Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) made the following statement today in honoring Veteran’s Day:

“Today, we honor the men and women who have served in the United States military from the days of the America Revolution to today, when our servicemen and women are engaged around the world. We have the best-trained, most dedicated military force in the world.  Each day they demonstrate that they are the very best and brightest of our nation. I'm proud to represent so many servicemembers and their families.

I honor the sacrifice that so many veterans have made for the freedoms we enjoy today. As the members of our military continue to stand in harm’s way to defend liberty and protect the innocent, I remain humbled by their service and commitment to our values. As we celebrate this Veteran’s Day, let us remember those in the past who defended America and her interests abroad and those who work today to protect our freedom and our democracy.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) is pleased to announce that he helped secure more than $4 million in federal funds from the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce Appropriations bill that recently passed the House of Representatives. Of note, Smith received $100,000 for the Valley Cities Regional Wireless Network and $750,000 for the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) for the DNA Stranger Rape Pilot Program.

“The Valley cities of Auburn, Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Algona, Pacific, Puyallup, Sumner and Fife comprise one of the most dynamic regions in Washington State,” said Smith. “It’s exciting that these cities are coming together to create a wireless network that will allow local law enforcement access to better and quicker information while in the field, and increasing public safety for all of the communities in the Valley. I’m pleased that the money I was able to secure will help fund a feasibility study to determine how a regional wireless network could be installed, operated and maintained to benefit the region.” 

Smith also discussed the $750,000 that was received for the WASPC’S “DNA Stranger Rape Pilot Program.”

“As a former prosecutor, I know that we must do all we can to prevent violent crime in our region and this program will help solve and prevent stranger rapes in our state by requiring DNA testing to be completed and compared to DNA databases within 30 days of a stranger rape occurring,” said Smith. “The funds I was able to secure will be used to help run the pilot program for two years. I hope that state and local governments decide this is an effective program and will then continue to fund it.”

Other earmarks include the following:

* $1.5 Million for the World Vision Youth Outreach Workers, World Vision US

* $100,000 the Pierce County Youth Assessment Center, A Chance To Change

* $250,000 for the Gang Intervention Program, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

* $2 million - WA State Meth Initiative

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement today concerning, H. Res. 505, Requesting the President of the United States and directing the Secretary of State to provide to the House of Representatives certain documents in their possession relating to the White House Iraq Group (WHIG):

“Once again, the Republicans in control of the U.S. House of Representatives bowed to partisan politics and rejected a resolution that would have provided Congress with key information about whether the White House was truthful with the American people in making their case to go to war in Iraq. This resolution would compel the White House to turn over to Congress all documents related to the WHIG, providing Members with an opportunity to examine important aspects of prewar intelligence.  It is essential that we examine this critically important matter. Congress has a Constitutional responsibility to conduct rigorous oversight of the Administration.  We must ask tough questions of our Administration. Yet, instead of an open and honest debate, the Republicans cutoff proceedings, silencing the opportunity for Members from both sides of the aisle to have their voices heard on this issue.

The Bush Administration’s case for war has been riddled with gaping holes, which has done lasting damage to our standing in the world and has undermined the confidence the American people have in their government. As Members of Congress, we have an obligation to examine all the facts leading up to the decision to go to war. Only then can we begin to rebuild the trust with the American people.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) in an op-ed in today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer called for an investigation into the pre-Iraq War intelligence and the information involving the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which was comprised of key White House leaders including Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Karl Rove and Condoleezza Rice. 

Smith believes that, “Congress has a clear role to play [in the investigation], because [special prosecutor Patrick] Fitzgerald’s investigation seeks only to punish criminal action and does not deal with the much broader issue of whether the White House deliberately misled the American people. Congress, both in its responsibility to exercise oversight of federal government action and because we received much of the potentially incorrect information being put out by the Administration on Iraq, has the duty of ensuring open and honest communication between the White House and Congress.”

Smith has co-sponsored a Congressional resolution of inquiry with U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), “calling for the White House to turn over to Congress all information involving the WHIG … They were tasked to make the case for going to war in Iraq in an effort to convince Congress and the American people to support that policy.”

Smith goes onto note, “White House assertions that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq had to be part of a nuclear weapons program, that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Niger and that we could not afford to let ‘the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud’ all appear to have come from the WHIG. We need to know how they got that information – which we now know to be false – and whether they deliberately misrepresented the facts.”

Smith concludes that, “the holes that have appeared in the case [the Bush Administration made for going to war in Iraq] have done deep and lasting damage to our standing in the world and have undermined the confidence the American people have in their government. Congress can begin to repair this damage by getting to the bottom of the Administration’s actions during the build up to the Iraq war. Anything less does not fulfill our responsibility to the American people.”

The complete text of the op-ed published in today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is below:

# # #

Congress must investigate lies, leaks

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

By ADAM SMITH
GUEST COLUMNIST

Did the Bush White House, in a deliberate and organized manner, misrepresent the truth to Congress, the American people and the world in making its case for the military invasion of Iraq? This is a critical question that demands a clear answer. To this point, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to investigate all the facts. That must change.

Last week, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted in the ongoing investigation by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. The alleged actions of Libby, and perhaps Bush senior adviser Karl Rove and others in the White House, to leak classified information in this case appear to have been aimed at discrediting, or threatening, Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson. By CIA request, Wilson had gone to Niger to examine the Bush administration's charge that Saddam Hussein had tried to acquire uranium for a nuclear weapon. Convinced this was not true, Wilson had written an Op-Ed in The New York Times debunking the claim.

