Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House voted to pass H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020:

“Over the last several months, renters have found it increasingly difficult to make their full monthly rental payment obligations due to COVID-19.  Recent reports show that evictions are moving forward for renters who are not protected by an eviction moratorium, and as of June 14, there were 4.2 million homeowners in forbearance. Congress must act swiftly to prevent further erosion of America’s housing and rental markets. Today, I was proud to vote yes on the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act, legislation that will protect millions of renters, homeowners, and individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness.

“I continue to hear from families in my district who are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments while facing unemployment. I have also spoken with property managers who are seeking to provide assistance to tenants while simultaneously facing an inability to meet their own mortgage payments. The Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act seeks to stabilize the entire housing system to stave off further displacement and economic harm.

“This important legislation would extend the eviction moratorium for renters and landlords to 2021, invest $100 billion in a new emergency rental assistance program, provide low-cost loans for landlords, and increase funds for federal housing assistance programs like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, homeless assistance grant programs, and supportive housing for the elderly and individuals with disabilities.

“The bill would also help support homeowners by providing $75 billion in direct assistance for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage, property taxes, and insurance, extending the foreclosure moratorium, and expanding forbearance relief.

“This bill takes a holistic approach to stabilizing the housing market for renters and owners alike, while also expanding federal investments in critical safety net housing programs that protect some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations. As we begin to reopen and rebuild our economy, this bill will provide the stability Americans need to move forward and help keep a roof over their heads.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after House passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act:

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act passed in the House today strengthens the Affordable Care Act and stands in sharp contrast to the actions of the Trump Administration. Just last week, President Trump asked the Supreme Court to gut the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act, putting millions of Americans at risk in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This reckless move from the Trump Administration would impact 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and take coverage away from 23 million Americans leaving them without care in the middle of this pandemic. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act will not only protect that coverage, but it will also significantly increase subsidies for low and middle-income families, combat inequities in health coverage for communities of color, push hold-out states to adopt Medicaid expansion, permit DACA recipients to enroll and receive financial assistance in the ACA marketplaces, and direct the negotiation of prescription drug prices to lower costs for consumers.

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act is an important step in lowering the cost of health care. We must continue to advance legislation and policies to ensure every American can get the health care they need.”

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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 news reports indicated that a Russian spy operation targeted coalition troops in Afghanistan, including bounties on American soldiers.

“Recent reports that a Russian military intelligence unit paid the Taliban to attack Americans and coalition partners are deeply concerning. The U.S. intelligence community reportedly informed the Trump administration of this assessment as early as late March. Acting on this information could have saved lives. Yet, President Trump claims he had no prior knowledge of the bounties that Russia placed on American soldiers. That excuse only gives rise to more questions. Why didn’t the President receive a briefing on such a highly sensitive subject? Was this information included in the Presidential Daily briefing? If not, why not? Was this information shared with our military leaders?  

“Those who serve our country in a combat zone voluntarily put themselves in harm's way. We must do everything we can to support them. If the reports are true, that the Administration knew about this Russian operation and did nothing, they have broken the trust of those who serve and the commitment to their families to ensure their loved one’s safety.

“It is imperative that the House Armed Services Committee receive detailed answers from the Department of Defense. The American people – and our service members – deserve to know the truth about what the White House knew about these Russian operations that may have directly resulted in the deaths of American service members. We must find out exactly what was known, and when it was known, to hold the appropriate Administration officials and the Russian government accountable.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement on D.C. statehood after the House passed H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admissions Act:

“Washington, D.C. residents pay federal taxes, serve on juries, and serve our country, yet residents are barred from having a vote in Congress. With statehood, the 700,000 American citizens who live in the District of Columbia would have the same voting and representational rights as members from every other state in the Union. It is unacceptable that the United States is the only democratic country in the world that denies full democratic rights to its citizens living in the nation’s capital.

“The Washington, D.C. Admission Act would establish the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth as the 51st state in the Union, giving residents the protections and equal representation they deserve. I am proud to join Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton on this bill to correct the injustice citizens who live in our nation’s capital have faced for decades. We must pass this bill so that D.C. residents are granted full local self-government and Congressional representation.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act:

“America is experiencing a moment of profound pain and sadness as we grieve for George Floyd and countless others killed by police brutality and racial injustice. George Floyd was killed one month ago today and since then, Americans from every walk of life across the country have been protesting and demanding action and change. Systemic racism continues to permeate all corners of our country’s institutions, burdening so many Black Americans and other communities of color. Today we honor the lives of all killed by police brutality with real change.

“The Justice in Policing Act is a bold step to enact comprehensive reforms to curb police brutality and end racial profiling. It provides accountability and transparency to fundamentally change the culture of law enforcement. While this bill is an essential step, our work is far from finished. This is but one step in the much larger process of ensuring justice and equality for all. I will continue to work towards the dramatic changes required in all aspects of our society to end systemic racism and excessive police force in our country.

“This bill would ban police chokeholds and no-knock warrants and hold police accountable by ending qualified immunity for law enforcement. It would also establish a national standard for the operation of police departments, mandate data collection on police encounters, reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs, and streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations.

“We must reimagine public safety in an equitable way to empower our communities. This bill supports critical programs to change the culture of law enforcement and reinvests in our communities by establishing public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations, local commissions, and task forces.

“I stand proudly with my colleagues on the Congressional Black Caucus who introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and will continue to work together to advance this transformative legislation. However, there is still much more work to be done. Hate and racism have no place in our country – I will continue to do everything in my power to fight for racial justice and end police brutality.”

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