Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1195, Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which provides health care and social service workers the protection they deserve through OSHA standards for responsibility and accountability, and the implementation of workplace violence prevention programs.

“For the last year, essential workers have worked tirelessly on the front lines of this pandemic while the rate of workplace violence against them has continued to rise. Nurses, social workers, and many others in health and social services occupations suffer from disproportionate rates of workplace violence injuries. In 2018, health care workers accounted for nearly three out of four nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses caused by violence.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has the responsibility to protect caregivers from workplace violence, but it does not have the basic tools needed to do so. Currently, there is no enforceable standard that requires employers to implement violence prevention plans that would help reduce workplace violence injuries among health care and social service workers. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act directs OSHA to establish an enforceable workplace standard to protect workers on the job. This bill also requires employers to develop workplace violence prevention programs and identify risks, specify solutions, and require training, reporting, and incident investigations.

“Essential workers who are disproportionately affected by these preventable incidents deserve workplace violence protections, and this bill takes a meaningful step forward in prevention and accountability for these actions.”

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act which would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, help eliminate the gender wage gap, and guarantee women have the right to challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable.

“Nearly sixty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women in America still face profound pay disparity and injustice in the workplace. Full-time working women are paid an average of 82 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work, and for women of color, the disparity is even worse. We must work to ensure women are paid equal wages for equal work.

“Decades of underinvestment and loopholes in policy have led to the failure to properly support women, especially Black, Latina, Native American, and Asian American and Pacific Islander women. The pandemic and recession have only magnified the disproportionate impacts on women and women of color, and now essential workers, those who have lost jobs, caregivers, and more have been bearing the brunt of it. We must close the pay gap to support women, build back the economy, and invest in our children and their future.

“Closing the pay gap is more important than ever, particularly during the pandemic and economic crisis which have worsened economic disparities. By modernizing and strengthening the Equal Pay Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act brings the country one step closer to fixing the existing inequities in our economy and workforce. The bill also enforces accountability for employers and provides effective remedies for workers who are not being paid equal pay for equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act is crucial to help secure economic justice for women and advance progress for families and women in the workforce.”

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reintroduced the No First Use Act to establish in law that the United States policy is to not use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare first.

“The United States should never initiate a nuclear war,” said Chairman Smith. “This bill would strengthen deterrence while reducing the chance of nuclear use due to miscalculation or misunderstanding. Codifying that deterring nuclear use is the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal strengthens U.S. national security and would renew U.S. leadership on nuclear nonproliferation and disbarment.

“Threatening to use nuclear weapons first makes America less safe because it increases the chances of a miscalculation or an accident. There are no winners in a nuclear war, and the US should never start one -- I am glad to reintroduce this bill with Chairman Smith to commit the US to not using nuclear weapons first,” said Senator Warren.

The No First Use Act would strengthen U.S. national security by:

  • Reducing the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding by an adversary during a crisis that could lead to nuclear use
  • Strengthening our deterrence and increasing strategic stability by clarifying our declaratory policy
  • Preserving the U.S. second-strike capability to retaliate against any nuclear attack on the U.S. or its allies

Full text of the bill can be found here.

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President Biden announced that United States troop levels in Afghanistan will reach zero by September 11, 2021.

“I have followed the conflict in Afghanistan for years in my oversight role on the House Armed Services Committee, and after my conversations with President Biden’s national security team I remain convinced that withdrawing our troop presence from Afghanistan is the right policy decision. It is also clear to me that adjusting the timeline was a necessity given that the previous May 1 deadline posed significant logistical challenges. Withdrawing our force too quickly would endanger more than 3,000 U.S. troops and 7,500 partner nation troops and this adjusted timeline will allow the Department of Defense and our allies to bring their troops home safely.

“I also agree with President Biden that we cannot wait for the perfect security conditions before withdrawing – to do so would mean our men and women in uniform would never return home. We must be clear-eyed about the likelihood that the Taliban may increase aggression toward U.S. and coalition troops after May 1, potentially making the mission more difficult, costly, and deadly. 

“We must also be honest about our military presence on the ground, which both helps and hurts. Our presence has helped establish the conditions for an Afghan government and an Afghan security force, but support that requires our troop presence cannot continue in perpetuity. The risks and costs associated with our continued military presence are too high and having U.S. boots on the ground cannot guarantee a stable Afghan government.

“Our goal in the region has always been to prevent transnational terrorists from launching an attack against the United States or our allies, but there are other means to monitor that threat and manage risk and, at this point, the cost and risk of a continued troop presence – both US troops and those of our allies – outweigh the benefits.”

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), sent a letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Dickson urging the agency to immediately move forward with the environmental mitigation pilot grant program established under Section 190 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.

“The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 was signed into law over two years ago, yet the FAA has still not published any formal guidance for the program,” wrote Rep. Smith. “The bill contained numerous provisions requiring research to examine the impact of aviation noise and emissions, including a new environmental mitigation pilot program. According to the law, the program will fund projects that will ‘measurably reduce or mitigate aviation impacts on noise, air quality, or water quality.’

“There are increasing concerns about the impact of aviation noise and emissions on communities surrounding airports, including Sea-Tac Airport in my district,” Rep. Smith continued. “I have heard from numerous local elected officials, university researchers, and community stakeholders who have expressed an interest in applying for grant funds under this program. Moving expeditiously to conduct the pilot program presents an important opportunity for the Department of Transportation and the FAA to demonstrate its commitment to environmental justice, a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.”

Read the full letter here.

###