Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the follow statement after the President signed into law the fiscal year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act:  

“I am pleased to see the President sign this legislation.  The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act represents a year of hard work by our committee and contains important authorities to help our men and women in uniform carry on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

“This legislation supports the men and women of our Armed Forces by ensuring that they have the resources they need. It places our policies and priorities exactly where they belong – on our troops and their families. 

“The bill authorizes a 1.4 % pay raise for our troops, strengthens military health care and family support programs, and authorizes numerous other programs that will assist military families. It builds on the Committee’s efforts to support our military personnel and ensures that our military is properly resourced to meet the threats we face today, as well as those of the future. 

“In addition to accomplishing these goals, this legislation contains vital provisions that will improve the Department of Defense acquisition system to ensure that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner. 

"I am pleased to see this legislation authorizes funding for the procurement and research development programs to ensure that our soldiers and airmen have the equipment and resources they need to carry out their missions. This includes funding for programs such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, equipment for the National Guard and Reserve, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems, as well as other vital equipment and systems used by the Army and Air Force. 

"I also share the President’s concern with some of the provisions regarding detentions in this bill, many of which were the result of compromises demanded by the then-minority at the last minute. I look forward to working with the Administration to craft a rational policy on detainees.”

“This bill is vitally important to our national security and I am proud of the support that it provides to our troops and their efforts to keep us safe. While some adjustments will be needed, I believe it strikes the right balance between fighting the conflicts of today, while preparing our forces for the conflicts of the future.”

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U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington State.), the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the defense budget announcements by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen:  

“Secretary Gates today made a compelling case for continued reforms within the Department of Defense that would reduce waste in many areas and reinvest $100 billion of those savings in critical military priorities that will give our troops greater combat capability.”

“While we don’t yet have the full details, Secretary Gates appears to have taken a moderate and responsible approach to finding these proposed savings.  They will provide Congress with a good starting point for consideration of the overall 2012 budget proposal by the President.”

“These ideas for savings cover a wide range of issues from civilian personnel and healthcare changes to adjustments to complex weapons programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter, so it is clear that the Secretary has done a thorough and comprehensive review of DOD operations.”

“As Secretary Gates explained, proposed defense budgets will continue to grow and the United States will retain the strongest military in the world.  That is assured.  However, he recognizes that in an era of massive budget deficits all parts of the government must be examined closely, including the Department of Defense.  I strongly agree with him in that regard.”

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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.

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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.”

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