Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement regarding Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ speech today recognizing the importance of export control reform:

"I am pleased to see that it remains a priority for the Obama Administration to make progress on reforming our export controls, which currently undermine our national security by making it difficult for U.S. companies to compete internationally.

“Restricting U.S. companies from competing internationally threatens to erode our country’s position as a leader in military and dual-use goods and technologies. That in turn hurts the innovation and viability of American industry and may one day make us reliant upon international companies for these vital technologies within our defense apparatus. That undermines our national security.  

"To be clear, we must not pull back all restrictions on military and dual-use exports. What we must do is strike a balance between more stringently protecting information and goods that would otherwise expose our national security and allowing U.S. companies to compete with goods and technologies that are readily available and legally traded on the global market.  That is why I’ve been working in Congress to support the kind of comprehensive reforms announced today by Secretary Gates.  These reforms seek to strike that balance.  They aim to strengthen our export control regime and protect our national security by streamlining the system.

“My hope is that the Administration will continue to both consult Congress and those who use the system as they work to implement reforms and build a better system.  The status quo not only hinders U.S. companies, but creates the real possibility that we may one day have to rely on foreign companies for our defense needs.

“Today’s speech by Secretary Gates is a promising sign that the Administration recognizes the serious problems with our current export control regime and is committed to a solution.”

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Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) issued the following statement in response to the Department of Defense’s announcement that the Request for Proposals (RFP) deadline for the KC-X Tanker may be extended by an additional 60 days:

"After multiple setbacks to replace the aging fleet of aerial refueling tankers, I am extremely disappointed to hear that the Department of Defense may once again delay the procurement process.

"Replacing the current, aging fleet of tankers is the Air Force’s top acquisition priority. It’s critical that we replace these aging aircraft and provide the warfighters with a new tanker that will meet their current and future mission requirements. A decision to extend the RFP by an additional 60 days will only further delay the warfighters’ access to this valuable equipment.

"While I believe that a fair, open, and transparent competition will benefit both the taxpayer and the warfighter, the original RFP timeline provides adequate time for potential bidders to evaluate the requirements and submit a viable proposal for consideration by the Department of Defense."

Today, Reps. Adam Smith (WA-09), Jay Inslee (WA-01) and Dave Reichert (WA-08) co-introduced a pair of complementary bills in the House seeking to address the deficiencies in the interstate compact system that governs the release and supervision of convicted felons across state lines. Companion bills were introduced in the Senate by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).  On November 29th, 2009, four Lakewood, Washington police officers; Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Greg Richards were murdered by a convicted felon from Arkansas who had been living in Washington State following the commutation of his sentence.  The legislation, crafted by the local lawmakers and working in coordination with Governor Christine Gregoire, law enforcement and federal agencies, purposes solutions that would improve information-sharing and best practices at all levels of law enforcement.  Legislation would also require the U.S. Department of Justice to review existing rules governing interstate transfers of adult offenders, to best ensure public and officer safety.

“As a former prosecutor, I understand how important it is for law enforcement agencies to share information across federal, state, and local jurisdictions,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “Last November, we saw the disastrous outcome of a break down in this communication. Based on lessons learned from this tragic shooting, the legislation introduced today seeks to address the shortcomings of current interstate policies and will protect and empower our law enforcement officials.”

“The lessons of this tragic event cannot be ignored,” said Rep. Jay Inslee.  “The system, as it is, failed to safeguard those charged with protecting and serving us.  By revisiting the rules and tools states and law enforcement use to communicate with each other, and by making some simple, common sense changes, we can prevent these mistakes from happening again.”  

 “Our law enforcement officers put themselves at risk every day to keep our families and communities safe, and we need to do everything possible to protect those who protect us,” said Senator Patty Murray. “We honor the memories of our fallen officers by learning the tough lessons and making sure that it never happens again.  We also need increased vigilance to ensure that other states are not allowed to dump their criminals into our communities, that’s why we’re calling for a rigorous review of the rules and improved communication at every level to prevent a tragedy like Lakewood from happening again.”

For the last few months, Members have been working with the experts who were tasked by Governor Gregoire to review the incidents leading up to Lakewood tragedy and make recommendations to change existing policies.   Members worked with expert staff at Washington State Department of Corrections and Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs to determine that in order to prevent future incidents, federal legislation is needed to ensure that the Interstate Compact rules are rigorously reviewed and all states act in good faith to protect all communities that host interstate offenders.


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Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) issued the following statement on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) final ruling that launch aid to Airbus is an illegal subsidy:

"Today’s ruling makes it clear that Airbus airplanes have been illegally subsidized by European governments.  These governments violated WTO rules by providing below market rate loans to develop Airbus planes.  

"These illegal subsidies distorted the industry in favor of Airbus planes.  As the U.S. regains its foothold in the global marketplace and continues to recover economically, it is essential that we fight to restore market balance for American workers.  Ensuring that governments and businesses are compliant with international trade rules is an important component.  In its final ruling the WTO has sided with U.S. officials, agreeing that rather than competing on a level playing field with U.S.-built aircraft, the European governments provided Airbus with an unfair competitive advantage, shifting market share toward Europe and away from U.S. aircraft manufacturing jobs.
 
"European governments and Airbus should end their practice of launch aid, comply with the WTO’s ruling, and cease all plans for illegal subsidies to future planes.  Boeing workers are among the best in the world and can compete directly in the aerospace industry but, in order to do so, we must ensure that the policies of our trading partners and international businesses comply with global trade rules."
 
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after his vote in favor of the health care reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives this evening:

“With the passage of this legislation today, we have reached an historic milestone in the long fight to reform our health care system. While the legislation is not perfect, it represents a significant step toward achieving the very difficult goals of reining in exploding health care costs and expanding access to care.

“After more than a year of discussions, this legislation brings together ideas from both sides of the aisle and it stands as our best opportunity to move forward on reform. Simply put, with this vote today we have categorically rejected the status quo.

“Yesterday, I released a much more detailed statement on why I support this legislation to reform our health care system. To view my statement from yesterday click
here.”

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