Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on Labor Day 2011:

On Labor Day, we honor the American worker, the engine of our economy, and our most important resource. It is also time to remember the important role labor unions and collective bargaining rights have historically played in supporting our nation’s workers and shaping the backbone of America’s strong middle class.

However, today, the U.S. job market is stalling and many of our friends and neighbors are unemployed or underemployed. I believe it is more important than ever that we help people achieve their American dream by supporting family-wage jobs and fighting for opportunities like education and workforce training. It is vital that we continue to invest in the American worker and help them succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

As we confront our current fiscal challenges, we must keep in mind the American values of broad-based prosperity and economic opportunity for all. We need a balanced, long-term approach to getting our economy back on track that will spur job growth while protecting programs that support our working-class.
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on the verdict in the Jason Puracal trial in Nicaragua:

“Jason Puracal has been taken away from his wife and son for nearly nine months and put on trial for drug trafficking and money laundering.

"Unfortunately, last night, Jason was convicted of all counts against him in a flawed Nicaraguan justice system. I was hoping for a better outcome for Jason and his family.

"Going forward, my office will continue to advocate for Jason as an American citizen and work with the State Department to explore all options under international law.”
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."