Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President Trump announced his intention to invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the armed services across the country in response to protests of George Floyd’s murder.

“As we battle two pandemics at once – the COVID-19 virus, and the scourge of racism – President Trump’s decision to invoke the Insurrection Act, and his inflammatory rhetoric, proves that he cannot lead us through these tumultuous times and unite the country. Instead, he has decided to rely on the use of force to address those who he views as a threat.

“Rather than trying to calm tensions in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Trump has used inflammatory rhetoric, inciting violence against fellow Americans who are protesting. Rather than leading the national conversation about the need to reform our policing practices and address underlying inequalities, Trump has labeled protestors as ‘thugs’ and threatened them, using the language of segregationists.

“The domestic deployment of our armed services is an incredibly serious undertaking that should not be taken lightly. It is un-American to use our service members to ‘dominate’ civilians, as both the President and Secretary of Defense have suggested. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship.

“I urge President Trump to reverse course and use the full weight of the presidency to calm tensions across the country, not escalate them. It simply doesn’t have to be this way.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement today in response to President Trump’s announcement that he is withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization:

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization is short-sighted and dangerous. The United States should continue its role as a leader on the world stage, including within international institutions like the WHO, to advance policies and foster coordination that protects public health at home and abroad.

“This global pandemic is not confined by borders – we must work together since the far-reaching impacts from COVID-19 can be felt across the world. Leaving the WHO will damage our nation's standing as a world leader and put the American people more at risk.

“While I still believe there is room for improvement at the WHO, I strongly oppose withdrawing the United States’ membership and I am committed to protecting our country and strengthening our global leadership during this pandemic.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement today after President Trump signed an executive order targeting legal protections for social media companies:

“This executive order distorts the concept of free speech in a blatant attempt to coerce social media companies into moderating content in a way that benefits the President. This effort flies in the face of the principle of free speech upon which our nation was founded. The First Amendment is not, as the President would like to believe, a tool for the government to use to police speech and suppress opposition. There are many legitimate arguments about how and whether to regulate social media companies and online platforms, but the President cannot simply weaponize executive power because he is displeased by how a social media company responded to him spreading disinformation. This assault on freedom of expression is taken straight from the authoritarian playbook and only further proves this administration’s ceaseless corruption.

“As we mourn the loss of more than 100,000 Americans from COVID-19, this President is more focused on silencing his critics than guiding our country through one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. Ultimately, this unlawful executive order is yet another attempt to distract the American people from President Trump’s failed leadership.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement on Memorial Day:

“This Memorial Day, it is especially important to remember the sacrifices the men and women who have served in the armed forces for our country have made. Memorial Day is a day to honor all who made the ultimate sacrifice – those who gave their lives in service to their country.

“As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic across the country and around the world, leadership, sacrifice, and the willingness to put the needs of others first have never been more important. Nobody understands this sacrifice better than the families of the women and men who have given their lives in service.

“Memorial Day should always be a solemn time to reflect, but it shouldn't be the only day we remember that sacrifice. Today and every day, we honor the women and men who gave everything to protect our freedom. Thank you to all servicemembers and their families, and let us never take for granted all they do to protect our country.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, this week sent a letter calling on President Trump to extend Title 32 activation of the National Guard beyond the June 24 end date to September 2020 at the earliest.
 
“As we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, our National Guard members have played an essential role in our continued response,” said Chairman Smith. “When called upon, the Guard has performed essential tasks like supporting our food banks, assembling test kits, and bolstering contact tracing capacity. Now, as it becomes clear that the pandemic is far from over, the President should extend Title 32 status to ensure our continued response includes the Guard – our country needs them.”
 
“You don’t spell gratitude to the National Guard members who have been building hospitals, doing testing in nursing homes and boxing food at food banks during the pandemic by cheating them out of retirement or GI bill benefits,” Rep. Speier said. “COVID-19 will not magically end at the stroke of midnight on June 24—the President must extend Title 32 status so the Guard can stay in the fight against the coronavirus. Reopening the economy and saving countless lives depends on it.”
 
The activation of the National Guard under Title 32 provides essential support to states and localities as they confront this public health crisis. Guard members are assisting with testing, especially for vulnerable populations like in nursing homes; logistics; and warehouse distribution support, and all these efforts are essential to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on every state, facilitating a responsible reopening, and getting our economy back on a path to recovery.
 
A copy of the letter can be found here.
 
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