Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Adam Smith (WA-9), Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-8), Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI-10), Rep. Don Bacon (NE-2), Rep. Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-5), Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-2), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2), and Rep. Lori Trahan (MA-3) released the following statement after news reports indicated a Russian vehicle intentionally rammed a coalition vehicle and injured U.S. troops in Syria:

“Recent reports that Russian forces in Syria harassed and assaulted U.S. forces are deeply concerning.  We are appalled by reports of Russian military aggression toward U.S. troops on the ground in Syria and strongly condemn their actions. We strongly urge Russian forces to stop these aggressive behaviors immediately. It is critical that officials at the Pentagon and the White House also clearly communicate to the highest levels of the Russian government and military that actions like this will not be tolerated.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House passed the Delivering for America Act, which prohibits the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from implementing harmful changes to its operations or level of service and provides $25 billion in funding.

“People across the country depend on the U.S. Postal Service to receive life-saving medications, paychecks, essential goods, ballots, and more. Even though the American people rely on this essential service, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear the President sees the USPS as a mere pawn in his desperate attempt to disenfranchise the people he views as a threat to his presidency.

“Postmaster General DeJoy has continued to disrupt the operations of the Postal Service, including decommissioning critical mail sorting machines, removing post boxes, cutting overtime, and restricting extra mail trips that ensure deliveries are made on time. These new policies significantly weaken the Postal Service’s ability to deliver essential items, which in some cases are a matter of life or death.

“Passage of the Delivering for America Act sends a strong message that the House stands with the American people to protect and support the Postal Service, its workers, and the right to vote. This bill would also provide the same level of funding recommended by the USPS Board of Governors, which is composed entirely of Trump appointees, to ensure the USPS has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission.

“This should not be a partisan issue. The damage to the Postal Service impacts rural and urban communities, seniors, veterans, small businesses, and families across the country. It is vital that we protect and fund the Postal service, and that the Postmaster General undo the damage he has already done.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the department will not extend expiring waivers which have allowed schools to continue providing access to free meals to students throughout the pandemic.

“As school districts make difficult decisions about how to safely reopen schools this fall, it’s crucial that regardless of whether students are physically in the classroom, families know they can count on having access to school meal programs.

“I have repeatedly called on the Administration to extend the waivers put in place over the last six months to provide certainty to families throughout this next school year. These waivers, which expire at the end of this month, have removed bureaucratic barriers to accessing meals, and allow school districts to provide meals to all students. This Administration, in failing to extend the waivers, has neglected students and families at a time of unprecedented need.

“This inexplicable decision makes it even harder for families to access vital food assistance programs amidst a pandemic that has increased food insecurity for children and families. Secretary Perdue must extend these emergency waivers through the rest of the school year to ensure America’s children do not go hungry.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalize relations.

“The announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates will move towards normalizing relations is a positive step and embodies the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Israel and its neighboring countries. Both parties, the entire region, and the world stand to benefit from increased diplomatic, commercial, and security ties. I look forward to seeing the two countries advance towards this goal of full diplomatic relations.

“It is also critically important that Israel has agreed to temporarily suspend its annexation plans, however, it remains unclear for how long. Unilateral annexation undermines the prospects for a comprehensive peace agreement and threatens to destabilize the region. Annexation outside the framework of a negotiated peace agreement should not be on the table and there is no question that the actions of the Trump Administration and their ‘peace plan’ released earlier this year paved the way for its serious consideration.

“I applaud the announcement and am hopeful that it can be a signal for all sides to take more deliberate steps towards a durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This includes an end to unilateral actions by Israel that undermine a two-state solution and a greater willingness from the Palestinian leadership to come to the table for negotiations. We also desperately need U.S. leadership that promotes, not undermines, a framework to achieve a secure, democratic, and Jewish state of Israel and a viable and independent Palestinian state.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, led over 115 members of Congress from both parties in a letter urging President Trump to provide full Federal funding for the National Guard COVID-19 response in all states and territories. Last week, President Trump extended authority under Title 32 for the National Guard to support COVID-19, but he imposed a 25% cost share on the majority of states and territories.

“States are the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. Due to the additional costs and lost revenues caused by COVID-19, state and local governments are facing unprecedented pressures on their budgets,” the members wrote. “As we work to combat the pandemic, reopen the economy, and get kids back in schools, this is the wrong time to unnecessarily burden states with additional costs. Not only will this take away state resources from other COVID-19 response efforts, but it has the potential to lead to a reduction in National Guard members supporting COVID-19 response.”

“Furthermore, we are alarmed with your decision to treat states differently. Picking and choosing which states receive full Federal funding, whatever the rationale, sets a dangerous precedent and raises serious questions about the motivations for why certain states are selected and others are not,” the members continued. “Every state is feeling the strain of this pandemic and the National Guard mission in each state is the same – to help the emergency response to the pandemic. We see no logical justification for treating states differently.” 

The National Guard has played an instrumental role in COVID-19 response and recovery across the country, serving as a critical tool for states and territories to utilize for their unique and changing needs. They have been used for a range of missions such as supporting testing sites and assembling test kits, conducting contact tracing, staffing food banks, and assisting long-term care facilities. Republican and Democratic governors alike asked for an extension of Title 32.

You can read the full letter here.

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