Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith announced today that he will push an amendment to the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act to remove the restrictions on transferring individuals from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) into the United States for trial or detention. Current law prohibits the United States from transferring detainees into the United States and from constructing or modifying facilities to house them for the purposes of detention or imprisonment, which prevents the President from closing the facility.

“The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is an international eyesore that undermines our national security objectives, damages our credibility with regard to human rights and international law, and wastes taxpayer dollars,” said Smith. “As the cost for the facility continues to increase, so too does the need to close it. But, we cannot effectively close this facility until the congressionally mandated restrictions are removed.”

Smith’s amendment will strike two provisions in the bill that would perpetuate congressionally imposed road blocks to closing GTMO. The two sections Smith will aim to remove are:

Section 1032—Prohibition on Use of Funds to Construct or Modify Facilities in the United States to House Detainees Transferred from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Section 1033—Prohibition on the Use of Funds for the Transfer or Release of Individuals Detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

?Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement recognizing the life and legacy of Billy Frank, Jr:

“Our state lost a great leader today when Billy Frank Jr. passed away.  Billy never stopped fighting for the rights of Washington State’s native people and the health of our natural resources. His life and legacy of work will continue through the ages.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all of those who were touched by Billy Frank, Jr."
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement recognizing the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:
“During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it is important that all Americans take time to reflect on the incredible contributions the Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community has made to our nation.  As workers helping to spur our economy, as members of our military defending our nation, and as civic leaders in society, the AAPI community is a critical part of our history.  I am honored to represent a district with effective civil rights and advocacy organizations like the Japanese America Citizens League and the Asian Counseling and Referral Services, and museums such as the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. They honor our past, inform our present, and provide hope for our future. They are examples of the tremendous impact Asian Pacific Americans have had on our society. I stand proudly with millions across our country in celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.”
Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Washington’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver will be removed at the end of the 2014 school year:
“The news that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is ending the NCLB waiver for Washington State is disappointing.  NCLB is a broken policy that negatively impacts our schools’ ability to succeed, and it needs to be changed.  Yet, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass a long-term reauthorization, forcing state education systems to operate under a temporary year to year waiver process.  This creates uncertainty for our schools, and now in Washington State, a loss of our NCLB waiver and restrictions on federal funds to address student achievement. Providing a quality education to students is absolutely critical, and the U.S. Congress needs to immediately work to reauthorize our education law and end the deeply flawed requirements of NCLB.”
Seattle, WA - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) revoked the charter of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church (hosts of Troop 98) after they refused to dismiss openly gay scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath. This comes three weeks after the BSA ordered Mr. McGrath to be dismissed as scoutmaster because of his sexual orientation. Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement:

“I am very disappointed by the decision to revoke the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church’s charter and the BSA’s current policy to dismiss openly gay scoutmasters.  I commend their recent decision to allow LGBT scouts to participate openly, but remain very concerned that dismissing scout leaders for serving openly goes against BSA values of mutual respect and inclusion of others.”

Congressman Smith has sent letters to the Chief Seattle Council of BSA Rob McKenna and the President of BSA Robert Gates stressing his support for Mr. McGrath’s service as scoutmaster and his concern with the decision made by BSA.  The letter was cosigned by Rep. Derek Kilmer, Rep. Suzan DelBene, and Rep. Jim McDermott.