Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) voted in support of legislation today that will allow disabled military retirees to concurrently receive both their retired pay from the Department of Defense (DoD) and their disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  H.R. 2990, the Disabled Military Retiree Relief Act of 2009, passed the House today by a vote of 404-0.

“Our veterans have dedicated their lives to our country, and they deserve to receive the benefits they have earned,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “While this is a step in the right direction, we must go further.  Expanding concurrent receipt to all military retirees remains a priority for me in Congress.  In the months ahead, I will continue working with my colleagues to achieve this goal.”

This legislation temporarily allows Chapter 61 retirees who are rated 100% disabled, 100% disabled by reason of being unemployable, or 90% disabled to receive full concurrent receipt of their DoD and VA benefits from January 1, 2010 until September 30, 2010.

Due to required budget offsets, finding funds to permanently expand concurrent receipt to all military retirees has been extremely difficult.  However, this bill contains the framework to extend the eligibility period and expand eligibility to those Chapter 61 retirees with a disability rating of less than 90% in the future.  Congress will utilize this framework to work toward a permanent solution in the months ahead.

The bill must now be approved by the Senate before it can be signed into law by the President
Smith Support Investments to Improve Homeland Security

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) voted in support of the Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which includes funding for critical border, transit and port security, as well as aid for first responders.  

“These funds are vitally important to securing our borders and protecting our critical infrastructure here at home,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “These funds will not only help secure our country against those who seek to do us harm, but they will also ensure that our first responders have the resources and tools to respond should an emergency occur.”

Some key provisions of the bill include:

Northern Border Security:

  • Increased Investment in Surveillance Systems: The bill supports ongoing efforts to secure the 4,000 miles of the sparsely populated, often remote Northern Border. It also provides $40 million to continue investments in mobile and remote video surveillance systems along the U.S.-Canada border.

Port Security:

  • Port Security Grants:  Provides $250 million for port security grants to help U.S. ports meet the security requirements established by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.
  • Developing Systems for the Screening of Cargo Containers:  Provides $804 million for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Offices to develop new and improved systems to screen cargo containers for weapons and nuclear materials.  
  • Overseas Cargo Container Security:  Provides $162 million to continue implementation of its efforts to strengthen operations at overseas ports to monitor and target cargo containers, and to develop better technology to accomplish this mission.      

Rail and Transit Security

  • Rail and Transit Security Grants:  Provides $250 million for rail and transit security grants to protect critical transit infrastructure, including rail and ferry systems, in high-threat areas.

First Responder Grants

  • State Homeland Security Grants:  Provides $950 million for State Homeland Security grants to help meet the needs of state and local first responders, including hiring, training and equipping emergency personnel to respond to terrorist attacks and catastrophic incidents.   
  • Firefighter Assistance Grants:  Provides $380 million in grants to fund equipment for firefighters.

The Homeland Security Appropriations bill is one of 12 annual appropriations bills that fund Federal Government programs and services.  For a full summary of the Homeland Security Appropriations 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.

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Today, Congressman Smith (WA-09) voted in support of the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which includes funding for several critical law enforcement, public safety and justice assistance projects in the 9th District.

"These funds are important to ensure that our local law enforcement officials and crime prevention agencies have the resources and support they need to keep our communities safe," said Congressman Adam Smith. "These funds will support critical local programs that prevent drug abuse, crime, and violence and aid victims and affected communities."

Smith helped secure funding in the House bill for a number of local programs including:

  • $150,000 – Valley Cities Public Safety Wireless Regional Broadband Network. This funding will be used to construct a fiber and wireless broadband network to streamline communications throughout the Valley Cities including Auburn, Renton, Kent, Tukwila, Algona, and Pacific.
  • $200,000 – Lacy Records Management System. This funding will be used to purchase hardware and software components for a new records management system to be used by law enforcement agencies in Thurston County.
  • $1,500,000 – Washington State Meth Initiative. This funding will be used to continue investigations of clandestine meth labs, treatment programs for those addicted to methamphetamine, and mobilize education and prevention efforts.
  • $400,000 – Puyallup Justice Center. This funding will be used to purchase security and communications equipment for the Puyallup Tribe's detention center.
  • $500,000 – Pierce County Regional Gang Prevention (Safe Streets). This funding will be used to continue efforts for prevention and intervention entities to reach out to youth and families impacted by gangs.

The Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill is one of 12 annual bipartisan appropriations bills that funds vital Federal Government programs and services. This particular appropriations bill makes investments in law enforcement, science, innovation and other essential government priorities. For a full summary of the CJS 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.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) today expressed concern over recent statements by European government officials that Airbus might receive further launch aid subsidies for the development of the Airbus A350.

“I am concerned by recent press reports indicating that France, Germany, the UK and Spain are seriously considering providing upwards of $5 billion dollars in launch aid to Airbus for the development of the A-350, especially since the World Trade Organization is poised to render a decision on the legality of this type of subsidy in the coming weeks.

“I firmly agree with the U.S. Trade Representative that further European government support for Airbus would be a ‘major step in the wrong direction.’  

“Airbus is a profitable company that should compete on a level playing field. They should invest their own cash and commercially borrowed funds in new products and services, not receive government subsidies to fund a significant portion of their development.  This is in stark contrast to the market realities that Boeing faces every day.  This assistance would allow Airbus to unfairly compete with American industry and American workers.

"I hope that the European countries involved will decide that this is not the best course of action."

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) voted in support of H.R. 2647, the fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes appropriations for essential U.S. national security efforts. As chairman of the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, Smith also played a primary role in crafting this legislation. The bill was reported out of the House Armed Services Committee by a vote of 61-0.

“This is a critically important bill, which ensures our brave men and women in harms way have the resources they need,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “It supports our troops and their families, ensures our military readiness, and focuses on our strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This bill is vitally important to our national security and I am proud of the support it provides to our troops and their efforts to keep us safe.”

The bill 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.

Congressman Smith played a central role in shaping the portion of NDAA which relates to his work as Chair of the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. This includes some of the Defense Department’s most important challenges:  the fight against violent extremists, their allies and their ideology; development and deployment of innovative technology in new battlefields; and defending the homeland from catastrophic unconventional attacks.

Some of the key provisions within Smith jurisdiction include:

  • Authorization of $8.958 billion for Special Operations Command, including $308.4 million to cover all unfunded requirements;
  • Authorization of up to $30 million, an increase of $10 million over the President’s budget request, to improve the capacity and capabilities of the NATO Special Operations Coordination Center;
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on the planning for and execution of public diplomacy, including a description of all of the activities, metrics, and an analysis of how these activities are coordinated.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to have the military departments and defense agencies establish a process for addressing hardware or software vulnerabilities to defense IT systems identified during an information assurance vulnerability assessment;
  • Authorizes the Secretary to conduct a pilot demonstration of an alternative acquisition process for rapidly acquiring information technology capabilities;
  • Encourages the Department to continue to invest in developing and demonstrating core technologies for hybrid air vehicles, including closer coordination and cooperation with the Air Force and Transportation Command.
The bill must be approved by the Full House of Representatives and the Senate before the President can sign it into law.