Press Releases

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) offered a resolution to pay tribute to the men and women of the Washington National Guard, including the members of the 81st Brigade Combat Team who recently returned from an overseas deployment in Iraq.

To see Congressman Adam Smith speak on the House floor in honor of the Washington state National Guard click on the image below. To view the full text of the resolution click
here.



Recovery.gov
Today, Congressman Adam Smith, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, Congressman Norm Dicks, Congressman Jim McDermott, and Congressman Dave Reichert sent a letter to Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp, requesting that he personally visit Howard Hanson Dam and the Green River Valley to gain a firsthand perspective of the critical need for both long- and short-term flood mitigation solutions.

In addition to requesting a visit from U.S. Army Corps leadership, the Members also wrote in the letter: “We are very appreciative of the $3.4 million that was granted in response to the Advance Measures request….The situation on the ground can change rapidly and we insist you preposition or identify ready sources of all necessary materials and equipment to respond as vigorously as possible to changing conditions.  We continue to encourage the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to work diligently to find additional resources to help protect the valley against increased risks of flooding and be ready to aggressively flood fight”

Members of the Congressional delegation are sending this letter to make sure that the increased risk of flooding and the Howard Hanson Dam repairs remain at the top of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ priority list.  The delegation also wants to ensure that the Corps’ continues to work closely with the state and local entities to mitigate the impacts on the Green River Valley and assist in ongoing flood protection.

Full text of the letter is below:

Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp
U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000


Dear Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp,

We write to express our continued concern about the effectiveness of Howard Hanson Dam and the increased flood risk to the Green River Valley. Additionally, we respectfully request that you personally visit Howard Hanson Dam and the Green River Valley to gain a firsthand perspective of the critical need for both long- and short-term flood mitigation solutions.
 
We are very appreciative of the $3.4 million that was granted in response to the Advance Measures request submitted by Colonel Anthony Wright, the Commander of the Seattle District on September 12.  This funding will help to provide sand bags and technical assistance for approximately 8.2 miles of affected levees along the Green River and increase the flood protection of those most vulnerable areas.  The assistance and support of Colonel Wright and the Seattle District, who have been working closely with elected officials and emergency managers from all affected levels of government, continues to be appreciated.
    
The situation on the ground can change rapidly and we insist you preposition or identify ready sources of all necessary materials and equipment to respond as vigorously as possible to changing conditions.  We continue to encourage the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to work diligently to find additional resources to help protect the valley against increased risks of flooding and be ready to aggressively flood fight. As the Green River Valley communities will continue to face an increased flood risk over the next several years, we ask that you move swiftly to design, engineer, and fund the necessary repairs for Howard Hanson Dam.  We appreciate the USACE's efforts to quickly implement interim repairs and study permanent solutions, and ask that you work with us to ensure this work can continue at a rapid pace.

Thank you for your attention to this request.  We look forward to your response.




Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) voted in support of the Conference Report to H.R. 2647, the fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  This legislation supports our men and women in uniform and their families, equips our troops with the tools they needs to fight current and future conflicts, and includes provisions to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the contracting process. Smith was also instrumental in securing more than $35 million to fund important projects in Washington state.

“This bill places our policies and priorities exactly where they belong – on our troops and their families,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “Program after program, this bill ensures that we are honoring the sacrifice of our troops and their families.  It provides a 3.4 % pay raise, strengthens military health care and family support programs, and authorizes numerous other programs that will assist military families.”

As Chair of the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, Congressman Smith plays an influential role in shaping our nations policies in combating violent extremists and ensuring our troops have the funding and resources they need to do their jobs and keep America safe.

“As Chairman, I worked to ensure my subcommittee’s portion of the bill focused on some of our nation’s most important challenges; the fight against violent extremists, the development and deployment of innovative technology, and defending the homeland from catastrophic unconventional attacks. The bill provides our Special Operations Forces with more of the necessary equipment, authorities, and support required to complete their missions. It also authorizes vital science and technology research programs, and fully funds our efforts to defend against chemical and biological threats. ”
 
The NDAA authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 2010 military activities including the Department of Defense, the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DoE), military construction projects, and other defense and military personnel activities related to U.S. national security efforts.

The bill also authorizes funding for projects and programs in Washington state requested by Congressman Smith including:

  • $9,000,000 – Military Construction to construct a joint base access road between Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.
  • $5,800,000 – University of Washington to expand the use of health care simulation technologies used by the Department of Defense.
  • $5,000,000 – Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to conduct clinical trials on a second generation malaria vaccine.
  • $4,000,000 – Lockheed Martin Aculight to develop a technology to address hearing loss in military personnel.
  • $3,000,000 – FATE Therapeutics to develop a therapy and cure for hearing loss in military personnel and veterans.
  • $2,500,000 – Tacoma Trauma Trust for trauma training of military medical personnel at local civilian hospitals.
  • $2,500,000 – Agilent Technologies to develop a next generation system to detect and jam enemy communications, IEDs, and other electronic warfare threats.
  • $1,800,000 – Sagem Morpho to develop a portable device that will be used by operators in the field to search, capture, and identity latent fingerprints.
  • $1,000,000 – Quest Integrated to develop new inspection methods and procedures using magneto-optic imaging for F-15s that will eliminate the need to disassemble part of the aircraft.
  • $1,000,000 -- Blood Cell Storage, Inc. to develop a system to allow military blood banks to monitor the viability of multiple platelet storage bags.

