Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in support of the Administration’s deal on Iran’s nuclear program: 

The Administration, our closest allies, and the other members of the U.N. Security council worked tirelessly for two years to successfully negotiate a historic deal that will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon for at least the next 15 years.

Over the course of the last two months, I have reviewed the final agreement thoroughly and have had extensive conversations with the Administration, nonproliferation experts, our European allies, and those who are concerned with aspects of the deal. After careful and thoughtful consideration, I have decided to support this agreement because I believe it ends the otherwise unmonitored and unrestricted continuation of the Iranian nuclear program and it halts the surely destructive effects of a nuclear Iran in the Middle East. 

This deal gives the world unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear sites and intrusive monitoring of its uranium supply and centrifuge production chains to ensure its enrichment activities are extremely limited. This is access that we would not have without a deal. These verification measures are key to making sure that Iran sticks to its part of the bargain to not enrich uranium above 3.67% and to keep no more than 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium for the next 15 years.  These levels are far below those necessary to build a nuclear weapon.  This deal substantially lengthens the time Iran would need to develop a nuclear weapon should it decide to violate the agreement.

This agreement took high-level diplomatic engagement and represents a broad international agreement. Congress' rejection of this deal would hurt the U.S.' credibility and likely fracture the international cooperation that was essential in enforcing a sanctions regime on Iran.  This would make potential negotiations with Iran in the future incredibly difficult, and increase the likelihood that Iran would be able to develop a nuclear weapon without constraints. It is hard to see how turning this deal down strengthens our position or furthers our national security interests in the region.

Iran's support to terrorist groups in the region is destabilizing and a threat to the U.S. and our allies. I too share concerns over lifting the arms embargo on Iran in 5 years should it comply with all of its obligations in the nuclear agreement, and I do not believe that Iran will suddenly become a force for good in the region. However, it is important to bear in mind that this does not affect U.S. or EU bans on weapons sales, and that the goal of these negotiations was to reach a deal that prevents Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Iran is a malign actor, but an Iran with a nuclear deterrent would be free to pursue its bad actions without fear of military response.  We cannot allow U.S. domestic politics to make such a future more likely.

The 60-day period for Congress to review the deal is almost over. During the remaining time, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration to ensure that we have the correct mechanisms in place to monitor Iran’s compliance with the deal and to respond should Iran forfeit its compliance with this agreement.  As the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will also work with the Administration and my colleagues to address Iran’s other malign activities and enhance the security of our Israeli and Arab partners in the region.  I remain concerned about Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region and threats to the security of our allies and our servicemen and women.  But I firmly believe that those threats would be made much worse if Iran possessed nuclear weapons.  At this time, the deal negotiated between Iran and the international community is the best way to prevent Iran from getting those weapons.

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement on the two year anniversary of Nestora Salgado’s arrest:

“For two years, Nestora has been denied due process and justice by the Mexican government.  It is entirely unacceptable that she remains imprisoned in conditions that threaten her life.   A Mexican federal court and many civil society and human rights groups including experts from the United Nations have all called for long overdue action.  I continue to urge the United States government and the Mexican government to take immediate action to secure Nestora’s release.  I will keep doing all I can to fight for her.” 
 
Ms. Salgado is a resident of Renton, WA who was arrested for her leadership in community police group in her hometown of Olinalá in the state of Guerrero, which has a long tradition of legally-recognized community self-defense groups.  As her Member of Congress, Congressman Smith has worked with Nestora’s family and her legal representation at Seattle University to help secure her release.  He has held press conferences and sent a letter with Senator Patty Murray  to the State Department to bring attention to the case and ensure Nestora can safely return to her family.  

 

Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA), a bill that would address the wasteful, environmentally damaging, and economically inefficient federal grazing policy on our public lands. This legislation would change federal law to allow ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish their permits to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service in exchange for private market compensation.  It would further allow the BLM and U.S. Forest Service to permanently retire the grazing permit.  

“Our current federal grazing policy is inefficient, wasteful, and must be addressed,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “By allowing ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish their permits, this legislation is a win for all involved as it saves the American taxpayer money, gives public lands the chance to rebuild their natural habitats, and provides ranchers with more financial opportunities.  This bill opens the door for private solutions to a long-standing problem and eliminates wasteful spending while saving taxpayer dollars.”

Representative Raul Grijalva joined Congressman Smith in introducing the legislation, saying “grazing is an important use of our public lands, but it's a very impactful use. Excessive grazing impacts wildlife habitat, soil composition, local hydrology, and even heightens the impacts of climate change. Retiring some permits will help save taxpayer money and benefit federal conservation efforts. Right now, when we are looking for ways to save taxpayer money, REVA is a win-win. Ranchers that want to retire their permits should have that opportunity.”

Current law does not allow for the retirement of grazing permits.  This has impacts on wildlife, watersheds, and the surrounding ecosystem, which continue to be harmed by domestic livestock grazing.  In addition to the environmental issues, the federal grazing program is heavily subsidized and costs American taxpayers over $117 million a year.  In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM and U.S. Forest Service spent $134 million on grazing management, but only reported collecting $17 million in grazing fees.   

Click here for a fact sheet on REVA.

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:

“Having free and fair elections is essential for our democracy, and for 50 years now, the Voting Rights Act has played a critical role in protecting individuals’ right to vote regardless of race, ethnic background, or level of income.  In Congress, we must do all we can to build on the Voting Rights Act and make it easier for folks to vote rather than make it harder with Voter ID laws and other discriminatory practices.  That is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3364, introduced by Rep. Rick Larsen, which would allow voters to sign a written statement to affirm their identity if they do not have an ID.  I also support the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015 introduced by Rep. John Lewis which would require states to have online voter registration and make grants available to increase voter registration.  I understand the importance of promoting balance, openness, and fairness in elections and I will fight for policies that protect and improve upon the Voting Rights Act.”

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after the President and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Clean Power Plan: 

“Pollution from power plants is the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States and I applaud the EPA and the Administration for their efforts to address it.  The finalization of the Clean Power Plan is a significant step towards combating climate change and conserving our natural resources for future generations. 
 
“Climate change and air pollution disproportionately affect low income families, communities of color, and vulnerable populations like children and the elderly. We need to be doing more to protect our community. This final rule sends a strong message that the United States is committed to addressing this issue. As Congress holds hearings and debates on clean energy and climate legislation, I will focus on investing in clean energy and energy efficiency technologies, while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and combating climate change to ensure the well-being of future generations.”