Congress has a clear role to play in this issue, because Fitzgerald's investigation seeks only to punish criminal action and does not deal with the much broader issue of whether the White House deliberately misled the American people. Congress, both in its responsibility to exercise oversight of federal government action and because we received much of the potentially incorrect information being put out by the administration on Iraq, has the duty of ensuring open and honest communication between the White House and Congress.

And yet this Congress has not looked into the matter at all. The same Congress that launched investigations into the suicide of Clinton aide Vince Foster and the hiring actions of the Clinton White House with regard to their travel office, among countless other investigations, has sat silent on the critical issue of whether the White House deliberately put out false information in an effort to push our nation into war.

In an effort to get Congress to investigate this important issue, I have co-sponsored a resolution of inquiry calling for the White House to turn over to Congress all information involving the White House Iraq Group. The WHIG was comprised of key White House leaders including Libby, Rove and Condoleezza Rice. They were tasked to make the case for going to war in Iraq in an effort to convince Congress and the American public to support that policy.

White House assertions that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq had to be part of a nuclear weapons program, that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Niger and that we could not afford to let "the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud" all appear to have come from the WHIG. We need to know how they got that information -- which we now know to be false -- and whether they deliberately misrepresented the facts. The administration and its supporters often have dismissed the need for an investigation by arguing that everybody thought Saddam had WMD. They seem to mistakenly believe that this assertion makes it irrelevant whether the administration lied.

A legitimate case existed for threatening force against Saddam if he did not allow international inspectors back into Iraq, perhaps even for the ultimate use of that force. Saddam had sought nuclear as well as chemical and biological weapons in the past. In fact, the world discovered after the first Gulf War that Iraq was much further along in the development of a nuclear weapon than we previously thought. Saddam had kicked international inspectors out in 1998, and had shown clear hostile intentions toward other nations in his region and to the United States. By late 2002, we did not know what WMD Iraq had or was trying to develop. Arguably, we could not afford not to know. The inspectors had to go back in and the only way to do that was to threaten military force.

But this is not the case the administration made. The holes that have appeared in the case they made have done deep and lasting damage to our standing in the world and have undermined the confidence the American people have in their government. Congress can begin to repair this damage by getting to the bottom of the administration's actions during the build up to the Iraq war. Anything less does not fulfill our responsibility to the American people.

Today, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) introduced the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Improvement Act with 75 original co-sponsors, including U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), the Ranking Member on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has oversight of American trade policy and U.S. Rep. Benjamin Cardin, Ranking Member on the Trade Subcommittee. The U.S. manufacturing sector has been hit hard with unemployment, and in recent years the service sector has experienced similar declines in employment as a result of the increasingly global and competitive marketplace.

Currently, TAA provides income support, job training, job searching, relocation assistance and health care tax credits to workers who have lost their jobs due to trade. However, TAA is only available to workers in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.  The new legislation would extend trade TAA benefits to displaced service workers, such as software programmers, hi-tech workers as well as to entire industries if those industries are subject to a trade remedy under US laws that protect domestic industries.  The legislation also amends eligibility requirements for TAA to cover those who lose jobs due to overseas production to any country, not just those countries with whom the U.S. has trade agreements. The bill simplifies the application process for wage insurance. In addition, the legislation strengthens the data collection and reporting requirements by making it mandatory for the Department of Labor to track and make public data on both service sector and manufacturing job trends and TAA usage. Finally, it dramatically increases the funding cap for job training programs and enhances health care subsidies for displaced workers.

“Our nation’s prosperity and economic growth is dependent on our workers’ ability to continually upgrade their skills,” said Smith. “In the face of ever greater global competition, we need to ensure that American workers remain the best and most highly skilled workforce in the world.  The TAA program is an important component of our commitment to workers. This bill recognizes the reality of our changing economy and provides critically important wage and health insurance to those seeking to regain employment.”

Bill Center, the President of the Washington Council on International Trade said, “Worker dislocation is one of the major challenges facing the U.S. economy. Even though trade is but one small component of that problem, anything we can do to better facilitate the ability of our workforce to more smoothly and easily transition between jobs and careers should be applauded. We appreciate Representative Smith’s consistent strong leadership on this issue and look forward to the day these benefits will be available to all displaced workers.”

Smith’s legislation has also received support from members of the labor community.

Kristin Farr, Legislative Director for Society of Professional Engineer Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) and also legislative director for International Federation of Professional Technical Engineers (IFPTE) 2001, said that, “while displaced manufacturing and agricultural workers have benefited from TAA for many years, America's growing population of service sector workers have been left out.  Representative Smith's legislation is critical to promoting the competitiveness of our hard-working American workforce because it provides the necessary funding for retraining that displaced workers need. Current TAA legislation only applies to SPEEA members who worked in Boeing's Commercial Airplane division.  Representative Smith’s legislation could extend TAA benefits to those laid off SPEEA members who worked on a Boeing defense program or an IT job within Boeing's Shared Services Group (SSG).”

Marcus Courtney, President of the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WASHTECH), noted that, “like the manufacturing sector, those in the service sector are increasingly being affected due to job loss from world trade.  This legislation will allow those affected greater access to health care, retraining and unemployment insurance benefits as they make the transition.”

Smith will continue to work with his colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that American workers have access to the retraining and health care benefits they need. The changes included in this bill will help workers maintain comprehensive, affordable benefits for themselves and their families.