Press Releases

Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) announced today that the General Accounting Office (GAO) has approved his request to conduct a study on issues relating to offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs and the future of the U.S. job market.

"I'm extremely pleased that the GAO agrees that this is a critically important issue that should be thoroughly examined," Smith said.  "I'm very eager to see the study's findings and use them to improve public policy."

Smith’s request to the GAO, submitted on July 17 of this year, is part of a larger effort he is undertaking to examine the U.S. job market and future growth and trends in industrial sectors.  His request asks GAO to:

(1) research the trends in this area, to include customer service technical employees, aerospace engineering employees, among other industries, as well as those at the various levels of government;

(2) identify the major benefits and risks, including strategies for addressing the risks;

(3) determine the federal government’s policies, including the impact, if any, of the Buy American Act, for non-weapons systems related to this issue;

(4) explain the treatment of IT outsourcing in U.S. trade policy; and

(5) provide policy recommendations for ensuring – and enhancing – U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Over the next several months, Smith will work closely with the GAO as it defines the scope and issues of the study before beginning the research and analysis.

"We anticipate receiving some results early next spring," Smith said.  “I believe a thorough analysis of these outsourcing and job growth trends will help us better understand what's really happening in terms of offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs.  Most importantly, however, the analysis will help us develop policies that will ensure the United States continues to be competitive and always have high-skilled, high-wage jobs."

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) today sent the following letter with Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Bellfair) to Secretary Anthony J. Principi of the Department of Veterans Affairs urging the preservation of VA facilities at American Lake.

July 29, 2003

The Honorable Anthony J. Principi
Secretary
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

Dear Secretary Principi,           

We are writing in opposition to instructions given to the VISN 20 leadership during the CARES (Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services) process to resubmit their facilities recommendations with plans to potentially close the VA facilities at American Lake.  A decision to close the American Lake hospital would restrict and deny health care services to thousands of veterans throughout the south Puget Sound area and we urge you to reconsider this recommendation.

VISN 20 acknowledges a growing veteran population as well as significant requirements for specialized care throughout the State of Washington.  These trends will be particularly acute in the south Puget Sound area as many veterans continue to settle in Pierce and Thurston counties.

We are very concerned about the failure to deliver on our promise to our veterans.  Recently we have seen efforts by the VA to suspend enrollment for category 8 veterans and halt the marketing of available benefits to eligible veterans.  To further restrict access to health care by eliminating the American Lake hospital is unacceptable.

Since its beginning in 1924, American Lake has been a valuable and unique hospital due to its geographic location.  In our dealings with the American Lake hospital, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and VISN 20, it is clear that the American Lake facility is vital to the south Puget Sound community.  The VA’s suggestion to possibly close the American Lake hospital completely disregards VISN 20 recommendations for health care delivery to our state’s veteran population. 

We must honor our veterans and military retirees by following through on our commitment to them.  With over 700,000 veterans and military retirees in Washington state and an increasing number relying on the VA for their health care services, the VA must ensure that veterans have access to health care.

We urge you to withdraw the instructions to VISN 20 to make recommendations to potentially close the VA hospital at American Lake.

Sincerely,

Adam Smith                                          Norm Dicks
Member of Congress                             Member of Congress

To commemorate this occasion and remember the sacrifices made by our servicemembers during the Korean War, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) entered the following statement into the Congressional Record today:

“I would like to take a moment to honor an individual from my district who is a true American hero, Duane A. Osborn.  He is an ordinary man with an extraordinary story.  Unless you are a friend or a family member you won’t recognize his face, or ever have heard of his name.  But there are millions of Americans like him – Americans who have sacrificed so much for our country and do not receive nearly enough recognition in return for their service.  On this, the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Armistice of the Korean War, I’d like to introduce you to one of many forgotten warriors in a forgotten war.

“Duane A. Osborn was born in Wapato, WA on May 30, 1934. In June of 1952, shortly after his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the United States Air Force with the 8th Division.  Before he was sent to the Korean War he married Donna Elder.

“From 1950 to 1953, the United States joined with United Nations forces in Korea to take a stand against what was deemed a threat to democratic nations worldwide.  6.8 million Americans served on active-duty during the Korean War era and 1.8 million soldiers served in the Korean theater during the three-year period of hostilities.  36,940 service members made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives during the war.

