Press Releases

?Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement recognizing the life and legacy of Billy Frank, Jr:

“Our state lost a great leader today when Billy Frank Jr. passed away.  Billy never stopped fighting for the rights of Washington State’s native people and the health of our natural resources. His life and legacy of work will continue through the ages.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all of those who were touched by Billy Frank, Jr."
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement recognizing the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:
 
“During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it is important that all Americans take time to reflect on the incredible contributions the Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community has made to our nation.  As workers helping to spur our economy, as members of our military defending our nation, and as civic leaders in society, the AAPI community is a critical part of our history.  I am honored to represent a district with effective civil rights and advocacy organizations like the Japanese America Citizens League and the Asian Counseling and Referral Services, and museums such as the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. They honor our past, inform our present, and provide hope for our future. They are examples of the tremendous impact Asian Pacific Americans have had on our society. I stand proudly with millions across our country in celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.”
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Washington’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver will be removed at the end of the 2014 school year:
 
“The news that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is ending the NCLB waiver for Washington State is disappointing.  NCLB is a broken policy that negatively impacts our schools’ ability to succeed, and it needs to be changed.  Yet, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass a long-term reauthorization, forcing state education systems to operate under a temporary year to year waiver process.  This creates uncertainty for our schools, and now in Washington State, a loss of our NCLB waiver and restrictions on federal funds to address student achievement. Providing a quality education to students is absolutely critical, and the U.S. Congress needs to immediately work to reauthorize our education law and end the deeply flawed requirements of NCLB.”
Seattle, WA - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) revoked the charter of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church (hosts of Troop 98) after they refused to dismiss openly gay scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath. This comes three weeks after the BSA ordered Mr. McGrath to be dismissed as scoutmaster because of his sexual orientation. Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement:

“I am very disappointed by the decision to revoke the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church’s charter and the BSA’s current policy to dismiss openly gay scoutmasters.  I commend their recent decision to allow LGBT scouts to participate openly, but remain very concerned that dismissing scout leaders for serving openly goes against BSA values of mutual respect and inclusion of others.”

Congressman Smith has sent letters to the Chief Seattle Council of BSA Rob McKenna and the President of BSA Robert Gates stressing his support for Mr. McGrath’s service as scoutmaster and his concern with the decision made by BSA.  The letter was cosigned by Rep. Derek Kilmer, Rep. Suzan DelBene, and Rep. Jim McDermott.
Congressman Smith released the following statement on the budget votes in the House today:

“Since the economic recession, many hardworking Americans have been pushed out of the economy because they can’t find a job or have one that doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet.  Only a small percentage of Americans are sharing in economic growth and income inequality has reached heights not seen since before the Great Depression.  Our nation needs a budget that is focused on expanding economic opportunity, investing in innovation and infrastructure, and creating jobs to strengthen the middle class.
 
“That is why I supported both the Van Hollen Budget and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) budget today.  These budgets recognize that extending emergency unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, and protecting programs like SNAP and Head Start provide essential support for hard-working Americans trying to find work in a recovering economy.  The budgets also provide critical relief from sequestration and bolsters investments in education, job training, and innovation that will help create jobs.  These policies set reasonable goals for decreasing our debt and deficit while maintaining investments in jobs and our economy right now.
 
“Unfortunately, the budget passed by House Republicans today not only fails to recognize the challenges facing our country, but also moves us in the wrong direction.  The Ryan budget radically dismantles Medicare by turning the system into a voucher program. It also cuts funding for programs like SNAP and
Head Start, while slashing investments in innovation, education, and worker training programs that have been essential in helping families get back to work in a slowly recovering economy.  And it makes these cuts without asking the wealthier to pay a penny more.  The policies in this budget would be devastating to seniors, the middle class, and the poor, while giving even more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans who have already benefitted massively over the last decade from the Bush tax cuts.
 
“As the budget debate continues, I will work with my colleagues to promote policies that promote economic opportunity, reduce income inequality, and create jobs. Unfortunately, the Republican budget passed today ignores the real challenges our country faces and slashes critical programs that invest in our future.”