Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the news that President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, for action while serving with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment:

"Sergeant Petry’s actions rose above and beyond the call of duty, and exhibited the finest qualities of valor and sacrifice that distinguish a hero. Despite being wounded by enemy fire during an operation in Paktya, Afghanistan on May 26, 2008, Sgt. Petry’s first instinct was to protect the lives of his fellow Rangers, with complete disregard for his own personal safety.

“I am humbled by Sgt. Petry’s incredible courage and dedication to duty and believe his actions are certainly worthy of this honor and making him only the second living, active-duty service member to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“Each member of our Armed Forces gives a great deal of themselves, risking their lives every day to serve this country. We in the Pacific Northwest are proud of the extraordinary bravery shown by Sgt. Petry and all the men and women who serve at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We are also thankful to the military families, like Sgt. Petry’s wife, Ashley, and his four children, who support their loved ones, and whose sacrifices keep us safe.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on Memorial Day, 2011:

"America is protected by the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. Every day, the men and women of the United States military perform an array of security, emergency relief, and development operations in challenging environments across the globe. Their dedication to their mission, courage, and professionalism represents the very best our country has to offer. Memorial Day provides the opportunity to honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives in service to our country. Today we also extend heartfelt thanks to all members of the United States Armed Forces, past and present, whose service makes possible our way of life. 

“Americans’ gratitude must include service members and military families alike, who together make tremendous sacrifices for the safety of this country. It is fitting that the House of Representatives just passed the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a pay raise for all members of the Armed Services, as well as improved support for their families. 

“It is important for Congress to remain committed to members of the Armed Forces, both during their service and after they have transitioned to a new phase of life. Department of Labor statistics show an alarmingly high rate of unemployment for veterans, almost 27% for servicemembers between the ages of 20-24, who have recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan. As a nation, we cannot allow these young men and women to fall through the cracks. With that in mind, I am co-sponsoring The Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, designed to help veterans transition successfully from military service to the civilian working world. The bill augments vocational assessment and training for separating servicemembers, creates a competitive grant program for organizations that provide mentorship and job placement for veterans, and eliminates barriers for military members to achieve civilian licenses for occupational specialties gained during service. These provisions will ensure that America’s commitment to supporting our military men and women does not end when they leave active duty.

“On Memorial Day, please join me in showing gratitude to the servicemembers, veterans, and their families whose sacrifice protects Americans everywhere.”
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement after the House passed the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 322 to 96:

“Today marks another milestone in our work to support the men and women of our services and I want to thank Chairman McKeon, all members of the committee and staff for their hard work and commitment to bipartisanship. Producing this bill has been a truly bipartisan effort. I also would like to thank all of my colleagues in the House for the work they put into creating this piece of legislation.

“Overall, this bill prioritizes our troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world by ensuring that they have the tools and resources they need to do their job and protect national security. It also provides our troops and their families with the benefits and support that they deserve, including a 1.6 percent pay increase.

“It continues to make counterterrorism a priority and makes significant investments in all branches of our Armed Services, ensuring that our military is prepared to meet the threats of today as well as the future. It supports our troops as they continue to fight overseas, invests in new technologies for the future, and protects vital military equipment production capacity here at home.

“There is still much more work to be done, and I look forward to reviewing the Senate’s version of this bill and working with my colleagues here in the House to make sure we send the President a final bill that meets the high standards of the United States Armed Services.”

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For more information, please visit the website of the
House Armed Services Committee Democrats.
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement recognizing National Small Business Week 2011: 

“Small business is the key to our country’s economic future. During National Small Business Week, we honor the accomplishments of dedicated entrepreneurs, whose innovation, risk-taking, and hard work represents the economic engine of our nation.

“Policymakers must remember that government cannot create the spark of ingenuity for a new product, nor the drive to see that idea through to a fully-realized business venture. However we do have the responsibility to foster an environment that encourages new enterprises and helps businesses of the future flourish. This effort includes educating a world-class workforce, rewarding innovation, deploying and improving cutting-edge infrastructure, and balancing federal budgets—overall, setting the stage for successful entrepreneurship and growth.

“With that in mind, I am firmly committed to ensuring that Washington’s small business community continues to thrive. I support economic policies that encourage small business growth, including tax credits and programs that make it easier to navigate the regulations and paperwork often demanded to do business with the federal government.

“We look to the small business community for innovative technologies and practices, job creation for the new economy, and the advancement of American competitiveness in the 21st century. I am proud of the many successful businesses and people of the South Sound region whose efforts in biotech, aerospace, green technologies, and various other fields have created high wage, high-tech jobs, and I am always looking for any way I can help them prosper.”
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement recognizing National Peace Officers Memorial Day:

“On National Peace Officers Memorial Day, we take time to honor the sacrifice of law enforcement officers who gave their lives protecting the safety of their fellow Americans.

“Today, I am reminded of four members of the Lakewood Police Department who were brutally murdered at the hands of killer set on targeting law enforcement. Each of the fallen, Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Gregory Richards, was a parent, a spouse, a friend, and a trusted colleague in the police force. The attack on these officers has had ripple effects for the families who miss their loved ones, and the community whose sense of safety is now diminished.

“It is alarming that 2011 has already seen a 20 percent increase in fatalities over the prior year, including 33 officers killed by gunfire since January 1st.

“Brave men and women risk their lives every day by putting on the uniform and badge. Please take a moment to remember our nation’s law enforcement officers whose extraordinary service and sacrifice has made us safer and protected our way of life.”