Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement today concerning the attack on the U.S. Army base in Mosul, Iraq:

“First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends of those service members who were killed and wounded today in the vicious and cowardly attack on the dining hall at Camp Marez, Iraq. The soldiers stationed at Fort Lewis are always at the forefront of my thoughts and on a day like today, I cannot help but be in awe of the sacrifices that they and their families make each and every day.

I express my sorrow to the families of these brave soldiers and extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude during this trying time.”

ved transportation routes to newly planned development areas in the City of Tukwila.

Intercity Transit Buses (Thurston County) - $1 million
This will allow intercity transit to purchase busses to restore service lost as a result of a state-wide elimination of the motor vehicle excise tax in 1999.

Pierce Transit Maintenance and Operations Facility - $1 million
This earmark will be used to continue the upgrade of Pierce Transit bus facilities and assist in funding the next expansion bus purchases. 

Burien, SR 509 / SR 518 Interchange/Intersection Redevelopment - $1.5 million
Creates interchange improvements and the addition of one travel lane on a portion of the corridor.

The following is a list of initiatives in and around the Ninth District that were funded under the Veterans Administration and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that was passed as part of a larger Omnibus bill.

City of Lakewood Sewer Line - $150,000
The funds will be used for the construction of a sanitary sewer tank system and pump station to serve American Lake Gardens and Tillicum neighborhoods of the City of Lakewood.

Burien Highline Senior Center - $200,000
The funds will used to acquire and redevelop the Burien Highline Senior Center.

Molten Fuel Cell Demonstration Project - $400,000
The facility will demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of fuel cell technology and its applicability to other wastewater treatment facilities nationwide.  This is the first fuel cell plant of this design and the first such plant to rely solely on sludge digester gas generated by a wastewater treatment facility.

West Hylebos Wetlands Boardwalk Replacement - $72,750
The boardwalk was constructed in 1991 when the West Hylebos Wetlands State Park was opened. The park is considered one of Seattle’s best urban nature walks.”  The boardwalk enables 30,000 to 35,000 visitors each year enjoy one of Puget Sound’s last remaining forested bog wetlands.

White Center Community Facility, King County - $72,750
The funds will be used by the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County to fund a portion of the $2.4 million rehabilitation of the Greenbridge Community Center located at the Greenbridge HOPE VI project in White Center.  The primary user of the Community Center is the Boys and Girls Club which offers recreation, youth, afterschool, and homework support programs for low income children and teens living at Greenbridge.

The following is a list of initiatives in and around the Ninth District that were funded under the Labor and Health and Human Services appropriations bill that was passed as part of a larger Omnibus bill.

Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center, Highline Community College - $320,000
The MaST center will provide opportunities for the community in the areas of environmental health, science, and technology education.  The MaST’s programs will increase environmental health awareness, literacy, and promote stewardship of environmental and business related health issues.  Training will include topics such as urban water quality, preserving marine dependent habitats, and minimizing ecological impacts of toxins released in the water.  The facility will be used to promote science and technology education to K-12, community college students, and community members, while providing training opportunities in science and technology to K-12 teachers. 

New Futures Children and Family Advocacy Program - $320,000
New Futures serves King County, Washington’s poorest, most isolated children with child and family centers in three of the region’s toughest neighborhoods. The heart of their work is child and family programs.  Their after-school program serves children who are at the greatest risk of failing in school.  Pre-K programs offer child and family literacy and parenting skills, and youth programs provide a supportive environment where teens develop a positive support network with peers, and build relationships with adults.

Life Sciences II-III Building, University of Washington - $1.5 million
The Life Sciences II building will house the Department of Bioengineering and will include instructional research laboratories, offices for faculty, students and staff, academic advising and administration.  The LS-II facility will support integrated research and education in five bioengineering thrust areas: Distributed Diagnosis and Home Healthcare; Molecular Bioengineering and Nanotechnology; Medical Imaging and Research; Computational Bioengineering; and Engineering Biomaterials.

Information Technology Center, Tacoma Community College - $450,000 
The principal focus of this project is to provide the community with expanded computer resources.  These computers will not only increase general student access but also expand computer literacy.

Experience Music Project - $430,000
This funding will be used to create a living archive of interviews with musicians, producers, and key players that have helped shape one of America’s most enduring legacies—American popular music. This archive will be made available for use by scholars, students, educators, journalists, and museum curators, enabling them to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the rich tradition of music in America and beyond.

Center for Learning and Technology, Pacific Lutheran University - $950,000 
Pacific Lutheran University is constructing a Center for Learning and Technology that will house its Department of Mathematics, Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, Business School, and the Math, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Program, which has a proven track record of success in starting underrepresented minority and female public school students in grades K-12 on the path to college.

Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, WA - $340,000 
This funding will support the expansion of research into critical areas of children’s health nationwide while promoting the highest standards of medical ethics and protections for patient’s rights in pediatric research. 

The following is a list of initiatives in and around the Ninth District that were funded under the Energy and Water appropriations bill that was passed as part of a larger Omnibus bill.

Green/Duwamish Ecosystem Restoration - $1.25 million 
Congress authorized the Green/Duwamish Ecosystem Restoration Project for construction in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000.  The majority of the identified restoration sites have been identified and the local governments have committed the funds necessary to move forward.

