Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement following House passage of the National Apprenticeship Act reauthorization which would invest in increasing access to Registered Apprenticeships (RAs), youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships during a time of record unemployment left by the wake of the pandemic.

“Our nation faces one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, and the economic hardships and inequities impacting jobless workers and families are continuing to worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 10 million people out of work, now is the time to invest in the most successful workforce training programs in the country. Registered Apprenticeships provide paid, on-the-job learning opportunities and a pathway to stable, good-paying jobs which in turn will accelerate our economic recovery.

“The National Apprenticeship Act would invest more than $3.5 billion over five years to create nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities in existing and emerging industry sectors. The bill expands access to apprenticeships making it easier to participate in high-quality programs, strengthening workers’ pathways to lifelong careers. Workers will have more opportunities with the expansion of apprenticeships in new occupations and sectors, ensuring that there are new pathways in emerging in-demand fields. 

“Additionally, I successfully included an amendment co-introduced with my colleague Rep. Langevin, that would enable pre-apprenticeship programs to offer stipends to pre-apprentices to assist with the financial costs of participating in these programs such as housing, childcare, transportation, and more. This financial assistance will remove those barriers so workers can more easily obtain the initial credentials needed to enter an apprenticeship program and will ensure both pre-apprenticeship programs and apprenticeship programs are more widely accessible for individuals with barriers to employment.

“As workers and families continue to struggle with economic hardships amidst the pandemic, we must do all we can to help people obtain the education and skills needed to succeed. In addition to creating pathways to the middle class and beyond, the National Apprenticeship Act reauthorization would invest in this proven workforce system with a paid pathway to high-quality employment opportunities, help struggling workers through this crisis, and build an economic recovery for a better future.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Q-Calif.) refused to take action against known conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-Ga.).

“Rep. Greene’s hateful, contemptuous conspiracy peddling seems to know no bounds. From calling for the murder of Speaker Pelosi and suggesting former President Obama should be lynched, her rhetoric is violent, specific, and dangerous. Rep. Greene isn’t just hateful, she also has proven to be remarkably ignorant. She claims two historic American tragedies – the 9/11 terrorist attack, which is etched into our collective memory, and the Sandy Hook shooting that resulted in the murder of 20 children ages six and seven – simply did not happen because she has been fooled by QAnon. 

“Rep. Greene’s hateful, virulent behavior is simply unacceptable, and she does not deserve the honor of sitting on any House committees.

“While the behavior of one individual is deeply disturbing, her party’s near unanimous capitulation is even more alarming. Senate Minority Leader McConnell was right to call Rep. Greene a ‘cancer to the party.’ Meanwhile, Leader McCarthy has done nothing – seemingly too afraid to lead – hoping he can instead ignore his way out of this problem.

“By pretending he doesn’t know who QAnon is and refusing to acknowledge the credible domestic terrorist threat posed by this group of conspiracy theorists, Leader McCarthy has proven he is not worthy of a position of leadership in the United States Congress. To feign ignorance when it comes to QAnon is equivalent to an elected leader saying they don’t know who Al Qaeda or ISIS is, completely ignoring the threat they pose to our nation. It’s both dumb and dangerous.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) introduced the Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-around Support Services Fund Act of 2021 that would allow pre-apprenticeship programs to use grant funds under the legislation to provide stipends for participants to cover certain out-of-pocket costs such as housing, transportation, and childcare.

“Societal inequities are being further exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession – we must do more to help people obtain the education and skills they need to succeed and build a career to provide for themselves and their families,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “Some of the biggest barriers people face when entering and completing these programs are the costs of living expenses and fees associated with the programs themselves. Rep. Langevin and I developed this proposal after hearing these concerns from pre-apprenticeship programs in our respective districts. The bill would help pre-apprenticeship programs remove cost barriers for students to obtain initial credentials needed to enroll in a Registered Apprenticeship and put them on a pathway to quality, high-paying jobs.”

