Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement regarding his vote in favor of legislation that will fix a projected 21% increase in Medicare physician payments:

“Last night the House passed a six-month fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used to calculate payments to physicians through Medicare.  Without the fix, the formula called for a 21 per cent cut to physician pay for this year, effective June 1.  I was disappointed that Congress was unable to work together to solve this problem by the June 1st deadline and prevent uncertainty and frustration for Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians.  Thankfully, the bill passed last night will reverse these cuts and increase Medicare physician payments by 2.2 per cent through November 30, 2010.

“While I am pleased that the short-term solution passed will give Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians a small amount of certainty for the next few months, it is not enough.  Congress needs to find a permanent solution to the SGR problem so that physicians and patients are not faced with pending massive cuts every few months.  I will continue to work with my colleagues to address this issue and am hopeful that in the weeks and months ahead, we will find a permanent, paid for solution to this issue.”
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in response to House passage of legislation designed to impose tough economic sanctions against Iran:

“Today, Congress provided President Obama with additional tools to pressure Iran to cease its efforts to build nuclear weapons.  A nuclear armed Iran would destabilize the Middle East and pose a grave threat to the United States, our allies, and particularly Israel.  This scenario is unacceptable.  

“We cannot allow Iran to continue to act in a way that threatens the international community and its neighbors in the region.  This legislation builds on the recent U.N. Security Council Resolution and will help forcefully pressure Iran to meet its international obligations.

“In concert with the international community, it is critical that the United States continues to pursue both diplomatic and economic avenues to hold Iran accountable.  While there is more diplomatic work to be done, the bill passed by Congress today is another way to increase economic pressure on Iran to change its behavior.”

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This week, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) voted in support of important legislation designed to make it easier for small businesses to succeed and create jobs in our communities. Together, the Small Business Lending Fund Act and the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act, will address the lack of access to credit and remove some of the restrictive tax obstacles impeding small business growth.

"Small businesses are the foundation of our economy – generating approximately 65% of new jobs over the last 15 years and employing our families, neighbors, and friends,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Our nation’s long term economic stability relies on small businesses and we must continue to enact legislation and remove government barriers to help them grow.”

The Small Business Lending Fund Act will create a $30 billion lending fund to help small businesses expand through investments in states and small banks that focus on lending to local small businesses.  The bill will also help cultivate American innovation through a new public-private partnership designed to channel early stage investment capital to promising new start-ups.

To further ensure small businesses have every opportunity to succeed, the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act will help businesses expand and create new jobs through a 100% exclusion of small business capital gains; small business penalty relief; and increased deductions for start-up expenditures.

These two bills, which are fully paid for, will now move together as one for consideration by the U.S. Senate.
Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement regarding the upcoming Memorial Day weekend:

“As Americans across the country gather with friends and family to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, we should all honor the sacrifice and service of the men and women in our armed forces. Far from the safe harbor of America’s shores, thousands of men and women have put aside their own safety to ensure ours. We owe them our deepest gratitude and respect.

“Holidays like Memorial Day provide us with an opportunity to come together as a nation and reflect on the ideals and values that unite us. As intense debates continue to swirl around a wide range of issues of national importance, the principles that bind us can sometimes be lost. So this weekend, let us all reflect on one thing I know we all can agree upon: the men and women of our armed services do a tremendous job keeping us safe and defending our nation. They are true patriots and serve as a source of pride for a grateful nation.”

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Today, two key pieces of legislation sponsored by Congressman Adam Smith moved closer to the Presidents desk for signature. The pair of bills, The Veterans to Work Pilot Program Act and Military Family Leave Act, will support military families when their loved ones are deployed and will spur job opportunities for veterans when they return from their overseas duties.

 “The men and women of our armed forces and their families make tremendous sacrifices to serve our nation and keep us safe. It is our obligation to ensure they are provided the support that they deserve,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “Together, these bills will help address significant problems plaguing our military community – high unemployment in our veterans population and the strain placed on families when their loved ones are deployed.”

 The Veterans to Work Pilot Program Act of 2009, which Smith introduced in November of 2009 has been incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011. The legislation passed the House of Representatives today and now must pass the Senate before it can be signed into law. The legislation expands job opportunities by creating a 5-year pilot program to enroll military veterans in apprenticeship programs and employ them on military construction projects.

The legislation would specifically require the Secretary of Defense to designate at least twenty military construction projects per year where, to the maximum extent feasible, the utilization of veteran apprenticeship labor would be required. At the end of each year, and at the conclusion of the pilot program, the Secretary would be required to submit a report to Congress that, among other things, evaluates the benefits of employing apprentices who are veterans on Military Construction projects.

The Military Family Leave Act of 2009, which was introduced by Smith in July of last year, was also incorporated into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 by amendment. The bill would provide two weeks of unpaid leave to the spouse, children, or parents of a member of the military who receives notification of deployment or is currently deployed.

 While the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act added a provision to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allowing military families to take time off for a number of reasons connected with a deployment, not all employees were made eligible under that earlier law. The Military Family Leave Act of 2009 seeks to ensure that all military families have the ability to take two-weeks of unpaid leave in response to an upcoming or current deployment of spouse, parent, or child.  

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