Press Releases

Today, the Democratic Leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives appointed Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) to the conference committee on the Defense Authorization Bill for FY 2005. This is the first time that Smith has been appointed to a conference committee and it will give him the opportunity to shape the final version of the bill that will be voted on by Congress.

“I am honored that I have been chosen to sit on this conference committee,” said Smith. “Having two military bases, as well as one of the largest veteran populations in the United States, gives me a unique perspective into the needs of these important communities. I will endeavor to make sure that this bill ensures that our brave service members obtain their pay raises, family housing, healthcare improvements and other benefits. It is important that Congress approves this important piece of legislation in a timely manner.”

 

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Washington) announced the results of a study that the General Accounting Office conducted at Smith’s request on issues relating to offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs and the future of the U.S. job market. While the scope of the report was reduced – at GAO’s request – from the original request, the report examined all available government data and analyzed the trend of “outsourcing” as it relates to the American economy. In addition to Smith, this study was at the request of U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Missouri), U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan), U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Washington).

“While not an exhaustive study, this is but the first step in a series of studies that the GAO plans to conduct on the issue of outsourcing,” said Smith. “I’m encouraged that this study will be used as a launching point for future studies and that, with this report, we started a serious examination of the scope of outsourcing.  With this study, we  are beginning to get concrete answers as to how this trend is affecting the U.S. economy. With this and future studies, public figures can undertake a serious discussion aimed at addressing real problems and offering effective and permanent solutions.”

Highlights of the study include:

o       Outsourcing has been made possible by growth in telecommunications and technology as well as by a large pool of educated workers in some developing countries.

o       Y2K was a factor that drove some technology services abroad.  As companies sought ways to protect their systems in the event of a collapse, GAO analysts looked to places like India for programmers who could help fix the software code problems. 

o       The extent of outsourcing is probably less than they had expected going into the study.   Also, at least by using the metrics available, they were unable to separate out the impact of outsourcing on the economy versus other “meta” factors such as the burst of the technology bubble and the hangover from the pre-Y2K tech buildup.

o       Services are still a relatively small part of the US imports.

“This study shows us that we have the opportunity to address the growing trend of offshore outsourcing with positive and aggressive solutions,” said Smith. “We should increase investment in research and development, improve math and science education in K-12, enhance training and professional development for workers, open markets for American goods and renew the government’s focus on promoting innovation.  By doing so, we can make sure that our economy remains the most vibrant and competitive one in the world.”

Smith continued, “We are at a relatively early state in the offshore outsourcing trend. We must get the facts straight and have a serious and educated policy dialogue on outsourcing. It’s my hope that this study will help “kick off” that process and move the discussion in a positive way that is focused on real issues and solutions. I am committed to continuing my work on identifying real solutions to this potentially growing problem for the American people.”

The study can be found at www.gao.gov and is entitled: International Trade: Current Government Data Provide Limited Insight into Offshoring of Services.

The following is a statement from Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma):

“Tomorrow, we honor the memory of those who perished three years ago in the worst terrorist attack in United States history. The events of September 11th are forever burned in our memories. We must not and will not forget.

And yet, the fight against terrorism that began in earnest with the invasion of Afghanistan continues to this day. As we honor those who have died in the past, we must also remember those who have borne special burdens in the years since the attacks, particularly our first responders and the men and women of our Armed Forces.

We, as a nation, as a people, should continue to fight for those values we hold so dear: a world of freedom, dignity and liberty. As we pay tribute tomorrow to those who died on that fateful day three years ago, we must also honor those who fight for freedom, democracy and human dignity each and every day.”

 

Today, Washington state Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced  his support for a bipartisan effort to bring the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible. Smith, together with over 100 Members of Congress, has cosponsored a bill that presents the commission’s recommendations in legislative form.

“The Ninth District has one of the largest ports in Washington state as well as two active military bases. I will always work to protect these vital interests that are important not only to our state, but to the entire country.  The legislation that was introduced in Congress today is critical for ensuring that Washington state, and the United States as a whole, are able to prevent future terrorist attacks and will help to build a consolidated effort against terrorists,” said Smith. “With this legislation, we will be taking the first steps needed in implementing some of the lessons learned from that horrific day in September of 2001.”

The 9/11 Commission has recommended sweeping changes in how our intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security operate.  The Democratic bill would follow the blueprint set by the 9-11 Commission, and:

·         Create a strong National Intelligence Director
·         Improve Congressional oversight
·         Ensure an integrated terrorist watch list
·         Strengthen the FBI's ability to collect and analyze domestic intelligence
·         Create an integrated strategic plan for aviation and transportation security
·         Improve airline passenger and baggage screening
·         Improve coordination between FAA and military authorities
·         Provide for the increased assignment of radio spectrum for safety purposes
·         Protect our civil liberties
·         Make the Select Committee on Homeland Security permanent
 
“We must strengthen our intelligence capabilities and refocus our efforts on defeating international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda,” Smith said. “A bipartisan effort in Congress to pass this legislation is critical to strengthening America’s security.”

 

Congressman Adam Smith announced today that the Defense Department will spend $2.8 million for a wireless Helmet Mounted Display for the Stryker program.

“Wireless Helmet Mounted Displays allow our soldiers to have full situational awareness without having to look throughout the vehicle for important data,” Smith explained.  “I’m extremely pleased that Congress is set to fund these improvements for the Strykers.”

Smith requested the funding as part of the Defense Appropriations bill.  The House is expected to pass the legislation next week.

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, one of my top priorities is ensuring our soldiers have the tools they need to protect our country,” Smith said.

The Helmet Mounted Display connectivity technology will be purchased from Microvision, a Bothell company.