Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, held a town hall Thursday evening in the Burien City Council Chambers to discuss the national budget and economic policy:

“I believe it is my job to listen to the people of the Ninth District and engage with them in open public forums. I will do my best to represent my constituents and do what I feel is best for the country,” said Smith.

During the meeting, Smith heard from concerned citizens who highlighted the need for job growth, addressing our mounting national debt and deficits, regulation of Wall Street, and worries about the future of programs like Social Security.

One small business owner was concerned about the extension of the Federal Aviation Administration’s funding bill, due to expire in September.  Rep. Smith assured her that he supports passing a long-term bill that will protect workers and grow jobs by allowing infrastructure improvements to move forward.

Before opening the floor to questions and comments, Rep. Smith emphasized the need for a balanced, comprehensive approach to fixing our fiscal and economic challenges.  “A complete debt-reduction plan will have to address revenue and cut spending in a responsible and balanced way,” said Smith.

Town halls and civil public debate are a longstanding tradition of our nation’s democratic process.
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement about the groundbreaking of the new Raisbeck Aviation High School in Seattle, due to open in 2013:

“I am pleased to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for this promising institution. The Pacific Northwest is home to some of our country’s premiere technology-driven companies. The Aviation High School will help ensure we also continue to lead in producing highly skilled workers who are equipped to succeed in a competitive global economy.

“The next generation of scientists, researchers and engineers will get their start here. We must continue to invest in education and support opportunities for young people to reach their full potential.”
Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following remarks on the extension of the Federal Aviation Administration budget authorization until September 16:

"I am glad to see the gridlock in Washington D.C. will no longer be costing 4,000 federal employees and 70,000 construction workers their paychecks. However the situation is still in limbo and the outcome of the long-term budget negotiations could still harm workers and the economy.

"It's important to recognize that the shutdown on July 23rd was entirely preventable. After passing 20 short-term extensions since 2007, this time Rep. John Mica introduced a cap to the Essential Air Service funding that helps rural airports stay open. Representatives were asked to choose between funding the FAA and supporting small town airports that connect underserved communities with the national transportation and economic grid.

"This roadblock put thousands of jobs and federal contracts into question, and lost the government $400 million in uncollected taxes over the past two weeks. That is why I cosponsored H.R. 2644, the “Aviation Jobs and Safety Act of 2011,” a clean extension of FAA authorization that would have averted a shutdown without political obstacles until Congress could agree on a long-term bill.

"Now that the Senate has approved the short-term House extension, the next hurdle will be resolving the conflict between both chambers’ versions of a long-term FAA funding bill. The Senate appointed conferees on their bill months ago, while the Majority leadership in the House has yet to move forward. Until the House acts, negotiations over a long-term FAA bill remain in a stalemate. Local South Sound businesses, the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle, airlines, city and state governments are all impacted by this toxic uncertainty. It stands in the way of updating our radar systems, aircraft, airports, and many other important infrastructure projects.

"It is time to proceed with a comprehensive, long-term plan that can realistically achieve bipartisan support. Come September, if we cannot find a solution to this impasse, Congress could once again be leaving thousands of workers in the lurch and scrambling to pass a short-term extension. For the sake of protecting the American worker, House leadership needs to appoint conferees and move the FAA reauthorization process forward as soon as responsibly possible."
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement today on the casualties in Afghanistan:

"Today was a difficult day for our nation, our Armed Services and especially for the families and loved ones of the brave service members who lost their lives.

"This terrible incident serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifice made by our service men and women as well as their families. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with them. In the days and months ahead, I will continue to focus on ensuring that the mission is worthy of their sacrifice."
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement today following his No vote on the Budget Control Act of 2011:

“I voted against the budget deal that passed the House tonight because it is a flawed piece of legislation that misses the chance to set the country on a balanced path toward fixing our long-term fiscal and economic problems.

“Over the course of recent negotiations, we had a real opportunity to implement a budget plan that raised the debt ceiling as part of a broader deficit-reducing deal that included cuts, revenue and reform. This plan, cobbled together at the last minute, misses that chance.

“Not only does this plan not address revenue, it also sets caps in broad areas of spending without specifying what programs will actually be cut, allowing lawmakers to once again kick the can down the road without confronting the realities of our budget situation. A more complete debt-reduction plan would have comprehensively addressed revenue, implemented reforms to entitlements, and cut discretionary spending in a responsible and balanced way.

“By focusing overwhelmingly on discretionary cuts, many of the important programs that have historically supported our robust middle class, built our economy, and created opportunities for the next generation are made vulnerable. Priorities such as scientific research, education, infrastructure, national security, and many others may face over an additional $1 trillion in devastating cuts, which would do significant harm to our already struggling economy. To prevent the worst of these cuts from taking effect, revenue must be on the table.

“Though flawed, this proposal will offer us yet another opportunity to address our budget problems through the newly established select committee. In December, we will face another deadline and engage in another debate that will offer us the chance to address our fiscal problems more wisely. I hope we use this time to bring everything to the table and get America back on the path to economic prosperity.”