Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement in the midst of the protest that has overrun the Capitol campus during the proceedings to certify the 2020 general election results. 

“The assault by pro-Trump extremists on the United States Capitol is a criminal act aimed at ending our democracy as we know it. The Capitol campus must be cleared of these extremists as soon and as safely as possible. 

“I have spoken with Department of the Defense leadership – specifically Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy – who are now working with the District of Columbia government, the Department of Justice, and Capitol police to restore order to the Capitol and allow Members of Congress to safely certify the election results, as is our constitutional obligation.

"President Trump and his enablers are directly responsible for the despicable acts at our nation's Capitol that we all have witnessed today. The President incited and encouraged this riot. He has lied repeatedly, as have his enablers in Congress and elsewhere about this election. They do not believe in democracy. They believe in retaining power by any means necessary. All Americans who believe in the rule of law and our Constitution must clearly and unambiguously hold these people accountable for their actions.  

“Order will be restored. Congress will do its job. This election will be certified, and Joe Biden will, as he was duly elected to do, take office as our next President on January 20th.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate voted to override the President’s veto of the Conference Report for the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 by a vote of 81 to 13, the final step in the legislative process required to enact the law over the objection of the President. 

“With today’s successful veto override vote in the Senate, the Congress has prevailed despite the President’s illogical opposition to this year’s annual defense bill, and for the 60th consecutive year the NDAA has become law. After a year’s worth of difficult work and thorough negotiations, the legislature has once again fulfilled our constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense. The NDAA’s broad and deep support is a testament to the merits of this year’s bill and underscores the seriousness with which the Congress takes our commitment to our services members, their families, and our national security.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced the Crisis Housing Act which would establish a new automatic housing assistance program to provide emergency rental assistance vouchers to households during natural disasters or economic recessions.

“When responding to an unforeseen disaster like a pandemic, hurricane, or economic recession, families cannot wait in uncertainty for a relief bill to pass in Congress,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for rental assistance skyrockets in times of economic downturns, and we need a system that can rapidly deploy support to ensure vulnerable families at risk of displacement continue to have access to stable housing. Housing insecurity affects far too many families as is, and this bill would provide an automatic safety net to those most in need during a crisis.”

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States had an affordable housing crisis, which puts more families on the brink of displacement. The pandemic has further highlighted the heightened vulnerability of families in the case of economic crises in the future. There is currently no housing support program that is automatically triggered when a natural or economic disaster occurs, and this bill would remedy that gap.

The Crisis Housing Act would automatically provide low-income families and individuals with rental assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) when either: the Stafford Act is invoked during a natural disaster, or when the state unemployment rate suddenly increases by a specific amount.

This legislation is the House companion bill to the Crisis Housing Act introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). You can read a one-pager of the bill here and the full bill text here.

Statements of Support:

“One of the fundamental lessons of this pandemic is how important housing assistance is in a crisis or disaster,” said Stephen Norman, Executive Director of the King County Housing Authority. “The speed at which aid can be provided is critical. Representative Smith’s bill is a common sense approach that lays the groundwork, before a crisis, for the government to respond quickly. He should be commended for paying attention to a nuts and bolts issue in federal policy that will make a real difference in people’s lives when assistance is needed.”

“Disasters often hit the lowest income households hardest, yet these same families struggle to receive the housing assistance they need afterwards. The result is often a predictable and entirely preventable rise in eviction and homelessness rates,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “If passed, the Crisis Housing Act would play a critical role in providing safe, accessible, and affordable homes to individuals with the greatest needs after a disaster by providing longer-term, flexible, rental assistance – helping them safely recover without the fear of being rendered homeless.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House voted to override the President’s veto of the Conference Report for the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 by a vote of 322 to 87.

“Today the House reiterated – in a resounding, bipartisan way – that our service members and national security are more important than politics. By overriding the President’s veto, the House prioritized compromise and sound policy over legislative nihilism and blind political loyalty. By overriding the President’s veto, the House asserted the role of the legislative branch and underscored the importance of our constitutional separation of powers. But most importantly, today’s veto override ensures that our service members and their families have the resources they need to continue to execute their missions and defend our country.

“Following today’s vote in the House, I urge Leader McConnell to move swiftly in the Senate. While procedural hurdles remain, I am confident that the veto override vote will ultimately be successful – not because of politics, but because of the NDAA’s merits. It is Congress’ constitutional duty to provide for the common defense, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the CASH Act, a stand-alone bill to increase the economic impact payments in the COVID relief bill from $600 to $2,000.

“I am proud to support passage of the CASH Act today, which would provide $2,000 direct cash payments as an economic lifeline for millions of Americans. After Congress and the Trump Administration reached an agreement on a COVID-19 relief and appropriations funding package, President Trump suddenly decided he would delay signing the bill into law, further exacerbating the struggles facing individuals and families across the country. Democrats have long pushed for increased direct payments, but House and Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration have opposed higher payments at every step of the negotiations.

“Now the President suddenly claims he supports $2,000 direct payments. If the President wants to follow through on his support for $2,000, he would demand that Senate Republicans bring this bill up for a vote immediately. Republicans have repeatedly failed to work with Democrats to provide the health and economic relief needed during this crisis. Signing this bill into law would help families struggling to put food on the table or make next month’s rent payment. We will continue to fight to provide Americans with the substantial support they need during this pandemic and economic crisis.”

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