Press Releases

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.”

###
Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in support of the health care reform legislation expected to be considered by Congress tomorrow:

“There are far too many people in our country who either do not have insurance or are underinsured, and the cost of insurance is escalating at unacceptable rates.  We have to cover more people and get costs under control now.  

“These are very, very difficult goals to accomplish.  For over 75 years, Republicans and Democrats alike have bemoaned the current health care system.  It costs too much, covers too few, and often doesn’t provide the best results.  If we’ve discovered anything in our pursuit for reform, it’s that this is a difficult issue to address - but that is not a reason to avoid the problem.  If we are truly committed to addressing these issues, we cannot simply rage against what is wrong; we must do what we can to fix them.  

“I support this legislation because it is the best available step forward for reform.  With health care costs ever increasing, we need leadership on these tough issues.  The option before us is imperfect, but it begins the process in a substantial way.  The fact that reform is controversial should not be a reason to avoid it.  Supporting change now demonstrates leadership.  

“This bill will cover an estimated 30 million additional Americans and save more than $1 trillion in the long term.  These are huge steps forward in the reform process. These two key facts make it imperative that we pass this legislation and move forward now.

“The legislation before us is better than the House bill that was passed in November.  It does a much better job of getting costs under control.  The numbers demonstrate that this legislation will not only help reduce costs in the short term, but also help bend the long term cost curve.  The legislation moves forward on rewarding quality of care over quantity.  We would begin to shift away from the failed fee-for-service model that encourages high levels of utilization without regard to the quality of that care.  Instead, it encourages accountable care organizations (ACOs), which emphasize overall quality of care over the sheer number of visits, tests, and referrals.  We will have to monitor and adjust these policies as we move forward and see how they are implemented, but they will actively work toward controlling costs and improving the quality of health care in this country.

“This legislation includes a number of ideas from both sides of the aisle, such as portability, which allows insurance companies to sell insurance over state lines. It also encourages employers to provide incentives for their employees to manage controllable health factors known to lead to long term health issues. These incentives will help create an overall healthier society, and encourage individuals to control their own health care costs.

“Americans will be touched directly by the improvement in care.  In addition to no longer being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, Americans will have access to a greater choice of plans at more affordable rates.  The quality of care will also improve as doctors are rewarded for quality rather than quantity of care.  

“Further, this legislation empowers states to be the drivers of reform - not the federal government.  States have the ability to set up the exchanges to help individuals find quality health insurance, and states will be the primary regulators of insurance companies, rather than the federal government.  

“Over the last year, we have seen an extraordinary level of engagement from the American people about reform. In fact, in all my years a legislator, I have never seen this level of involvement from my constituents. This is a promising sign for the vitality of our civic culture and I hope we continue to see this level of participation as we move forward to address the many difficult issues our country faces.

“This vote is not by any means the end of Congress’ work to improve health care in this country.  If this legislation passes tomorrow, the months and years ahead will be filled with the continued work to improve upon these ideas, learn from our mistakes, and work toward a system that is sustainable and provides access to quality health care for all Americans.  

“Health care is an incredibly difficult issue to address, but I believe that I was elected to make difficult decisions, not to hide from them.  Leadership is about making the tough choices and I have chosen to support this legislation to give Americans the opportunity to have a better health care system.”

###
Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement regarding Northrop Grumman’s decision to not bid on the aerial refueling tanker contract:

“While it is unfortunate that the Air Force will not have the KC-X competition we had hoped for, I am pleased to see that we can now move forward with providing our men and women in uniform with a new tanker that will meet their current and future mission requirements.

“With Northrop Grumman’s decision to withdraw from the bidding process, Boeing now stands as the sole company vying to build the next generation of aerial refueling tankers. While I am confident in Boeing’s ability to provide a high quality product; I intend to be diligent in my role as the Chairman of the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee to ensure we are providing our war fighters with the best possible product at the best possible price for the taxpayer.”

###
Today, in response to a letter sent on February 4th, Senators Murray and Cantwell and U.S. Representatives Smith, Reichert and Inslee met with Army Corps officials to receive a briefing on the path forward on a permanent fix to the Howard Hanson Dam. Attending the meeting on behalf of the Corps were General Grisoli, Army Corps Civil Works Commander, Brigadier General McMahon, Northwest Division Commander and Colonel Wright, Seattle District Commander.

After the meeting, the delegation released the following joint statement:


“This evening’s meeting provided an opportunity for our delegation to meet with officials at all levels of the Army Corps to reiterate the importance of this issue and discuss a path forward for a permanent fix for the Howard Hanson Dam.

“We were pleased to hear that the Army Corps has an estimated timeline, including tentative plans for future budgeting and completion of phases, as well as how federal resources would be most effectively utilized.

“In addition, following the meeting, the Army Corps confirmed it would be releasing a more comprehensive and complete issue sheet to local stake holders. It is important that our local partners and officials have the most up to date information moving forward.  

“Over the last year, we have been in constant contact with the Army Corps and other key partners to ensure they have the resources and support necessary to permanently fix the weaknesses with the Howard Hanson Dam. We are committed to restoring the dam’s full operating capacity for the protection of the Green River Valley and will continue to work with the Army Corps to ensure we provide them with what they need to get the job done.”

###