Press Releases

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) joined colleagues in sending a letter to the Administration requesting an urgent meeting to develop an emergency plan to discuss Somali remittances.  Merchants Bank of California is the largest financial institution that handles the majority of money transfers from the U.S. to Somalia.  Last Friday, it notified all Money Transfer Operators (MTO) that it will be closing their accounts today, Friday, February 6th.  As a result, Somali-Americans in Washington State will be unable to send money to their family members in Somalia. 
“I have heard from many of my constituents, and I understand that remittances are a large part of the Somali economy. These funds help many families pay for the essentials, like food and medicine.  We need to ensure that residents of the 9th District and Somali-Americans everywhere can continue to send money back to their families in Somalia.   I will continue to fight for policies that do so. “
Congressman Smith has cosponsored legislation and spoke with multiple government officials in attempts to find ways to continue U.S. remittances to Somalia.  Additionally, Rep. Smith has hosted community meetings with constituents, money transfer operators, and banks to identify and discuss the challenges and opportunities regarding this issue.


Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2016 budget request:

“Today, the President released a budget that prioritizes hard-working families who have not shared in or benefited enough from the economic recovery.  The budget proposal would eliminate loopholes and special interest tax breaks to raise the revenue necessary to invest in making paychecks go further, and improving access to education and good-paying jobs.  Our economy and our nation are the strongest when all Americans share in economic success.  The President’s budget aims to build such an economy.  
“In stark contrast, the Republican’s agenda remains focused on maintaining the status quo where the wealthiest Americans benefit and hard-working families struggle to make ends meet.  Moving forward, the President’s budget will set up an important debate that will help decide the direction of our country.  It is important that Congress stand with the President and hard-working families to fight for an economy that works for everyone.”


Yesterday, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a commitment of $1 billion to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi).  This money will help Gavi immunize 300 million children and save an estimated 5 million lives through 2020.  The $1 billion commitment is subject to Congressional approval.  Congressman Smith released the following statement supporting USAID’s announcement:

“I applaud USAID’s commitment to Gavi and urge the Congress to approve the use of these funds.  Investing in child immunization contributes to the global goal to end preventable child deaths by 2035 and develop new approaches to accelerate progress towards ensuring child and maternal survival. Developing countries benefit from healthy and strong communities that can cultivate the next generation of leaders, innovators, doctors, and workers.  I would like to recognize all my constituents involved in RESULTS for all of their hard work on this issue and look forward to working with them to ensure Gavi is successful.”

Washington, D.C. - On the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, House Republicans had planned on advancing extreme legislation that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks with the only exception being to protect the life of the mother.  Due to strong opposition by Democrats and some Republicans, they instead introduced a bill that would disproportionately restrict low-income women’s access to abortions and family planning services.  Congressman Smith released the following statement opposing the legislation:

“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we should be building on advancements in women’s healthcare rights and family planning services.  Unfortunately, Republicans seem intent on stripping these gains and restricting both comprehensive healthcare coverage and access to abortions.  I strongly oppose these efforts because the government should not be making health decisions that ought to be left between a woman, her doctor, and her family.  

“That is why I cosponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, which protects a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions no matter where she lives and promotes access to family planning services.  I will continue to do all I can in Congress to protect a woman’s right to choose and her access to the family planning services she needs.”

Today marks the 5th year anniversary of Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to spend freely in federal elections.  This decision was a significant change from years of government efforts to regulate the power of corporations in campaign finance.  Congressman Smith (D-WA) joined many colleagues in the House of Representatives today to introduce the Democracy for All Amendment.  This would amend the U.S. Constitution to grant states' and Congress the authority to strip the ability for corporations to spend unlimited resources in elections.

“Our current campaign finance system provides wealthy corporations and special interests disproportionate influence on our elections and in the process drowns out the voice of everyday people,” said Congressman Smith. “Congress must reform our campaign finance system to ensure that all Americans, regardless of wealth and influence, have a powerful voice in the election process.  I cosponsored the Democracy for All Amendment and the Government By the People Act to reverse Citizens United and establish a new system where candidates can rely on small donors.  I will work with my colleagues to pass both of these critical bills.”