Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the Army’s announcement that Joint Base Lewis-McChord has been selected to be a Net Zero pilot installation for water consumption and waste production:

“Today’s announcement confirms that Joint Base Lewis-McChord is leading the charge to reduce the environmental impact of all U.S. military installations. The Army received over 100 applications from 60 installations to be a part of the sustainability program, ultimately selecting only six pilot installations in each of the energy, water, and waste categories to strive towards Net Zero by the year 2020. 

“The goal of Net Zero is not only good for the region’s ecosystem, but increasing the U.S. military’s operational efficiency will aid missions in areas of the world where energy and water supply are in question. It will also lessen our dependence on foreign oil, making America more energy-secure. Greater environmental sustainability would boost quality of life on-base and improve relationships with surrounding communities. All of this is financially prudent and will save taxpayer dollars in the long-run. 

“I applaud the men and women of Joint Base Lewis-McChord for aggressively pursuing the goal of becoming Net Zero in water use and waste production while still upholding their vital mission of training and deploying combat-ready troops.”

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Background courtesy of the Army Energy Program:

· A  Net ZERO Installation applies an integrated approach to management of energy, water, and waste to capture and commercialize the resource value and/or enhance the ecological productivity of land, water, and air.

· A Net Zero WATER Installation limits the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality over the course of a year.

· A Net Zero WASTE Installation reduces, reuses, and recovers waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year.

Rep. Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk reported that outstanding issues around the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement have been resolved, and the Administration is ready to move forward:

“Today we are one step closer to the approval of a trade agreement with Panama. I support this agreement, which improves a key global relationship and brings economic opportunity to the United States and Washington’s South Sound.

“I am pleased to see Panama has taken the necessary steps to resolve outstanding issues, including exchanging important tax and banking information through the U.S.-Panama Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA). These changes improve on the enforceable labor and environmental provisions already included in the agreement. The Panama FTA will create jobs in the U.S., ensure fairness and accountability for American exports, while also solidifying our strategic relationship with a long-time American ally in Latin America.

“The South Sound’s export-driven economy, including the Port of Tacoma, will benefit as this agreement moves forward and more U.S. goods reach the growing market of Panamanian consumers.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the passage of the Department of Defense and Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act, which included a provision allotting $250 million in funding for schools on military installations:

“The creation of this grant program signals our abiding commitment to military families and the educational opportunities vital to their children’s future.

“$250 million dollars will be made available for improvements to public schools on military installations nationwide. This funding measure means the Clover Park School District has the opportunity to secure millions of dollars for renovations and new construction of elementary and secondary schools on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“The population of JBLM has undergone rapid growth since 2003, when then-Fort Lewis supported 19,000 military members. Today the Joint Base includes over 43,000 military personnel, and the Army has recently announced a plan to add 1,400 soldiers as part of a new Combat Aviation Brigade.

“As more families are welcomed to the JBLM community, schools must adjust to greater class sizes and infrastructure challenges. Going forward, I will work with the Joint Base as well as state and local officials to address pressing educational needs both on and off base.

“As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I intend to continue working on these issues as we begin consideration of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement following President Obama’s presentation of a new budget framework:

"America must prioritize deficit reduction and get back on the road to responsible spending. To achieve this, we need to start an honest conversation about the stark numbers we face in tackling our massive debt and deficits.

"Last week, Rep. Paul Ryan introduced an FY 2012 budget proposal based on smoke-and-mirrors assumptions of the past: Ryan’s plan shrinks revenue by cutting taxes for the highest earners, slashes assistance for working class Americans, fails to address defense spending, and assumes an unprecedented unemployment level below 4%.

"Today, the President offered an alternative fiscal plan. I was happy to see the Administration placing more aspects of federal spending on the table, and ensuring that high-earners pay their fair share. However, it is clear the discussion has not gone far enough. While I applaud President Obama and Rep. Ryan for signaling the start of an open discussion about the budget, the American people need to hear specifics about the stark numbers we face in reconciling the money we spend with the amount we take in.

"The math is unrelenting: The U.S. spent $3.5 trillion last year, while taking in only $2.2 trillion in revenue, resulting in a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit in 2010. Balancing our budget immediately would mean a 33% reduction in spending, including massive cuts to entitlements and the defense budget that could destabilize job creation, economic recovery, and national security.

"Going forward, we must focus on two major strategic points. First, every piece of the budget should be scrutinized for possible cuts. As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I recognize that a comprehensive approach to reducing the debt includes examining defense spending.

"Second, we are not realistically going to be able to balance the federal budget this year or next without catastrophic effects on the economy. We can and must implement a plan to gradually reduce the deficit, moving us in the direction of responsibly balancing our spending and revenue.

"Given the size and scope of our fiscal problem, an honest conversation is necessary to produce a realistic path to fixing our budget and creating jobs without jeopardizing America’s economic recovery."

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the announcement by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden that Seattle’s Museum of Flight was not selected to house a retired space shuttle:

“I am disappointed to learn that Washington’s Museum of Flight was not chosen to display one of the retired Shuttle Orbiters. While the competition was fierce, our state’s place in the history of aviation, long support for the aeronautics industry, and commitment to the future of scientific research and innovation would have made an ideal home for a NASA shuttle.

“Despite this unsatisfactory decision, I am confident that the Museum of Flight will continue to educate and inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists and astronauts of Washington State.

“A team of community members, businesses, schools, and elected officials worked together to create a world-class bid, and everyone involved should be commended for their efforts to bring the shuttle to the Museum of Flight.”