Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement in support of President Obama’s proposal to cover two years of tuition for students at community colleges:
“I am very happy to see the President take action to make higher education more affordable and accessible for every student.  Higher college tuitions and growing income inequality have made the cost of higher education an extremely difficult hurdle for students with limited resources.  At the same time, more and more jobs are requiring degrees and advanced study, making higher education attainment more important than ever. The America’s College Promise proposal would make two years of community college free for students committed to their education.  Providing universal access to the skills and education that our global economy demands is absolutely critical in leveling the playing field and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed.”

For more information on the President’s proposal, click here.  


Yesterday, Rogelia Ortega, Governor of the Mexico State of Guerrero requested prosecutors drop the charges against Nestora Salgado.  Ms. Salgado is a resident of Renton, WA who was arrested for her leadership in a 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.
“I am very encouraged by the new Governor’s call to drop charges against Nestora Salgado.  This is a critical step forward, but we must continue to pressure Mexican officials to take action and bring resolution to this case.  I will continue to work closely with Nestora’s family and the Department of State to ensure she is released from prison.
The new Governor’s action adds yet another voice urging for Nestora’s release.  Last year, a Mexican federal judge dismissed the criminal charges against her and issued an order of immediate release from federal prison.  As her Member of Congress, Representative Smith has sent letters and made phone calls to the State Department to bring attention to the case and ensure Nestora can safely return to her family.  


Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after the President’s executive order to create the Task Force for 21st Century Policing:
“As the tragedies in Ferguson and New York made clear, our country needs to strengthen and build relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they serve.  I applaud the President for creating this task force of law enforcement representatives, local leaders, youth leaders, and academics to prepare recommendations on how to improve policing.  I was also pleased to see that Washington State’s Sue Rahr was selected to serve on the task force.  Sue brings years of experience and perspective, and is an excellent choice.  I look forward to seeing what recommendations the Task Force offers and will work to implement changes that will help build trust and relationships with local law enforcement and their communities.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement on the CROmnibus:
“House Republicans continue to govern by crisis and fiscal cliffs .  Under the threat of a government shutdown, Republicans are trying to force through unacceptable legislation that allows big banks to gamble with taxpayer-backed funds and empowers the wealthy to donate even more money to influence the political process.  This attempt to curry favor with Wall Street and the rich simply recreates the financial environment that lead to the Great Recession.  Additionally, in an ongoing effort to undermine the President’s Executive Action on Immigration, funding is only provided until February 27 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),  negatively impacting the ability of DHS to plan and  accomplish their priorities.
“We can keep the government open without these gratuitous measures that favor special interests over investments in good-paying jobs and the middle class. These unacceptable provisions have no business being in a spending bill to keep our government running and they should be removed before a vote.  And if these really are Republicans priorities, than they should put them up for a vote on their own, instead of using legislative tricks and holding our economy hostage to jam them through Congress.”


House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to the release of the Senate report on torture:

The release of the Senate torture report today underscores a number of important points. First and foremost, the act of torture stands in stark contrast to our values. America has been and will continue to be a force for good in the world, and torture undermines our ability to protect human rights and dignity. We cannot demand something of others that we do not demand of ourselves.
As many interrogators will tell you, an individual who is being tortured will say or do anything to make it stop. People being tortured will tell interrogators what they want to hear, which is often far different than the truth. Even in those rare instances where usable information is gleaned, that information is not worth the damage done to the American image overseas and at home.  This is especially true because we know that information can almost always be gained through lawful methods.
There are people upset by the release of the report today. Some will claim that releasing this report could jeopardize national security, but their anger is misplaced. The potential negative effects of releasing this report are not a product of transparency – they are a consequence of illegal actions in the past.

Those who work at the CIA are often unknown American heroes.  The vast majority of those CIA employees I have met and interacted with are intelligent people dedicated to keeping the United States and the American people safe.  It is a true tragedy that the American people, Congress, and the White House were apparently misled about the unacceptable interrogation techniques.  Congress must exercise far greater oversight over the activities of the Agency in the future to ensure that future programs are legal and effective.  
As Americans, we are better than torture and we should use this report as motivation to ensure that it never happens again.