Press Releases

Today, Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Chairman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after House approval of H.R. 5013, the IMPROVE Acquisition Act of 2010, bipartisan legislation to overhaul the defense acquisition process:

“The existing acquisition process of the Department of Defense takes far too long and often times breeds excessive cost overruns. The process is susceptible to waste, fraud, and abuse. This must change. The current defense acquisition process must be reformed. When the system fails, it fails our troops and it fails the American tax payer.

“The legislation passed by the House today will help ensure that our brave men and women in uniform get the equipment they need to do their job in a more efficient and timely fashion. The legislation will overhaul the defense acquisition process by enacting four common sense reforms: establishing a better accountability system, improving the management of the acquisition workforce, creating an auditable financial management system at DOD, and expanding and strengthening the industrial base.

“These reforms, while not a panacea, are expected to save the taxpayer $135 billion over the next five years. That is a substantial amount of money, and these are substantial reforms. I applaud Congressman Rob Andrews and Congressman Mike Conaway as well as all the member of HASC who worked so hard on this issue over the last year.”

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On Tuesday, April 27 2010, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) received the Goodwill National Policymaker Award for 2010. Smith recently sponsored legislation (H.R. 4299) to help expand the workforce training capacity of organizations like Goodwill.  He has continued to be a strong supporter of local Goodwill initiatives and projects such as the Milgard Work Opportunity Center, which recently opened in Tacoma, WA.

“For over 100 years, Goodwill has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping individuals in need develop the skills necessary to succeed,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “This work is not only inspiring, but it also builds strong communities and families.  They deserve our continued praise and support.”

“Congressman Smith has consistently supported Goodwill’s positions on our key legislative priorities, both on a national and local level,” said Terry Hayes, CEO of the Tacoma Goodwill Industries, who nominated Congressman Smith for the award.

At a reception in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, April 27, Smith was recognized and thanked for his ongoing concern for issues relevant to Goodwill. The reception was part of Goodwill Industries International’s fourth Advocacy Day — “Invest in the American Worker.”

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 180 community-based, independent agencies in the United States, Canada, and 13 other countries. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,400 retail stores and online.

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Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) introduced legislation to aggressively address the soaring unemployment rates within our veteran’s community. The Veterans Employment Assistance Act of 2010 includes a series of proposals that will expand training and education opportunities, enhance the ability to transition technical military skills to the civilian workforce, and improve small business assistance programs for veterans.

 “Our veterans have risked their lives to protect our country and our freedom and they deserve quality, well paying jobs when they return home,” said Congressman Smith. “While this seems like common sense, often times our veterans struggle to find work when they return home. The Veterans Employment Assistance Act takes a comprehensive approach to create new opportunities and expand existing support programs for our veterans.”

The Veterans Employment Assistance Act expands job training, placement services and entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans who may otherwise have fallen through the cracks of existing programs.

The Veterans Employment Act:

  • Establishes an apprenticeship pilot program that would encourage the employment of veterans on military construction projects.
  • Expands the Post-9/11 GI Bill to allow returning veterans to use the benefit for apprenticeship and on-job training programs that will help them acquire the skills they need to find stable, family-wage jobs in their communities.
  • Establishes a Veteran Business Center Program within the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide critical entrepreneurial training and counseling to veterans.
  • Creates pilot programs to test ways transitioning servicemembers can build on the technical skills learned in the military and better market those skills in the civilian workforce.
  • Establishes a Veterans Conservation Corps Grant Program and a Veterans Energy/Green Jobs Grant Program to connect veterans with the green jobs market.

Click HERE for a full section-by-section summary or HERE for the full text of the legislation.

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) and Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-2) introduced legislation today to provide new incentives to locate jobs here in the United States and make America more globally competitive.  

“Over the last few years, millions of hard working Americans have lost their jobs due to the recession,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “While the economy is beginning to show signs of recovery, we must do more to support hardworking Americans. The America Recruits Act will help do just that by encouraging job growth in expanding fields, while also incentivizing companies to create new, economically viable job opportunities in the United States rather than abroad.”

Specifically, the America Recruits Act would create a new program within the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide forgivable loans for up to $10,000 for each new high-tech and manufacturing job relocated from a foreign country to a high unemployment area in the US.  This forgiveness would help defer the costs of setting up the new jobs back in the United States.

Below is more information about the America Recruits Act:

Loans of up to $10,000 per job would be awarded by state, local or regional economic development agencies for use in augmenting their overall incentive package. These agencies would be required to provide at least a 25% match.

Loans would be interest-free, and would be disbursed in two, $5,000 per-job-per-year installments to the employer.

If the firm lives up to its promise to bring back eligible jobs, its initial installment will be forgiven after the first year.  This would make the firm eligible for the second loan installment of $5,000. If the firm retains the eligible jobs for the entire second year of the loan, the second installment will also be forgiven at the end of the second year.

If a loan recipient fails to honor its commitments, it must repay the first installment and would not be eligible to receive the second. If it fails to make the second certification, it must repay both installments.

Loans could not be used to move a job from one state to another. They are designed to provide an incentive to locate jobs in America that currently are located overseas.

It is estimated that the legislation could create nearly 24,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement regarding Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ speech today recognizing the importance of export control reform:

"I am pleased to see that it remains a priority for the Obama Administration to make progress on reforming our export controls, which currently undermine our national security by making it difficult for U.S. companies to compete internationally.

“Restricting U.S. companies from competing internationally threatens to erode our country’s position as a leader in military and dual-use goods and technologies. That in turn hurts the innovation and viability of American industry and may one day make us reliant upon international companies for these vital technologies within our defense apparatus. That undermines our national security.  

"To be clear, we must not pull back all restrictions on military and dual-use exports. What we must do is strike a balance between more stringently protecting information and goods that would otherwise expose our national security and allowing U.S. companies to compete with goods and technologies that are readily available and legally traded on the global market.  That is why I’ve been working in Congress to support the kind of comprehensive reforms announced today by Secretary Gates.  These reforms seek to strike that balance.  They aim to strengthen our export control regime and protect our national security by streamlining the system.

“My hope is that the Administration will continue to both consult Congress and those who use the system as they work to implement reforms and build a better system.  The status quo not only hinders U.S. companies, but creates the real possibility that we may one day have to rely on foreign companies for our defense needs.

“Today’s speech by Secretary Gates is a promising sign that the Administration recognizes the serious problems with our current export control regime and is committed to a solution.”

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