“One of the best ways we can ensure the success of participants in pre-apprenticeship programs is by providing financial support for out-of-pocket costs that too often pose as an obstacle to completion,” said Rep. Langevin, co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus. “In the wake of the pandemic, it is even more important that we strengthen pipelines to rewarding careers for hard-working Americans and help students recover from lost work-based learning time. I am pleased to once again join Chairman Smith to underscore the importance of ‘earn to learn’ opportunities and bolster pre-apprenticeship programs that will help us meet the growing demand for skilled workers.”

The Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-around Support Services Fund Act of 2021 would establish a new grant program at the Department of Labor which would provide specific funding for pre-apprenticeship programs to use for direct financial support to pre-apprentices. Unlike most apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs are typically unable to provide wages or other income support during the program. By allowing pre-apprenticeship programs to put grant funds towards stipends, it will help ensure equitable access and increased retention and completion of these programs.

To prevent further spread of the virus, many facilities have had to close and thus limited access to hands-on experiences and training. Pre-apprenticeships will help students recover from lost learning, especially those who have not been able to engage in in-person Career Technical Education (CTE) lab time due to the pandemic. Pre-apprenticeships will help bridge the knowledge gap and provide extra support to make up for lost learning time.

Text of the Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-around Support Services Fund Act of 2021 can be found here.

Statement of Support:

Shoshana Wineburg, MSW, Director of Public Policy & Communications, YouthCare:

“YouthCare is thrilled to support Congressman Smith’s bill to provide stipends for young people engaged in pre-apprenticeship programs. YouthCare is one of the largest organizations in Washington State serving youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. We know that safe housing is key to stability, but access to education and employment are key to maintaining that stability over time. Pre-apprenticeships play a significant role in helping young people build employment skills and create pathways to careers. Unfortunately, those pathways are often derailed because of cost barriers associated with housing, transportation, or childcare—which is exactly why this amendment is so important and why we’re so excited to support it.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement today after President Biden signed executive orders to address the climate crisis at home and abroad while creating good-paying union jobs, building sustainable infrastructure, and building an equitable future with clean energy.

“President Biden is delivering on his promise to prioritize addressing the existential threat climate change poses to Americans and across the world. The Executive Orders will build on key actions the President took on day one including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and rolling back harmful standards implemented by the Trump administration in order to better protect our air, water, public lands, and communities.

“The President’s Executive Order to leverage the federal government’s purchasing power to purchase zero-emission vehicles and carbon pollution-free electricity is enormously important to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create good-paying clean energy jobs here in the U.S., and spur wider adoption of electric vehicles. In addition, the Biden Administration put a pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters and directs the Secretary of the Interior to identify steps that can be taken to double renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030.

“Today’s Executive Actions reaffirm the central role that equity and justice must play in addressing climate change. Adverse impacts of the climate crisis disproportionately affect Black, Brown, and disadvantaged communities. The order creates a government-wide Justice40 Initiative that will aim to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of relevant investments to disadvantaged communities. The order makes environmental justice a priority across the federal government, establishing a new Interagency Council and Advisory Council on the issue and directing federal agencies to develop programs and policies that address the disproportionate environmental and health impacts on disadvantaged communities.

“While there is still much work to be done, including Congressional action to provide robust investments in a clean energy economy, the steps being taken by the Biden-Harris administration clearly demonstrate their commitment to treating the climate crisis with the scale and intersectional approach we need. I look forward to building on these executive actions and working with my colleagues to better address the climate crisis.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), today issued the following joint statement after the Biden administration announced a principal agreement with Russia to extend the New START Treaty.
 
“We commend the Biden administration on reaching agreement with Russia to extend the New START Treaty. Despite Russia's wide ranging malign activities, ensuring limits on and insight into Russia's nuclear arsenal is unquestionably in the national security interest of the United States,” the members said. “We can deter Russian aggression and secure our interests through arms control at the same time. As our military leaders have long stated, New START provides stability and predictability to the Department of Defense in its highest priority: Deterring the use of nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies. This is an important first step toward a more sane nuclear policy.”
 
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