Press Releases

Washington, DC - House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement in response to the recently released study, commissioned by Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico, estimating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico at 2,975:

“President Trump failed the American people in his response to Hurricane Maria, and it took Congressional pressure to force him to increase his commitment to military disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. I cannot explain why he was so unwilling to do the right thing, and when he did, it turned out to be too little, too late. There are studies that show the death toll was in the thousands and not in the hundreds. This is not a situation where you can cover up the true impact on American citizens. The Trump Administration must be held accountable for their reckless mismanagement and failure to respond swiftly and robustly to Americans in need. It is unacceptable the way this tragedy took place.”

“President Trump continues to push an unrelenting assault on critical protections for our environment. From rolling back fuel mileage standards, undermining clean air and clean water protections, gutting the Endangered Species Act, and opening up our national monuments to development and mining, the President is actively working to endanger our environment.  Most troubling of all, he is pushing us towards being more reliant on fossil fuels. It is absolutely clear that carbon-based emissions are heating up earth and putting us on a path that will destroy our planet. We need to get off our dependency on carbon, not promote it.

“By gutting the Clean Power Plan, getting rid of federal regulations on carbon emissions, step by step the President is pushing us in the wrong direction. We are already at the point where we have waited way too long to address the impact of climate change and carbon-based fuels. For the President to roll back the progress we have made is disastrous and must be confronted.

“One area we continue to make progress is with the Department of Defense. As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have worked with my colleagues to declare that climate change is a national security threat. We have directed funding to pursue clean and alternative energy sources and end our reliance as a nation on fossil fuels. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the Department of Defense is planning for and mitigating against the impact of climate change and continues to invest in clean sources of energy to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel. 

“President Trump and Republicans in Congress have chosen to ignore climate change’s very real and negative impacts, and we must fight to stop them. We cannot let actions like today’s proposed rule reverse the critical progress that has been made.”

Highline priority passes as part of National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Commerce Aviation Operations, Safety, & Security Subcommittee, today announced the inclusion of an provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding for noise mitigation projects at schools in the Highline School District in Burien, WA.

“This is a great example of how all levels of government can come together to solve a problem. Highline School District has been working tirelessly to meet the terms of the agreement with the FAA to help mitigate noise pollution that the schools experience. The provision in the NDAA was crafted with bipartisan, bicameral support and will help ensure that promises made to our local schools are kept. I thank Senator Cantwell and the Port of Seattle for their advocacy on this critical issue. Having grown up in SeaTac myself, I know it is important to fight for our children’s right to a safe and healthy learning environment,” said Congressman Smith.

“These noise mitigation projects are critical to the Highline School District and providing a comfortable and productive learning environment for all students,” said Senator Cantwell. “I was proud to work with Congressman Smith, the Port of Seattle, and Highline School District to get this critical funding across the finish line.”

Sea-Tac Airport is located in the center of Highline School District and many of the district’s schools are impacted by airport noise. A 2002 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Port of Seattle, the FAA, and Highline School District outlined noise mitigation for a number of Highline School District schools. Since the MOA was signed, the Port and the Highline School District met their portion of the funding obligation. During that time, the noise contours around the airport changed, leaving the two schools in areas where they did not qualify for the previously agreed upon funding.

In May, Smith offered an amendment to the NDAA – pushed by Sen. Cantwell in the Senate – to fix the issue by allowing the FAA to provide noise mitigation funding to schools like Highline that no longer qualified for the previously committed funding because of the noise contour changes.  The amendment will give the district access to more than $14 million in FAA Airport Improvement Grants for noise mitigation projects including replacement of doors, windows, and the installation of through-the-wall AC units, or for new construction to include noise mitigation.

“We are deeply grateful to Rep. Smith and Senator Cantwell for their efforts to ensure that the FAA follows through on its commitment to fund noise insulation at our schools impacted by Sea-Tac International Airport. Our students deserve the highest quality learning environments we can provide them and this will help us do just that,” said Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield.

“The Port is committed to economic opportunity and quality of life for all local residents, and there is no more important investment in our communities than modern, clean, and quiet schools for our students. Senator Cantwell and Congressman Smith’s leadership to ensure federal noise-insulation funding for these Highline School District schools is a major victory in that effort,” said Courtney Gregiore, President of the Port of Seattle Commission.

Sen. Cantwell offered the language last year in the Senate’s FAA Reauthorization bill, and similar language was offered in the House version of the FAA bill. Rep. Smith ensured its inclusion and ultimate passage in the final NDAA bill. Following today’s passage of the NDAA in the House, the legislation is expected to pass in the Senate and be signed by the president.

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) introduced legislation designating the post office at 4301 NE 4th Street in Renton, Washington as the James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix Post Office. The post office is less than one mile from the site of where Hendrix is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park and is located on the same street as his childhood home.

“Renaming the Renton Highlands Post Office the ‘Jimi Hendrix Post Office Building’ is one more way we can celebrate the legacy of one of the greatest musicians of our time and the importance of the south Seattle and Renton areas in his enduring legacy. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls Hendrix, ‘the most gifted instrumentalist of all time, a self-taught electric guitarist whose fluid, immersive style was perfectly suited to embrace – and then revolutionize – the late 60’s psychedelic rock movement.’ The Puget Sound Region is home to a museum that showcases Hendrix’s life and work, a park dedicated to his memory, and several memorials visited by thousands every year. This designation will further honor this iconic artist and his Seattle roots,” said Congressman Adam Smith.

The legislation is supported by each member of the Washington state Delegation.

 

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), the Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Committee, today announced the inclusion of a package of provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will provide critical support for the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing cleanup mission at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state.  

“It is the federal government’s moral and legal obligation to ensure that the communities surrounding Hanford are cared for, the employees working on the clean-up are respected and safe, and our environment is remediated and protected. Our country’s security owe much to the sacrifices made by the Hanford workers  and their communities in support of the nuclear defense programs that created the nuclear waste a currently stored at Hanford,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “The provisions contained in this year’s NDAA contribute to ensuring that the federal government fulfills its obligation to the Pacific Northwest for the safe remediation of the Hanford nuclear facility.”

Congressman Smith successfully fought to ensure that the following provisions were included in the NDAA:

  • Increased Budget allocations for Nuclear Clean-up: Authorizes an additional $50 million for Hanford site clean-up at the Central Plateau. 
  • Pressing for nuclear safety and whistleblower protection: Includes a provision stating that the Secretary of Energy should impose civil penalties on contractors for violations of Department of Energy (DOE) rules, regulations, and orders relating to nuclear safety and radiation protection. It also enhances accountability by requiring notification of whether the Department of Energy has imposed any of these penalties pursuant to its authorities. This provision was in response to a 2016 GAO report that found that the Department of Energy had very infrequently used its enforcement authority to hold contractors accountable for unlawful retaliation.
  • Improved Transparency: Requires regular briefings to Congress on vapor problems at the Hanford site.
  • Increased Accountability: Requires prompt congressional notification in the case of air release of radioactive or hazardous contamination at Hanford, and requires congressional briefings on cause, estimated timeline and costs for addressing such contamination.
  • Recommits to the Hanford Waste Tank Clean-Up Program: Includes Congressman Dan Newhouse’s amendment to extend the Hanford waste tank clean-up program until 2024.