Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in regard to the memorial service at Fort Lewis today honoring seven local soldiers killed in combat on October 27, 2009.

“Today, we honor the soldiers who died on October 27, 2009 and offer our condolences to their families and friends. As we saw on the tragic day when these seven brave soldiers were killed and with the confirmation of two additional Fort Lewis soldiers passing yesterday, our local military personnel continue to bear the brunt of the conflict in Afghanistan.

“We owe our brave men and women in uniform our deepest gratitude, and not just when they make the ultimate sacrifice. As a member of Congress who represents thousands of our military personnel, their families and our Veterans, I am constantly working to ensure they the support and benefits they deserve.

“Our local military personnel and their families play an important role in both our combat operations abroad and in our communities here at home. In combat, they are the brave men and women who selflessly put themselves in harms way to protect the greater good. At home, they are the individuals and families that make Washington state a wonderful place to live. For this, we are forever indebted to them.”

 

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the shooting at Fort Hood Thursday, November 5, 2009. A Memorial Ceremony to honor the victims of the shooting will be held tomorrow.

“The recent shooting at Fort Hood is a grave tragedy. Our brave men and women selflessly put themselves in harms way to protect us and should not have to worry about incidences of violence taking place while on American soil. They face enough danger while they are abroad.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the fallen and injured soldiers and their families. As we grieve for the lost soldiers and pray for the recovery of the injured, we should also reaffirm our broader commitment to ensuring that our military personnel and their families receive the benefits and support they deserve.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I will play an active role in evaluating the incident and help to make policy adjustments to reduce the likelihood of a similar event occurring in the future.”



Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) offered an amendment to H.R. 3854, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act, to expand health information technology loan guarantees to home health care agencies.

“Our home health care agencies provide an invaluable service and we must provide them with the support they need to improve the quality of care for our seniors,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “These businesses provide efficient and effective services for patients at home rather than in more expensive facilities, saving money and preventing unnecessary hospital and emergency room visits. Expanding access to capital for these agencies will help to improve their delivery of care and reduce health care costs for our seniors.”

A key provision of the bill includes a small business health information technology financing program that will create loan guarantees for up to 90 percent of the amount of a loan made to qualified, eligible professionals to be used for the acquisition and installation of health information technology equipment and programs.

Initially, the program excluded home care agencies. Smith’s amendment addressed this omission by expanding the definition of an “eligible professional” under H.R. 3854 to include home health care agencies, making them eligible to receive loan guarantees for health information technology.

Overall, this bipartisan bill will comprehensively expand the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) lending programs to spur job creation and meet the needs of American small business. It will help a range of small businesses including fledgling start-ups, established firms seeking to go public, veteran-owned businesses, rural and urban businesses in need, small manufacturers, health care providers, and entrepreneurs advancing American clean energy. The increased loan limits and guarantees included in this legislation are critical to supporting small business endeavors that bring about jobs and local economic benefits. This legislation will also complement the recently announced Treasury program that will make TARP funds available to local community banks in order to provide the capital necessary to increase lending to small businesses. For more information on this bill click
here.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement regarding Boeing’s announcement today to locate the second production line for the 787 outside of Washington state:

“I am extremely disappointed that Boeing decided to locate the second production line for the 787 outside of Washington state. This development will have a negative impact on Washington and its workers and will send a substantial number of jobs and economic activity away from the state.

“Throughout the years Washington state and its workers have provided Boeing with the incentives, support, and high-quality workers that have allowed it to become one of the world’s leading aerospace companies. Given this history and all that Washington state has to offer, it is extremely disappointing to see them push aside our workers and develop the second plant outside of the state.

“I hope that this decision does not represent a larger shift in the company’s approach to doing business and that future Boeing decisions are based on the uniquely strong business environment and highly skilled, quality workers in Washington state.

“I will continue to work with leaders in the congressional delegation and around the state to encourage economic growth in Washington and support workers and businesses as they strive to be industry leaders.”


As the overall economy continues to show signs of life, our local small businesses continue to struggle to recover and access capital from our community banks. It is imperative that they receive the support they need in order to grow and add jobs. While many of the Federal Government’s efforts over the last year have helped stabilize our economy and financial sectors, they have not gone far enough.

With these concerns in mind, the President has asked Congress to increase the maximum size of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship 7(a) loans from $2 million to $5 million. Additionally, he has requested an increase in the size limit on the SBA’s 504 loans, which primarily are used for real estate, to $5 million from $2 million for standard borrowers, and to $5.5 million from $4 million for manufacturers. There is a strong need for an increase in these loans and Congress must respond to assist our local economies recover.

Additionally, to help make additional lending more feasible for our community banks – which provide most of the loans to our small businesses – the plan will lower the dividend rate for banks with less than $1 billion in assets from 5 percent to 3 percent. This will help our local banks support our small businesses.

I am pleased to see that the President has acted to support these critical institutions in our communities and I will continue to make supporting our small businesses and community banks a top priority.