Press Releases

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) today issued the following statement on H.R. 3, a bill to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.  The bill passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 253 to 174.

“More than 70 percent of Americans support stem cell research.  House Democrats promised to expand funding for this potentially life-saving and life-changing science.  I’m pleased to report that in the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress, we made good on our promise. 

“Local institutions like the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington could benefit from passage of this bill, so I hope we can get it to the President’s desk quickly.  President Bush should listen to the will of the people and sign it without delay.”
 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) made the following statement concerning his vote against the Budget Reconciliation:

“Last month, I voted against the House version of the budget reconciliation bill.  At that time, I pledged to work with my colleagues to craft legislation that will balance our budget, while also maintaining access to health care and education for all Americans.  The conference report before the House remains deeply flawed and fails to meet the goals that I laid out in November.

This bill cuts an estimated $39.7 billion over five years from vital services like Medicaid, food stamps, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs which directly help disadvantaged Americans. This legislation also adds new fees and higher interest rates for student loans, harming those who are seeking to gain an education.  These students are the next generation of innovators and it is through their achievements that our nation will remain competitive in the global marketplace.  This is unacceptable. While I strongly believe in fiscal discipline, we should not balance the budget on the backs of those Americans that need help the most. This simply is not consistent with the priorities and values of the American people. 

The majority’s claims that this measure will help balance the budget are hypocritical at best.  This is reckless policymaking from a party that once claimed to believe in fiscal responsibility, and it comes at a time when the national debt exceeds $8 trillion and the annual cost of interest on the debt has increased to over $300 billion a year.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement tonight concerning his vote against the Fiscal Year 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill:

“Our servicemen and women are serving overseas and, as such, it’s critically important that their government provides them all the support they need: logistically, financially and by letting them know we honor their sacrifice,” said Smith. “I have consistently supported Defense Appropriations bills because, each year, this measure provides the funding to ensure our military has the best tools and equipment possible.  As an elected official, I take seriously my responsibility to make sure our troops have all the resources they need.

But tonight, the Republican majority, through a backroom deal, brought forward a defense bill that includes an unrelated and controversial provision to allow drilling in one of the last pristine natural reserves in our country: the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The contentious matter of whether or not to begin drilling in Alaska has no place in a bill that funds the Department of Defense. The needs of our troops serving in combat should never be subject to such cynical politics. I am disappointed that the majority is willing to play games with this important legislation and, for this reason, I could not support this deeply flawed bill.  I voted against this bill in hopes that it would be sent back to conference committee where controversial provisions would be stripped out and then a clean bill could be sent to the floor expeditiously.  I would then vote for that clean bill. 

Each year, funds for the Department of Defense must be both authorized and appropriated in separate pieces of legislation.  While I voted against the appropriations measure, I was proud to support this year’s FY06 Defense Authorization bill, which also passed the House.  I will continue my efforts on the House Armed Services Committee to advocate for the best interests of those serving our nation.”

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) was pleased to vote for the fiscal year 2006 Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. The bill authorizes a total of $441.5 billion for programs in the bill which include all the activities of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the nuclear weapons activities of the Department of Energy, among others. The bill also includes an additional $50 billion authorization for a “bridge fund” to fund the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for six months, until a further formal supplemental request for these costs can be considered next year.

The language against prisoner abuse by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was included in the legislation. The language prohibits all U.S. personnel, including agents of the Central Intelligence Agency and other civilians, from engaging in torture, or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of foreign detainees by the government.

“As a conferee that helped shape the conference report, I was pleased with the McCain language in the report that sends a clear signal to the rest of the world that the United States is unequivocally stating that torture and mistreatment do not work and that they are not representative of American ideals or values. This is a critically important provision in the legislation.”

The Conference Report also adopts a Sense of the Congress that says 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. It also creates quarterly reporting requirements until all combat brigades have been redeployed from Iraq.

Provisions for our servicemen and women were also included in the report. Some of these provisions include a 3.1% pay raise for all uniformed service members and for the first time ever, all reservists who agree to continue service in the Selected Reserves will have an opportunity, depending on their status, to buy into a government subsidized TRICARE Standard health care program for themselves and their families. Finally, the conference report increases the bonuses for enlistment and reenlistment and raises the eligible enlistment age to 42.

“This bill is a positive step forward in providing for the needs of our brave servicemen and women serving at home and around the world,” said Smith. “They are the ones who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and ensuring that we take of them, as well as their families, is the least we can do.”

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) was pleased that H.R. 3402, which reauthorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) programs for fiscal years 2006-2009, passed the House of Representatives. The bill would authorize approximately $24.4 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and $3.4 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service, which is charged with protecting federal courthouses and our domestic airliners, among other duties. Another $3.9 billion is authorized for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

I am proud to announce that the DOJ bill includes an important provision that creates the Crystal Judson Domestic Violence Protocol Program. This program would provide funding to law enforcement agencies, nonprofit nongovernmental victim services providers and State, tribal, and local governments for the development and implementation of training for local victim domestic violence service providers. This program would also fund victim service personnel, to be known as “Crystal Judson Victim Advocates,” which provide support services and advocacy for victims of domestic violence committed by law enforcement personnel.

“I am extremely pleased that this bill creates and authorizes the Crystal Judson Domestic Violence Protocol Program,” said Smith. “Domestic violence knows no boundaries and it’s important that victims receive the help and support they need. We can all learn from the tragic and unnecessary death of Crystal Judson that anyone who commits acts of domestic violence must be held accountable and that, as a nation, we must do better to prevent violence and protect our citizens.”