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.

 
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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.


 

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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.”

 
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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) reintroduced the Global Poverty Act yesterday, legislation that would require the Administration to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to combat and reduce global poverty.

“Global poverty is one of the most pressing moral challenges we face today,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Yet, it’s more than just a moral problem that billions of people around the world are struggling to survive.  It is also in our national security interests that we reduce global poverty. Populations that struggle in extreme poverty are more likely to become mired in destabilizing conflicts, or worse, become havens or recruiting grounds for terrorist organizations.  This is an issue that we cannot afford to neglect.”

“U.S. foreign policy must be enhanced and better coordinated in the fight against global poverty. While the United States continues to significantly invest in reducing poverty worldwide, we do not have a comprehensive strategy that measures and guides our progress. We have committed to the goal of reducing poverty as a country though various programs and organizations, but we are not making adequate progress due to a lack of a unified strategy.  This bill will require the Administration to establish the benchmarks necessary to achieve significant poverty reduction and keep us on track toward that goal.  It will lead to more accountability and more effective efforts.  ”

The Global Poverty Act:

  • Declares it official U.S. policy to promote the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the U.N. Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme global poverty in half by 2015.
  • Requires the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to carry out that policy. 
  • Includes guidelines for what the strategy should include - from aid, trade, and debt relief, to working with the international community, businesses and NGOs, to ensuring environmental sustainability. 
  • Requires that the President’s strategy include specific and measurable goals, efforts to be undertaken, benchmarks, and timetables. 
  • Requires the President to report back to Congress on progress made in the implementation of the global poverty strategy.
In September of 2007, the Global Poverty Act of 2007 passed the House of Representatives. The bill then passed the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in February of 2008, but was not scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor before the end of the 110th Congress.

 

 

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