Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement after the President signed the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act into law:

“I am pleased to see that the President signed this important piece of legislation into law. Overall, this bill prioritizes our troops deployed in Afghanistan, and around the world, by ensuring that they have the tools and resources they need to do their job and protect national security. It also provides our troops and their families with the benefits and support that they deserve, including a 1.6 percent pay increase.

“It continues to make counterterrorism a priority and makes significant investments in all branches of our Armed Services, ensuring that our military is prepared to meet the threats of today as well as in the future. It supports our troops as they continue to fight overseas, invests in new technologies for the future, and protects vital military equipment production capacity here at home.

“I share many of the President’s concerns with this bill, but I also feel confident that we made adequate adjustments to mitigate many of those concerns. Moving forward, I will continue to work to make sure that the President is not needlessly restricted in his ability to take steps to protect us from attacks while at the same time making sure that our basic civil rights are protected.

“In drafting the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the House Armed Services Committee worked diligently to strengthen our support for the troops and their families, and to address some of the bills shortfalls. I believe we made progress, but more work remains to be done and I look forward to working with my colleagues as well as the Administration moving forward.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after the Department of Justice announced a $335 million settlement with Countrywide Financial Corporation for discriminatory lending practices:

“I'm pleased the Justice Department reached an agreement that will compensate thousands of African-American and Hispanic borrowers who were subjugated to Countrywide’s discriminatory policies, but I'm still deeply concerned that not enough people in the financial sector have been held accountable for their role in the sub prime mortgage crisis.

“The collapse of our housing market is widely accepted to be one of, if not the, key factor in our economic crisis and the actions of Countrywide and its subsidiaries who unfairly steered thousands of minority homeowners to purchase riskier subprime mortgages significantly increased its impact. Providing recompense to the victims of these unfair and unethical lending practices is a step forward in bringing the people who committed these crimes to justice but more action must be taken to prosecute those who allowed this type of predatory activity to occur.

“This year, Washington State had the 15th-highest foreclosure rate in the country and creating and enforcing the policies that prevent this from happening again is one of my highest priorities. I will continue to monitor these cases and make sure we do what is needed to protect individuals and their families from irresponsible business practices that jeopardize their quality of life and that compromise our country’s economic stability.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), made the following statement following House passage of the omnibus bill funding the federal government through FY 2012:

“Congress should be able to move forward in deciding how our nation will fund its priorities on schedule, without waiting until the last minute and continually risking a government shutdown. I’m glad that after almost three months of delays we were able to pass a bipartisan, long-term spending bill that eliminates uncertainty about federal employees’ jobs and the many important services Americans rely on the federal government to provide.

“While this bill funds the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2012, it is not perfect. We continue to face serious economic challenges and are required to make tough decisions that will help get our country back on track. However, this bill does ensure our military personnel have the resources needed to maintain national security and provides our agencies the funding needed to continue the functions that keep our country up and running.

“I hope in the new legislative year we’ll carry forward the bipartisan compromise we saw in crafting and passing this legislation and focus on addressing the many important challenges facing our nation.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement after Secretary Arne Duncan and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Washington State was awarded a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant that will provide up to $60 million to fund its early childhood education programs:

“I congratulate leaders from the Washington State Department of Early Learning on this incredible achievement. A high-quality early childhood education is the foundation for a successful future and is paramount to building stronger communities and a strong economy. This was a competitive process, and to be chosen from 35 applicants around the country speaks to the quality of their ideas and commitment to the students they serve.

“I applaud Washington’s education leaders on this accomplishment and look forward to the implementation of these programs and working towards their success.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the conclusion of the Iraq War:

“I am pleased to see that President Obama has followed through on his pledge to responsibly redeploy United States combat forces from Iraq by the end of the year. Over the last 8 years, our troops have done a tremendous job protecting U.S. national security and supporting the Iraqi people as they seek to establish a stable, prosperous nation. I want to applaud our troops for their hard work and thank them for their sacrifice. 

“The United States is concluding a long, difficult conflict in Iraq and this announcement initiates a new chapter in U.S-Iraqi relations. Iraq is a newly emerging democracy, and there will be tough times ahead, but we will continue to work with our partners in the region and through our diplomatic resources to support the Iraqi people as they transition from a period of conflict, to a period of peace.

“Over the last few years, we have witnessed the removal of multiple terrorist leaders, including Osama Bin Laden and the disposal of a tyrant in Libya. The concluding of this conflict continues to build on the Administration’s foreign policy successes and I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration as we work to ensure U.S. national security. ”