Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement on the Senate HELP Committee marking up the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this week:

“I thank Senators Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander for working together to offer a bipartisan ESEA reauthorizing bill that would finally get rid of No Child Left Behind.  Everyone agrees that NCLB is deeply-flawed.  Its policies have placed unreasonable standards on students, teachers, and administrators, and has led to award-winning schools to be labeled as failing.  Nowhere is this more clear than in Washington State, where our loss of the NCLB waiver has resulted in nearly every school in Washington being labeled as failing, when clearly this is not the case.  
“I understand that Congress’s failure to pass ESEA reauthorization has put Washington State schools, teachers, and students in an impossible situation, and I will do everything I can to change that.  Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander’s bill is a step forward in changing our broken policy.  But a lot of work still remains to ensure that all of our students, regardless of where they live, are receiving a high-quality education.  I hope their bipartisan proposal will spark further debate in the House of Representatives on how to reauthorize ESEA and get rid of NCLB.”


Earlier this week, Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue announced a proposed agreement to move forward with construction on East Link light rail line.  Congressman Smith released the following statement on the agreement:

“I applaud Sound Transit, the City of Bellevue, King County and other stakeholders for working together to form an agreement regarding the East Link light rail.  This agreement marks a major step towards building a more efficient and effective regional transit system that will benefit the regional economy.  As this agreement is publicly discussed and debated, I stand ready to assist in any way I can.”
Congressman Smith has been actively involved in this process.  This engagement included a stakeholder roundtable hosted by the Congressman last fall, where attendees discussed challenges and opportunities within the corridor.  Leaders from local government, the private sector, non-profits and neighborhood groups were in attendance.  The Congressman and his staff remained engaged with stakeholders and will closely follow developments as they happen. 


Today, 181 Members of Congress filed an Amicus Brief in support of the Obama Administration’s appeal of a Texas judge's ruling that temporarily blocks the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents and Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Both of these programs are part of the President's executive actions on immigration.

“Last November, the President took legal and necessary executive action to reform our broken immigration system." said Congressman Adam Smith. “Today, I joined my colleagues in Congress in signing this brief so the President’s actions can bring millions of families and children who are part of our communities and live in constant fear of deportation out of the shadows."

The Amicus Brief expresses the opinions of Members of Congress that the deferred action programs comport with Congressional will and the President has the authority to exercise discretion when enforcing immigration laws. 

Full text of the amicus brief can be found here.

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement after a framework to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was announced: 

For decades, Iran advanced towards a nuclear weapon. In the face of unprecedented sanctions, that stopped, negotiations began and we now have an opportunity to roll back Iran’s nuclear program. 

No one ever said it would be easy. Negotiators have worked tirelessly under intense pressure and scrutiny for more than a year. The framework announced today is a positive step in the right direction. We should be encouraged, but not satisfied. 

Far more work remains to be done as negotiators hash out the specifics outlined in the framework, but today the world took a big step towards preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As we move toward June, I encourage the international community to seize this historic opportunity and pressure the Iranian regime to accept a final deal that verifiably prevents Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. That is the goal we should all be focused on achieving. And that deal must not be based on trust - it must be based on a robust verification regime. 

Preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon remains our top national security priority in the Middle East. Iran continues to be a bad actor throughout the region – fostering unrest in Yemen, Lebanon, meddling in Syria and threatening the very existence of Israel. Iran is a clear threat to our allies and interests even without a nuclear weapon. That does not change with this deal and Iran will remain under significant economic pressure for a variety of issues outside of its nuclear program. Cooperation on the nuclear program will not heal all ills for Iran.

This deal has the potential to cut off all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon in a verifiable way. Opponents should seek to guide the framework towards a positive outcome, not attempt to derail a final comprehensive deal. No final deal will be perfect, but the objective is to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon without going to war. In the months ahead, I will follow negotiations closely and encourage a peaceful and positive outcome. 

Washington, D.C. - Last week, Congressman Adam Smith wrote the House Appropriations Committee a letter expressing strong support for the President’s request of  $87.7 million in Economic Support Funds to promote stability and economic development in Somalia.  Somalia has made meaningful economic and security gains over the last few years and these funds would be targeted towards building government institutions and strengthening civic capacity.  This is a key, necessary step to securing the flow of remittances to Somalia in the long-term.

“The need to invest in Somalia’s development has been made clear by the recent situation affecting remittance flows from the U.S. to the country,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “Although an immediate solution is needed, we should also simultaneously support the people of Somalia in their efforts to form legitimate, durable institutions.”

On February 6th, Merchants Bank closed the accounts of all Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) to which it provided banking services. This has left Somali Americans in the 9th District and across the country without any secure means to send money back to their families.  With U.S. remittances to Somalia making up a large part of the Somalian economy and being the only source of income for many families, this situation threatens the fragile progress made by Somalia.

“While I continue to work with the National Security Council and other federal agencies to find an immediate solution, it is also critical that we look for long-term, sustainable solutions.  This investment in Economic Support Funds will help Somalia build a stronger central bank and the robust regulatory institutions necessary to ensure that Somalia can participate in the international banking system in the future."

Congressman Smith’s letter was co-signed by Congressman Keith Ellison and 9 other members.  
To view the letter, click here.