Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced agreements on the disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) program:

“I am glad to see that WSDOT took steps to ensure compliance with the DBE program standards.  Over the last year, I have had an ongoing dialogue with community stakeholders on this issue, and have received a lot of feedback.  As this project continues, I will continue to monitor the situation  and remain in close contact with all involved.”

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement regarding reports of a hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma:

“I am very concerned with the reported hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma. Over the last week, I have heard from many constituents that are relatives, friends, and advocates of those detained at the NWDC, who still have many unanswered questions.  On Tuesday, my office initiated a conversation with ICE and the NWDC to directly express my concerns as well as relay questions my constituents and I have about what is going on and what is being done to fix the situation.  Although we received some answers, we are still waiting for a formal response on many questions we submitted with Rep. DelBene’s office, including the bond process, length of detention, and nutrition standards. My staff and I will continue to push for answers and closely monitor the situation at the detention center.”

Today, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-MI) introduced the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Act of 2014 to provide critical job training and worker assistance for Americans who have lost their jobs due to increased competition in the global marketplace.  The U.S. manufacturing, service, farming, and fishing sectors have been hit hard with declines in employment, and American workers need support and training to secure new employment.  At the beginning of this year, TAA expired for thousands of service industry workers affected by trade, as well as for workers losing their jobs due to imports from countries including China.  If Congress doesn’t reauthorize TAA by the end of the year, the entire program will expire.  
"Our nation's economy and success depend on our workers,” said Rep. Adam Smith.   “As we continue to recover from the economic crisis and adapt to a rapidly changing economy, it is critical that we update and improve the TAA program to help workers transition.  In the face of greater global competition, we need to provide training, income support, and healthcare to help displaced workers adjust and enhance their skills for new jobs and careers."
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Act would ensure that TAA eligibility is available to workers and firms in the services and manufacturing sectors, workers whose firms shift production to (or are adversely affected by imports from) FTA and non-FTA countries, U.S. suppliers of component parts, public sector workers, and farmers and fishermen.  The bill also invests in American workers by restoring comprehensive levels of benefits in areas such as job training, case management, income support, and job search and relocation allowances that are critical to workers adversely affected by increased global competition.  
Mr. Levin added, “It is urgent that we reinstate the full TAA program for dislocated workers who are building new careers for themselves.  As we seek to fully benefit from globalization we must maintain structures that allow us to address its challenges for the workers and firms  who are prepared to compete when they are given the tools to do so.”  

Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Charles Rangel agreed.  He noted that “we need to continue to give dislocated workers the option of improving their skills, or learning new ones, as part of our commitment to making sure the American worker benefits from globalization.”

Congress created the TAA program in 1962 in response to the loss of jobs among hard-working Americans as a result of increasing global competition as well as to promote American competitiveness.  TAA benefits have several components: training assistance, income support while in training, and job search and relocation assistance.  The program assists workers dislocated by the elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade.  Additional programs assist farmers, fishermen, and firms with the development and implementation of business plans to enable them to regain a competitive foothold.

Rep. Derek Kilmer added, “As someone with over a decade of experience in economic development, I know that job training is a key catalyst for job growth.  Our workers and employers have to compete with those of countries around the world. That’s why we need to ensure access to training that can protect and produce quality jobs. TAA helps to do just that, which is why I’m going to do everything I can to build support for this bill in the House.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s FY2015 budget:
“As we continue to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, income inequality continues to rise and many hard-working Americans aren’t  sharing in opportunities for economic growth. The budget President Obama laid out today expands economic opportunities for all Americans through policies that extend emergency unemployment insurance, expand the earned income tax credit, raise the minimum wage, and make commitments to education and job training.  Additionally, by investing in innovation, education, infrastructure, and calling for advancing comprehensive immigration reform, this budget will create jobs and strengthen the middle class.  The President’s budget does this while continuing to reduce the deficit.  As the budget advances through the legislative process, I will work with my colleagues towards passing an FY2015 budget that promotes economic opportunity, reduces income inequality, and creates jobs.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement today after Congressman Doc Hastings announced he would not seek re-election to Congress this year:
“For nearly 20 years, Doc Hastings has served the people of Washington State. He has been a very influential Member of Congress serving as the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and on the House Ethics Committee.  I have enjoyed working with Doc over the years. I thank him for his service, and I wish him and his family all the best in the future.”