Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the shooting at Fort Hood Thursday, November 5, 2009. A Memorial Ceremony to honor the victims of the shooting will be held tomorrow.

“The recent shooting at Fort Hood is a grave tragedy. Our brave men and women selflessly put themselves in harms way to protect us and should not have to worry about incidences of violence taking place while on American soil. They face enough danger while they are abroad.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the fallen and injured soldiers and their families. As we grieve for the lost soldiers and pray for the recovery of the injured, we should also reaffirm our broader commitment to ensuring that our military personnel and their families receive the benefits and support they deserve.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I will play an active role in evaluating the incident and help to make policy adjustments to reduce the likelihood of a similar event occurring in the future.”



Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) offered an amendment to H.R. 3854, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act, to expand health information technology loan guarantees to home health care agencies.

“Our home health care agencies provide an invaluable service and we must provide them with the support they need to improve the quality of care for our seniors,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “These businesses provide efficient and effective services for patients at home rather than in more expensive facilities, saving money and preventing unnecessary hospital and emergency room visits. Expanding access to capital for these agencies will help to improve their delivery of care and reduce health care costs for our seniors.”

A key provision of the bill includes a small business health information technology financing program that will create loan guarantees for up to 90 percent of the amount of a loan made to qualified, eligible professionals to be used for the acquisition and installation of health information technology equipment and programs.

Initially, the program excluded home care agencies. Smith’s amendment addressed this omission by expanding the definition of an “eligible professional” under H.R. 3854 to include home health care agencies, making them eligible to receive loan guarantees for health information technology.

Overall, this bipartisan bill will comprehensively expand the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) lending programs to spur job creation and meet the needs of American small business. It will help a range of small businesses including fledgling start-ups, established firms seeking to go public, veteran-owned businesses, rural and urban businesses in need, small manufacturers, health care providers, and entrepreneurs advancing American clean energy. The increased loan limits and guarantees included in this legislation are critical to supporting small business endeavors that bring about jobs and local economic benefits. This legislation will also complement the recently announced Treasury program that will make TARP funds available to local community banks in order to provide the capital necessary to increase lending to small businesses. For more information on this bill click
here.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement regarding Boeing’s announcement today to locate the second production line for the 787 outside of Washington state:

“I am extremely disappointed that Boeing decided to locate the second production line for the 787 outside of Washington state. This development will have a negative impact on Washington and its workers and will send a substantial number of jobs and economic activity away from the state.

“Throughout the years Washington state and its workers have provided Boeing with the incentives, support, and high-quality workers that have allowed it to become one of the world’s leading aerospace companies. Given this history and all that Washington state has to offer, it is extremely disappointing to see them push aside our workers and develop the second plant outside of the state.

“I hope that this decision does not represent a larger shift in the company’s approach to doing business and that future Boeing decisions are based on the uniquely strong business environment and highly skilled, quality workers in Washington state.

“I will continue to work with leaders in the congressional delegation and around the state to encourage economic growth in Washington and support workers and businesses as they strive to be industry leaders.”


As the overall economy continues to show signs of life, our local small businesses continue to struggle to recover and access capital from our community banks. It is imperative that they receive the support they need in order to grow and add jobs. While many of the Federal Government’s efforts over the last year have helped stabilize our economy and financial sectors, they have not gone far enough.

With these concerns in mind, the President has asked Congress to increase the maximum size of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship 7(a) loans from $2 million to $5 million. Additionally, he has requested an increase in the size limit on the SBA’s 504 loans, which primarily are used for real estate, to $5 million from $2 million for standard borrowers, and to $5.5 million from $4 million for manufacturers. There is a strong need for an increase in these loans and Congress must respond to assist our local economies recover.

Additionally, to help make additional lending more feasible for our community banks – which provide most of the loans to our small businesses – the plan will lower the dividend rate for banks with less than $1 billion in assets from 5 percent to 3 percent. This will help our local banks support our small businesses.

I am pleased to see that the President has acted to support these critical institutions in our communities and I will continue to make supporting our small businesses and community banks a top priority.


Congressman Adam Smith and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Congressmen Dave Reichert (WA-08) have called on the Departments of Commerce and Interior to provide critical weather forecasting and river monitoring resources from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to address the flood threat posed by structural damage to the Howard Hanson Dam, in a letter sent yesterday afternoon.

The representatives urged Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to provide additional resources that may improve the accuracy of weather models and provide better data to local officials and the Corps as they work to minimize the threat of flooding.  

“In the event of a flood, it is vitally important that we make decisive, data driven decisions to mobilize our resources in the most effective and timely way possible,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “In order to do this, we must have the most accurate and up-to-date information at our disposal. These additional tools will help provide that information and allow authorities to make more informed decisions and better coordinate their efforts to prevent and mitigate flooding damage.”

“This is about utilizing all available tools in order to take every possible precaution,” said Senator Murray. “This additional monitoring equipment can play an important role in providing the early and accurate warnings we’ll need to best protect homes, businesses, and residents in the event of a flood in the Green River Valley.”

“Washington State experiences some of the worst weather in the nation, yet it has the worst weather radar coverage of any U.S. coastline,” said Senator Cantwell. “While I have been able to secure funding for a new Doppler Radar on the Washington Coast the additional tools we are requesting today could help Army Corps of Engineers better manage water flows on the Green River valley.  Given that homes, businesses, and communities are at stake, we need to do everything possible to help deal with this winter’s storm season.”

“Flood season is rapidly approaching, and the Corps needs every possible tool at its disposal to avert disaster,” Reichert said. “We are all working together to protect our citizens and their property, and having the most advanced radar systems, precipitation gauges, and technologically advanced infrastructure possible will assist us in mitigating a flood event that could wreak havoc throughout our region.”

Specifically, the representatives requested the following: 

 Additional Gauges With Telemetry – That the U.S. Geological Survey install additional precipitation gauges and gauges to measure flows into the Howard Hanson Dam in order to assist the Corps in deciding when and how much water to release;

Relocations of Mobile Doppler Weather Radar Systems – That the National Weather Service relocate the Experimental Atmospheric River System (ARO) to Washington State this fall to enhance weather forecasting capabilities that inform Corps decisions about operations at the Howard Hanson Dam; and,

Modeling and Computer Programming Staff and Technology – Additional staffing resources and technology would be beneficial in the event of a storm at regional National Weather Service (NWS) and Northwest River Forecasting Center (NWRFC) to update and fine tune forecasting models for the Green River Basin. The representatives have requested these agencies shift additional resources to the Northwest this fall to assist the Corps in making critical operational decisions related to the dam.