Puget Sound and Adjacent Waters Restoration - $500,000 
Funding will allow the Corps to continue a habitat restoration program throughout the Puget Sound basin that was authorized by Congress in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000.

Seahurst Park Seawall Removal and Beach Restoration - $150,000 
The existing seawall has eroded the beach and damaged the fish habitat during the past thirty years.

Puget Sound Nearshore Marine Habitat Restoration - $525,000 
This is a habitat restoration project in the nearshore, estuary and marine areas of Puget Sound, a vital element of salmon recovery in the basin.

 

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) made the following statement regarding the failure of the Republican Congress to enact the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

“This past weekend, the Republican House leadership had the opportunity to pass bipartisan intelligence reform legislation that would have made the American people safer. Instead, petty partisan politics interfered and did not allow this bill to proceed.

Back in September I called for the implementation of the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. I even cosponsored a bill that would have created a strong National Intelligence Director with real budget authority, improved Congressional oversight of the Intelligence community among other things.

Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House and the blame for this failure rests on their shoulders. This legislation is too important to be used as a partisan football.

We must strengthen our intelligence capabilities and refocus our efforts on defeating international terrorist organizations. This bill provided legislation that is critical to the War on Terror and for strengthening America’s security.”

Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement today regarding raising the Federal Debt Limit:

“Today the House Republican leadership is bringing S. 2986 to the House floor for a vote – this measure increases the limit on the federal debt by $800 billion to $8.18 trillion. I will vote against this troubling bill.  Their lack of fiscal discipline has forced the Republican Leadership to pass three separate increases to the debt limit in the last three years including the 2003 increase of $984 billion, the largest increase in history.   Since 2002 Congress has increased the debt limit over two trillion dollars.  The Republicans’ irresponsible policies have left them no choice but to raise the limit on the amount of debt America can incur. But there is a choice in how it is raised.

We can continue to pass ineffective legislation that would simply raise the debt limit or we can implement true economic reform by implementing the tried and true ‘pay-as-you-go’ (PAYGO) policies which were so effective in the 1990s and which produced the record budget surpluses that the Bush Administration inherited. Since 2001 the Republican held White House, Senate, and House has turned a $5.6 trillion surplus into a $ 3.5 trillion deficit with record spending that includes over $ 2 trillion in tax cuts.  We need to be fiscally responsible with any spending during this time of economic recovery.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the debt will continue to increase and is estimated to reach over $ 13 trillion by 2014 if Congress does not change its budget policy.   If the Republican leadership chooses to go forward with the President’s proposed spending and tax cut policies then it could push the debt limit to $ 14.5 trillion, nearly double the current limit, by 2014.  This is not only irresponsible, but it is immoral and will hinder our country’s abilities in the future to meet critical needs for our nation as a whole, as well as risking the future for our children and grandchildren. The fight for the future starts now and Congress must make tough decisions in order to provide a more secure and brighter tomorrow for all Americans."

As our nation struggles to jumpstart the economy and address the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, 15 members of the House New Democrat Coalition have introduced legislation to help bolster U.S. competitiveness.  Last night the group introduced H.R. 5254, the Up-Skilling Tax Credit Act, to encourage employers to invest in their employees and H.R. 5255, a bill to establish a competitive grant program to promote further education and job training opportunities in the fields of math, science, engineering and technology.

Since August 2003, nearly 90 percent of the newly created U.S. jobs are in the lower paying service sector industry.  To promote the creation and retention of jobs in high tech, high wage and high growth industries, we must ensure that America’s workers have skills and training necessary to succeed in the jobs of the 21st Century.

H.R. 5254, the Up-Skilling Tax Credit Act, will promote a more highly skilled and productive workforce by giving an incentive to employers who provide valuable lifetime learning opportunities for their employees.  Specifically, the bill would:

-     Allow employers to use 20 percent of the costs of providing technical training to their employees as a credit against their income tax expenses. 

-     Eligible employers could receive a credit of up to $1,000 per employee per year over the next 5 years. 

-     Eligible training courses must lead to an industry-recognized license or certificate.   

H.R. 5255 would create a competitive grant program through the National Science Foundation for institutes of higher education working to implement innovative programs to encourage students to study and pursue careers in the high demand fields of math, science, engineering and technology.  Funding may be used for creating interdisciplinary programs in these fields or for research equipment, facilities construction, repair and upgrades, textbooks, and other purposes.  Under this legislation, schools will:

-     Provide financial incentives (such as scholarships and stipends) to students entering and persisting in the higher education study of math, science, engineering and technology

-     Expose students to different industries through internships, fellowships, part-time work and mentors to make students more aware of opportunities in these fields.

-     Aim to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students in science, math, engineering and technology.

“We may not be able to anticipate the next bend in the economic road, but one thing stays constant - education opens doors,” said NDC co-chair Jim Davis (D-FL).  “The New Democrat Coalition recognizes that by improving access to education and on-the-job training, we can help America’s workers move up the career ladder and prevent unemployment before it occurs.”

NDC Co-Chair Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said, “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.”

“Unfortunately, the United States is currently falling behind other countries in the number and quality of math, science, and engineering graduates,” said NDC co-chair Ron Kind (D-WI).  “H.R. 5255 is meant to provide some of the crucial assistance needed to reverse this trend, and the Up-Skilling Tax Credit Act will help workers in these fields keep their skills up-to-date.”