Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after the House passage of the resolution on the Equal Rights Amendment.

“Women have been left out of the Constitution since our country’s founding. To this day, women working year-round still only make 82 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts—with even greater pay gaps experienced by women of color. I am proud to support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which will enshrine equality between men and women under the eyes of the law.

“The United States should be a leader in the fight for equality between women and men, however we have failed to address the issue in our own Constitution. Every national constitution written since World War II includes the basic principle of gender equality, and we should amend our Constitution to reflect that principle.

“The passage of this resolution marks a pivotal point in our history by clearing up legal ambiguity and honoring the people’s support for women’s equality. The ERA would finally apply judicial review to laws and policies that discriminate against women. It will help our nation achieve its economic and social potential, and most importantly, will move us one step closer to achieving equality for all.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) reintroduced the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act today, which will support our national freight mobility network through investments in critical freight infrastructure.

The Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act (FIRA) of 2020 would create a sustainable national freight discretionary grant program, expanding on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act signed into law in 2015. FIRA will provide grants for infrastructure projects across our national freight mobility network through a new National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Fund supported by a dedicated funding source – a one percent fee on the shipment of freight cargo. This program will invest in freight projects that improve the efficiency, capacity, and safety of our freight mobility system.

FIRA will support construction projects that make our roads and bridges safer and more resilient, improve marine terminals facilities, and expand rail and highway tunnels to accommodate increased cargo.

“Investments in our freight transportation system support our continued economic development by expanding our capacity to transport goods, encouraging competition, and providing job opportunities across the country,” said Congressman Smith. “Freight infrastructure is critical to our future economic growth and stimulates the demand for goods and services that will ultimately benefit millions of people.”

Statements of Support:

“The Pacific Northwest is one of the nation’s biggest trade gateways, and investments in transportation infrastructure are critical to our region’s economy,” said Kristin Meira, Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association. “Congressman Smith’s bill will help fund the maintenance and expansion of the rail, road and marine facilities that ensure our region's continued success in the global marketplace. We appreciate and support his efforts.”

Stephanie Bowman, Co-Chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance said, “A strong economy depends on an efficient freight system, especially in a state like Washington, where over 40 percent of jobs depend on trade.  Congressman Smith’s proposal will enable much-needed investments in America’s ports, roads and rail networks.  We appreciate his strong leadership and advocacy for freight.”

“A growing economy increases the burden on our nation’s freight network, across all modes. In order to accommodate this growth in demand for services, a robust campaign of infrastructure investment is necessary,” said Elaine Nessle, Executive Director of Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors. “Congressman Smith’s Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2020 seeks to meet these challenges head-on by ensuring a dedicated and sustainable funding source for strategic investments in multimodal freight projects.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Adam Smith (WA-09) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following joint statement after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against King County over the county’s order that bans ICE from using Seattle’s Boeing Field for immigration enforcement activities:

This is another attack by the Trump Administration on communities that have implemented policies that uphold our values. It’s posturing that further politicizes the Department of Justice. No amount of posturing changes the basic facts: Welcoming policies make our communities safer and King County is well within its right not to be involved in federal immigration enforcement activities without valid court orders. The president and his administration must face the reality that our immigration system is broken—and that he has exacerbated every aspect of it during his time in office. We stand ready and willing to work with anyone to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and in the meantime, our communities will not be bullied into complying with nonsensical policies that are based on xenophobic falsehoods.”

Smith is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Jayapal is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement upon voting yes on the House passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

The PRO Act, which is the most significant upgrade to U.S. labor law in 80 years, is a proposal that strengthens workers’ power to organize and negotiate for fairer paychecks, better benefits, and safer working conditions. The legislation is a direct response to the struggle that many hardworking families are facing with the rising costs of education, child care, housing, and other basic necessities.

“Strong unions are crucial for combatting economic inequality. Today, however, only ten percent of American workers today are union members – the lowest rate on record – and we are seeing rising income inequality. This comes after decades of attacks on workers’ right to organize and recently the Trump Administration’s harmful rules threatening worker rights.

“In response, the PRO Act makes comprehensive and necessary changes to protect and strengthen workers’ rights to organize. The bill will introduce enforceable penalties for companies and executives that violate workers’ rights, holding them accountable for working conditions.

“The PRO Act protects and expands workers’ power to stand together and negotiate for better pay and benefits and safer working conditions, and closes loopholes that corporations use to undermine the right to organize. The economy is working for corporations and the wealthy while wage growth for the average worker has remained largely stagnant. This legislation will reestablish the conditions necessary for restoring fairness to the economy.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after President Trump’s State of the Union address.

“President Trump used the State of the Union to mislead the American people and lie about critical issues. The American people need the truth – not a twisted and distorted vision that bears no resemblance to reality. 

“Trump touted the strength of the economy, claiming that reversing the economic policies of the previous administration has paved the way for the economic gains of today. This is just wrong. GDP growth is hardly the best ever, as President Trump has claimed, and has slowed in the wake of the Republican tax cuts. In the first three years of the Trump Administration, the U.S. GDP grew by 2.4%, 2.9%, and 2.3% respectively.

Numerous previous presidents have averaged well above Trump’s GDP growth levels:

  • Johnson averaged 5.3%;
  • Clinton averaged 3.9%;
  • Reagan averaged 3.5%;
  • Carter averaged 3.3%;
  • Eisenhower averaged 3%.

Trump is not even performing above the post-World War II average of 2.9% per year.

“The truth is that economic growth Trump claims credit for began during the Obama administration. In the 36 months before Trump took office, 8.2 million jobs were created under President Obama compared to just the 6.7 million jobs gained under Trump in his first three years. In addition, the Trump tax plan signed into law at the beginning of 2018 will add $1.9 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, leaving our kids to foot the bill for this giveaway to corporations and the wealthy.

“Trump also said he will ‘always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.’ But the Trump administration is actively pursuing a lawsuit today that would completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for pre-existing conditions, and has offered no serious legislation to protect pre-existing conditions. His actions are not protecting patients, they are leaving millions of Americans at risk from losing their health care.

“Beyond domestic issues, Trump said we are stronger than ever in foreign relations. That could not be further from the truth. The Trump administration’s policies have severely undermined our credibility on foreign policy and diplomacy, which threatens our national security. For example, he abandoned the Kurds in Syria after decades of support and cooperation, and we drew dangerously close to another war with Iran when Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani without fully considering the consequences. Trump has actively undermined key alliances such as NATO, sided with Russia instead of our own intelligence agencies, and abandoned career diplomats and foreign service officers that are the backbone of our foreign policy. Our long-standing alliances are in jeopardy due to his short-sightedness and bravado. The damage done in just his first term will take years to repair. 

“In all of his exaggerations and lies, the President failed to mention an existential threat facing the United States and the world: climate change. Failure to acknowledge and address this threat is unacceptable and will impact our children and country for years to come.

“The challenges facing the United States are not going to be easy to address, but our country deserves leadership that is at least honest with the American people.”

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