Press Releases

Tonight, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after being elected to serve as the next Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee:  

“It is an honor to be selected by my colleagues to represent them as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee in the 112th Congress. I would like to applaud Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Congressman Silvestre Reyes for a hard fought race. They are both very intelligent and dedicated Members of Congress and I look forward to working with them in the days ahead as we work to address our nation’s most pressing national security challenges. 

 “As Ranking Member, I will continue to be a strong advocate for our military personnel and their families. I am committed to providing them with the benefits and support they deserve for their years of faithful service. 

“I am committed to providing our Armed Forces with the best equipment and resources available to carry out their current and future missions.  At the same time, it must be a priority to ensure that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner.? This also includes carefully examining our current policies and working to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.  

“In Afghanistan, we must make certain that there is a clear policy that brings about the security and stability of the country while working toward responsibly drawing down our military forces. It is my fundamental belief that we need to draw down our troops as soon as we responsibly can. Frequent, long, and repeated deployments have put a strain on our military, our budget, and have had a negative impact on our foreign policy.  

“Moving forward in the next Congress, the Democratic Caucus needs knowledgeable leadership to represent their national security interests and principles. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 112th Congress and providing the leadership our country needs to confront the great challenges it faces.”

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation crafted by Congressman Adam Smith to support local tribes as they work to expand their business and create jobs. The bill (S. 2906), which will streamline the land leasing process and remove a significant bureaucratic burden for Washington State tribes, will now be sent to the President for his signature. S. 2906, the Senate version of H.R. 4401 introduced by Adam Smith, was sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell and passed by the Senate in September. 
 
“The passage of this legislation is a big victory for our local tribes as well as our local economy,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Tribal businesses are a critical economic engine in our region and our state.  In the current economic climate it is vitally important that we do everything we can to encourage economic growth and job creation. This legislation will help do just that.”
 
“Passage of this legislation will provide excellent opportunities for the Puyallup Tribe to ignite its economic development,” said Herman Dillon, Sr. Chairman Puyallup Tribe of Indians. “In these down economic times, this legislation will help accelerate leasing opportunities with national and global partners. It will eliminate the risk of losing opportunities due to the lengthy approval process currently in place. It will not only benefit the Puyallup Tribe, but the Puget Sound region as well.The Puyallup Tribe would like to give special thanks to Congressman Adam Smith, Senator Maria Cantwell, Congressmen Norm Dicks, and Senator Murray for all their support and hard work in making this happen.”"”

“The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is a valuable partner in our community’s cultural and economic vitality,” said John Wolfe, the Port of Tacoma’s chief executive officer. “We support these efforts to help the Tribe engage more readily in business opportunities that create jobs now and for future generations."

The legislation will amend the tribal Long-Term Leasing Act to expand the ability of the Puyallup, Swinomish and Kalispell Tribes’ authority to lease tribally owned land, particularly for economic development initiatives.  Specifically, S. 2906 will allow the Puyallup and Kalispel Tribes to enter into 99 year leases of land, and also removes the requirement that the Puyallup, Kalispell, and Swinomish Tribes seek the approval of the Department of the Interior for every business deal involving tribal lands.
 
Currently, the Puyallup and Kalispel cannot enter into business leases longer than 25 years, and each of these three Washington state tribes cannot enter into any lease without the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).  This legislation would remove the requirement that the tribe seek the approval of the BIA for every lease it enters into once they adopt leasing regulations approved by The U.S. Department of the Interior.  Once those regulations are in place the tribe would be able to enter in lease agreements lasting up to 75 years.  Any lease longer than that would still be subject to the review of the BIA.

###

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement regarding his support for legislation that will fix a projected 25% cut in Medicare physician payments:

“In order to prevent a 25 percent cut in Medicare physician payments next year and ensure patient stability, Congress passed a one-year fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, which is used to calculate physician payments. The formula called for a 25 percent cut to physician payments next year, effective January 1, 2011. 

“With our seniors in mind, I supported this legislation because it will avert devastating cuts to Medicare and provide certainty for both patients and physicians. 
 
“However, this short-term solution is not enough.  Congress must find a permanent and fully paid-for solution to the SGR problem so that physicians and patients are not repeatedly faced with pending, massive cuts.  I will continue working with my colleagues to address these issues and I am hopeful that we will find a permanent solution for our nation’s doctors and seniors.”
 
“The one-year fix to the SGR is fully paid for and will not add to the deficit.”

###
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in observance of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day:

“Today, let us pause to remember those who lost their lives on this day in 1941, when American forces at Pearl Harbor were attacked. From the first wave of the attack our brave men and women in uniform fought back as best they could, showing the spirit and resolve of a generation. Despite their brave actions, our nation suffered great losses that morning as we were thrust into World War II. Their sacrifice, and others who served in World War II, will not be forgotten. 

“We owe the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces a tremendous amount of gratitude and respect, and as we mark this solemn occasion let us take a moment to honor those who have served in the military or who are currently deployed in harms way.”

###

Congressman Adam Smith recently returned from leading a Congressional Delegation to Afghanistan. The delegation met with U.S. and Afghan officials, U.S. and NATO commanders, and U.S. military personnel to assess the political, civil and military developments on the ground. 
“I recently had the opportunity to visit our service men and women in a number of different regions across Afghanistan and it is clear that they are doing a tremendous job in a very difficult situation,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “We are beginning to see some signs of success. They have created some space in regions where the Taliban was once prominent. This space is now allowing U.S. and NATO personnel to work with local partners and make progress toward establishing functional governance and civil institutions.”

“While we are beginning to see some signs of progress,” continued Smith. “I remain very concerned about the high cost of our efforts and the challenges we continue to face in developing a reliable partner in the Afghan government. We have a significant national security threat in the region and we must make certain that there is a clear, more cost-efficient policy to both ensure the security and stability of Afghanistan and to responsibly draw down our military forces. 

Smith, who chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, organized the trip to help educate key Congressional Members on civil, military and political counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism initiatives in Afghanistan.  Specifically, the focus of the trip was on interagency cooperation, special operations, intelligence and development activities in Afghanistan.  

Smith formerly chaired the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, where he focused extensively on our nation’s counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and other regions of the world. His committee work and extensive travel to Afghanistan and the region has allowed him to develop extensive knowledge of the national security challenges we face. 

###