Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in opposition to legislation that would add another year of sequestration to mandatory spending in exchange for repealing cost of living adjustments for retired working age members of the Armed Services:

“There are a number of serious problems with this legislation.  This bill has profound implications in a number of different areas, and yet we did not have time to consider the legislation adequately to figure out the long-term impacts it will have.    

“Through adding another year of sequestration, this legislation takes from folks who rely on Medicare and other mandatory programs, and from readiness accounts that prepare and train our troops.  This is unacceptable.  These are challenging issues that we need to address, but Congress keeps refusing to make difficult choices demanded of us. We are simply robbing one group of deserving people to pay for helping another group of deserving people.  This is just a shell game, and it is irresponsible.

“By repealing the COLA provision that was just agreed to a month ago in this very body, we are forcing the Department of Defense to focus on personnel costs. Personnel costs continue to make up an increasingly large portion of the defense budget and it is squeezing out other portions, forcing cuts to readiness and procurement, which means that troops will not have the equipment and resources necessary to train and be prepared.  This could lead to a hollow force that is not trained to fight the fights that we ask of them.  Again, we are robbing one part of the Pentagon to pay for another.

“As far as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) or “Doc fix” portion of this bill is concerned, I think we need to fix it.  Cuts to physicians’ Medicare reimbursement rates would negatively impact health care access for Medicare patients. I strongly support paying for a SGR fix, but this bill pays for it in the exact wrong way.  I am willing to raise taxes and cut spending in other areas to do so, but paying for it through sequestration’s indiscriminate cuts to mandatory programs is irresponsible and unacceptable.”
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after he voted to lift the debt ceiling until March 2015:

"I am pleased that the House passed legislation today to lift the debt limit until March 2015 with bipartisan support.  Raising the debt limit allows the U.S. government to pay the bills we have already incurred, and in no way increases spending.  I am encouraged that House Republican leadership offered a clean debt limit vote that wasn’t tied to any partisan policies.  Further, by removing the potential of a destabilizing and destructive default on our obligations, lifting the debt limit allows us the focus more on advancing policies that grow our economy, create jobs, and expand economic opportunity.”

Congressman Smith released the following statement after voting against the farm bill due to Supplemental and Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cuts:

“Although I was encouraged by the bipartisan work that went into finalizing the farm bill, I voted against this bill because the cuts it would make to SNAP would reduce essential nutrition support for 850,000 households across the country.  The farm bill would cut $8.6 billion from the program over the next 10 years, with a disproportionate amount of cuts to Washington State.
“While in the 9th District, I have visited with multiple nutrition assistance organizations and community leaders, and seen firsthand how thousands of our state’s children, veterans, seniors, disabled, and hard-working families rely on SNAP every day.  This program is as important now as it has ever been.  With our economy continuing to recover and many Americans still searching for employment, I could not support legislation that takes essential nutrition support away from people who desperately need it.”

Congressman Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after President Obama gave the 2014 State of the Union:

"Tonight, the President laid out some great ideas about how to reduce income inequality, grow the economy, and ensure every American has equal economic opportunities. 

"We need to raise the minimum wage.  Over the last few decades, cost of living has continued to rise while the minimum wage has been stagnant.  As a result, working full-time at minimum wage is no longer enough to keep families out of poverty.  My father, who worked as a baggage handler for United Airlines decades ago, made more money than someone doing the same job today.

"We need to ensure that hard-working Americans earn enough to support their families and make ends meet.  I have supported federal and local initiatives to increase the minimum wage, and was pleased to see the President institute an executive order that will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for those working on new federal contracts.  Now it's Congress' turn.

"We also need to support Americans with policies that get everyone who needs a job back to work.  After the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, many Americans have been squeezed out of the economy because they can't find a job or have one that doesn't provide enough to pay the bills. 

"We need supports like unemployment insurance, job training, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Head Start, and other programs that enable hard-working Americans to provide for their families while still struggling to recover from the economic downturn. 

 "As we focus on these critical issues, there is reason for optimism.  The economy continues its recovery and has created 8 million jobs in less than 4 years. As this growth continues, however, we need to ensure that all Americans are sharing in this prosperity. Additionally, Congress has come together in bipartisan fashion to pass an appropriations bill that I am hopeful will spur further bipartisanship and stability in our government.

"I look forward to working with the President, his administration, and all my colleagues to advance the goals the President laid out tonight of reducing income inequality, promoting equal economic opportunities, and growing the economy."

Congressman Smith released the following statement in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

"As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., we remember Dr. King's dream to provide every American with equal rights and opportunities.  Although many barriers stood in his way, he spent his life working to achieve this goal and inspired millions more to do so as well.  Dr. King's efforts continue to make our nation better today.  

"We still have a lot of work to do to achieve Dr. King's goal.  Income inequality continues to increase and millions of people still have unequal access to a good education and employment opportunities.  On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we honor his legacy by recognizing that we all must do our part to improve our communities and continue the fight for equality."