Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement applauding the passage of the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2009, which passed the House today by a vote of 234-185.  

“Pakistan is an ally and essential strategic partner in our fight against violent extremism as well as our goals for preventing narcotics trafficking and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Yet, Pakistan faces tremendous internal and external destabilizing pressures and needs our assistance. That is why I am pleased to support legislation that provides the critical resources necessary to bolster the Pakistani government and develop a more constructive, accountable relationship with the United States.”

“This bill provides funding and support to train the Pakistani military in the crucial counterinsurgency capabilities needed to defeat violent extremist groups within or near its borders. It also provides funding to support economic, social and democratic development by strengthening democratic institutions, reinforcing the judicial system, developing infrastructure, spurring jobs creation, expanding public education and providing aid to refugees. This funding is vital to undermine the efforts of violent extremists, strengthen domestic support for the Pakistani government and move the country toward stability. Additionally, the legislation includes accountability provisions to ensure that Pakistan is using our security assistance in a manner consistent with U.S. national security interests.

“Further, the House-passed bill includes provisions from legislation that I have advocated for to establish Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These ROZs, where non-trade-sensitive exports would be permitted to enter the U.S. duty-free, will deter al-Qaeda and Taliban recruitment efforts by offering economic alternatives to joining the insurgency.  

“President Zadari cannot win the battle against violent extremism through military means alone. This is an essential approach that strikes a balance between security and development assistance to ensure that the Pakistani government has the tools, knowledge and funding necessary to push back recent advancements by violent extremists and provide a strong, effective government for the Pakistani people.

 
###

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) recently introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to improve America’s freight and transportation infrastructure to ensure that it remains competitive and supportive of commerce and economic growth.                              

“As our economy continues to grow and evolve, we must ensure that our country’s infrastructure expands and adapts to meet our economy’s growing needs,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “With commerce and trade expected to become an even greater percentage of our economy, the demand placed on our national infrastructure will only continue to grow. There is a clear demand that requires us to respond to these challenges and this bill will begin to move us in the right direction.”

The National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Act, H.R. 2707, enables our nation to make critical improvements to the U.S. freight mobility network by providing much-needed federal support to vital surface transportation infrastructure projects.  
This legislation generates revenue through a minimal one-percent user fee on the cost of multimodal surface freight transport.  In turn, the funds raised are reinvested back into improving the freight network, including both highways and railways, through a national competitive grant program at the Department of Transportation.

 H.R. 2707 increases the efficiency of freight movement, reduces congestion and delays, assists manufacturing and on-demand product distribution, lessens our nation’s environmental impact, and strengthens our economy.  

 “As Congress takes up surface transportation legislation this year,” Smith added, “I sincerely hope to see federal policy increasingly focus on the freight mobility infrastructure needs that will fuel our businesses and economy for years to come.”

 

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement after his vote in favor of H.R. 2410, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011:

“In recent years U.S. foreign policy has neglected two of our country’s greatest strengths - diplomacy and development. The Foreign Affairs Authorization bill passed by the House today reinvigorates our efforts and promotes a more balanced U.S. foreign policy that will bolster our national security efforts and help to restore American’s image abroad.

“H.R. 2410 enhances our diplomacy and development efforts by authorizing the hiring of 1,500 new Foreign Service officers, an additional 700 hires at the U.S. Agency for International Development and by doubling the number of Peace Corps volunteers. The bill also supports peacekeeping efforts in Darfur, strengthens arms control and nonproliferation capabilities, improves oversight of U.S. security assistance and funds a variety of other vitally important foreign affairs programs.

“As Chair of the House Armed Services subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities and a former member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I understand that America cannot rely on the military alone to achieve our foreign policy objectives.  Robust diplomacy and effective development play a critical role in our national security strategy. For far too long these soft power tools have been underutilized and overlooked and I am pleased to see a renewed focus on a smarter, more comprehensive approach to our national security by elevating diplomacy and development.”
 


Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement in honor of the 65th anniversary of D-Day this Saturday:  

Sixty-five years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied forces launched the assault on the beaches of Normandy that would begin the liberation of Europe from the Nazi occupation. We will forever be indebted to the individuals who stormed the beaches that day. These brave individuals cast aside their own well being to ensure not only that the people of Europe live free of Nazi oppression, but that the ideals of freedom would live on to this day. This weekend, let us honor their sacrifice and courage. And, let us also honor the sacrifice of the brave men and women who have followed in their foot steps by serving in the armed forces to protect freedom and defeat tyranny across the globe.


 

###
Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement regarding President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Egypt today:

“The President’s trip to the Middle East this week and speech in Cairo today highlight the Administration’s new direction in U.S. relations with the Middle East. Since taking office in January, the President and his Administration have reached out to the Middle East in a way that stresses mutual respect and common interests. This new face of American diplomacy is a welcomed and much needed change in approach.

 “Many of America’s critical national security goals – from addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear ambitions to defeating Al-Qaeda and pushing back against extremism – will be well-served by this active diplomatic leadership. The new face of American diplomacy will undermine the message of violent extremist who seek to paint the United States as an enemy of the Arab world, not a partner.

 “I applaud the President for his efforts to reach out to the Arab world in a respectful and constructive manner. We face many difficult challenges in the Middle East, and the Administration is mindful of this fact. The road to solving these problems starts with respectful, constructive dialogue.”

 
###