“At war's end, millions of American veterans returned to a peacetime world of families, homes, and jobs – and to a country reluctant to view the Korean War as something to memorialize.  But to the men and women who served, the Korean War could never be a forgotten war.

“In October of 1955, following his service, Duane returned home to Washington state and settled in an unincorporated area that would become the city of SeaTac in my district.  He worked building county roads until an accident in September of 1973 rendered him a paraplegic.

“Duane’s hardship duty in Korea had prepared him to meet this difficult physical challenge and in 17 years of participating in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, he has won 100 gold, silver, and bronze medals – proving again and again his courage, commitment and dedication, as well as his passion for living.

“Duane continues to contribute to his community and country as a board member of the Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America where he volunteers his time to make my district and Washington state more accessible for people with disabilities.  He works tirelessly to ensure that all Americans are given the opportunities to live their lives to the fullest.

“It is the regular men and women like Duane who honorably answered their country's call to duty and went to Korea over fifty years ago today that we must also remember. Countless Americans never won medals, never were labeled “heroes,” yet they tirelessly fought for the causes they believed in – freedom and country. 

“Now home as proud veterans, these individuals know that freedom is not free, they know the costs and they continue to fight anonymously for liberties at home as they serve their communities, once again volunteering to make life better for all of us.

“I thank Duane A. Osborn and the millions of other Korean War veterans for their contributions to my community and my country, both during that War and now at home, and I ask that we remember his service and the service of so many other ordinary, inspiring individuals today.”

Today, Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) introduced two bipartisan bills in an effort to streamline government spending: H.R. 2902, the Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission Act, and H.R. 2903, the Program Reform Commission Act.

“Government should be a positive force in our lives – Americans deserve a dynamic, progressive government that constantly changes with the times to meet their needs. We cannot solve the problems of today while saddled with the bureaucracies of yesterday,” said Smith.  “To ensure this change we must be willing to seriously examine existing programs and agencies, phase out programs and corporate subsidies that are no longer useful and eliminate waste and ineffectiveness from all areas of our government.”

"The best way to ensure fiscal responsibility is to continually reexamine federal programs and subsidies, and to root-out wasteful spending," said Shays, who serves as Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee and House Government Reform Committee.  "We need to make government more efficient and effective, and focus our limited resources on programs that truly make a difference in people's lives."

The bills would create bipartisan commissions to identify wasteful government programs and subsidies, and recommend them for elimination. Commission members will be appointed by the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders (two members each, including one co-chair each) and the House Majority and Minority Leaders (two members each).  In addition, the bills urge Congress to promptly consider legislation that would implement the Commissions’ findings and recommendations. 

Joining Reps. Smith and Shays as original co-sponsors of both bills are Reps. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), John Carter (R-Texas), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), and John Tierney (D-Mass.).

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following brief statement on today’s hearing at the House Armed Services Committee on the agreement  between the United States Air Force and the Boeing Corporation for the lease of 100 Boeing 767s to be converted into aerial refueling tankers to replace the Air Force’s oldest KC-135 tankers:

“Today’s hearing underscored both the viability of this agreement between the Air Force and Boeing and the Air Force’s commitment to this innovative plan.  The Air Force believes that beginning to retire its KC-135Es as soon as possible will result in significant cost savings for two important reasons.  First, the operating costs of a newer, more efficient aircraft such as the 767 tanker are considerably lower than those of the KC-135Es.  Second, by retiring KC-135Es, the taxpayer will not have to pay for the expensive maintenance, upgrades, and modifications that will be increasingly necessary to keep these aircraft flying.  The cost to the taxpayer of the maintenance, upgrades, and modifications to the KC-135Es in the absence of a 767 lease would be greater than the cost of these interest payments.  There is a fiscal benefit to the American taxpayer from this lease proposal – and a cost associated with not proceeding with retirement of the KC-135Es. 

“This plan is a good one and it is important that we move forward on this to get the Air Force the tankers they need as soon as possible.  In recent military operations, airlift capabilities have proved critical.  At a time when our forces are active around the world, it is critical that we take the action the Air Force has requested to enable them to serve that key role. I’ve argued for years that we need to modernize our military and invest in tomorrow's technology, to ensure that America's fighting men and women have the tools and equipment they need to fulfill their missions.  The tanker agreement means that our Air Force will be better able to face the challenges of tomorrow and meet the tasks we ask of them – we’re giving them the tools they need to support missions and win.”