The Conference Report must now be approved by the Senate before the President can sign it into law.


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Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement after voting in favor of the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform & Transparency Act:

“As a member of Congress who represents thousands of military veterans and their families, I fully understand the obligation we have to provide them with the benefits and treatment they deserve. This bill helps live up to that obligation.

“For the last 22 fiscal years, 19 VA Appropriations bills have failed to be enacted prior to the start of the fiscal year.  These delays have inhibited the ability of the Department of Veterans Affairs to delivery high quality care to our veterans. To address this issue, this legislation will require that the President’s budget request, and appropriations bills passed by Congress, provide funding for medical related accounts at the VA for the coming fiscal year, and one year in advance. This will ensure the VA receives adequate resources in a predictable manner and have the time to plan how to deliver the best care to an increasing number of veterans.

“By providing advanced appropriations for VA healthcare, we can assure that our nation’s veterans are not harmed by the political debates that may occur and delay the passage of appropriations bills.

“I remain committed to our veterans and will continue to work diligently to provide them with the best and the most efficient benefits available.”


Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) voted in support of the 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, legislation that will help move America toward energy independence, protect the environment and rebuild our infrastructure.  The bill also provides important funding for energy and water related projects in Washington state. Smith was able to secure funding for a number of important local projects.

“This bill will help to restore, protect and maintain our local eco-systems and waterways. It will also help to spur innovation in our energy sector and modernize our infrastructure,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Additionally, because of the increased flooding risks demonstrated by the storms earlier this year, I worked to ensure that this bill includes funds to address flooding mitigation and related habitat restoration along the Puyallup River. While I was disappointed to see that the amount appropriated for the Puyallup River is less than originally requested, I am still pleased to see that our state will receive a significant amount of money to address these issues along this river.”

The Energy and Water Appropriations Act invests in new technologies that will create the next generation of vehicles with improved fuel efficiency, better and cleaner engines and batteries. It also helps modernize our electric grid by investing in “smart grid” technology that will ensure efficient and reliable delivery of electricity to American homes and businesses.

The bill increases funds for weatherization grants to help struggling families improve their homes’ energy efficiency and save hundreds of dollars annually in electricity and heating costs.

The bill provides funding for projects and programs in the 9th Congressional District and Washington state requested by Congressman Smith including:

  • $1,000,000 Washington State Biofuels Industry Development at University of Washington. This project will allow the Center for Biofuels at the University of Washington to invest in equipment and infrastructure upgrades needed to develop new technologies for converting biomass into fuels.
  • $368,000 Lower Puyallup River.  This funding would be used to determine alternatives for addressing flood and related habitat issues of the Lower Puyallup River in Pierce County, WA.  
  • $2,456,000 Duwamish and Green River Restoration. Funding will complete the design and construction of restoration projects within the Duwamish/Green Ecosystem Restoration Program.  
  • $378,000 Mud Mountain Dam Fish Passage. This funding will help implement restorations projects in the Puget Sound that are consistent with fish recovery efforts and benefit the inland marine waters in northwest Washington state.
  • $2,904,000 Mud Mountain. This funding will support the existing diversion dam and trap and haul facilities, which ensures threatened Puget Sound Chinook salmon are able to be passed to spawning habitat above Mud Mountain Dam.  
  • $341,000 Puget Sound Nearshore Marine Habitat Restoration This project will identify and help implement the most cost-effective habitat restoration projects in the near shore, estuary and marine areas of Puget Sound by evaluating the factors that are causing habitat decline and pollution in the Puget Sound Basin; formulating, evaluating and screening potential solutions to these problems; and recommending a series of actions and projects.  
  • $100,000 Puget Sound and Adjacent Waters Restoration This funding will be used to help  implement project restoration projects in the Puget Sound that are based on the designs developed by non-federal stakeholders, and consult on regional priorities consistent with fish recovery efforts that will benefit the inland marine waters in northwest Washington state.
  • $1,000,000 Power Grid Reliability and Security This funding will be used for research on problems of and potential solutions for power grid instability, insecurity, and lack of capacity, and this research will help develop effective smart grid technology.

The 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill is one of 12 annual appropriations bills that fund Federal Government programs and services.  For a full summary of the bill visit the House Appropriations Committee.

The bill must now be approved by the Senate before it can be sent to the President to be signed in to law.