.gov/