Press Releases

U.S. Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA), John Lewis (D-GA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) today introduced the High Performance Buildings Act, to encourage communities to build sustainable, energy-efficient buildings to lower energy costs and protect the environment.

The bill encourages communities to include sustainable development in their strategic housing plans and to provide grants to non-profit groups to increase sustainable development in low-income neighborhoods.  Further, the bill establishes an institute at the National Science Foundation to research indoor environmental quality and its effect on human health and productivity, as well as to encourage the development and deployment of innovative energy-saving technologies.

“In the United States, nearly two-thirds of our electricity and more than a third of our total energy is consumed by buildings.  Sustainable technology and architecture in housing can help us fight global warming, lower energy costs and improve family health at the same time,” Smith said.

“We are all simply stewards of this little piece of real estate we call planet Earth,” said Lewis.  “And it is the responsibility of the federal government to encourage citizens to be good stewards with the hope that we can leave this earth a little bit cleaner and a little bit greener for our children and generations yet unborn.  Green building is a powerful way to help preserve our natural legacy, and it helps us transform the process of civilization into one that does not injure but sustains the environmental integrity of this nation.”

“The United States uses the most energy of any nation in the world, and buildings are the second largest consumer of energy in our country,” said Blumenauer. “We know that low income families are particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs. This legislation aims to help by driving down energy costs for families and small businesses, while also serving the environment."

“This legislation will help bring down energy costs and make affordable housing even more energy efficient,” Gilchrest said. “It’s a great first step that brings together sustainable growth and environmental stewardship. We need to encourage and reward innovative technologies that reduce costs and impacts on the planet.”

Thirteen other Members of Congress lent their support as original cosponsors of the High Performance Buildings Act: 

  • Lois Capps (D-CA)
  • Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
  • Norm Dicks (D-WA)
  • Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
  • Jay Inslee (D-WA)
  • Ed Markey (D-MA)
  • George Miller (D-CA)
  • Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
  • C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
  • Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • José Serrano (D-NY)
  • Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) 

Several organizations endorsed the bill as it was introduced, including:

  • American Public Health Association
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • Global Green
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • National Center for Healthy Housing
  • National Housing Conference 

Press Contacts

  • Derrick Crowe (Smith): (202) 225-6902
  • Brenda Jones (Lewis):  (202) 226-4673
  • Erin Allweiss (Blumenauer):  (202) 225-4811
  • Catherine Bassett (Gilchrest):  (410) 749-3184

U.S. Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA), John Lewis (D-GA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) today introduced the High Performance Buildings Act, to encourage communities to build sustainable, energy-efficient buildings to lower energy costs and protect the environment.

The bill encourages communities to include sustainable development in their strategic housing plans and to provide grants to non-profit groups to increase sustainable development in low-income neighborhoods.  Further, the bill establishes an institute at the National Science Foundation to research indoor environmental quality and its effect on human health and productivity, as well as to encourage the development and deployment of innovative energy-saving technologies.

“In the United States, nearly two-thirds of our electricity and more than a third of our total energy is consumed by buildings.  Sustainable technology and architecture in housing can help us fight global warming, lower energy costs and improve family health at the same time,” Smith said.

“We are all simply stewards of this little piece of real estate we call planet Earth,” said Lewis.  “And it is the responsibility of the federal government to encourage citizens to be good stewards with the hope that we can leave this earth a little bit cleaner and a little bit greener for our children and generations yet unborn.  Green building is a powerful way to help preserve our natural legacy, and it helps us transform the process of civilization into one that does not injure but sustains the environmental integrity of this nation.”

“The United States uses the most energy of any nation in the world, and buildings are the second largest consumer of energy in our country,” said Blumenauer. “We know that low income families are particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs. This legislation aims to help by driving down energy costs for families and small businesses, while also serving the environment."

“This legislation will help bring down energy costs and make affordable housing even more energy efficient,” Gilchrest said. “It’s a great first step that brings together sustainable growth and environmental stewardship. We need to encourage and reward innovative technologies that reduce costs and impacts on the planet.”

Thirteen other Members of Congress lent their support as original cosponsors of the High Performance Buildings Act: 

  • Lois Capps (D-CA)
  • Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
  • Norm Dicks (D-WA)
  • Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
  • Jay Inslee (D-WA)
  • Ed Markey (D-MA)
  • George Miller (D-CA)
  • Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
  • C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
  • Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • José Serrano (D-NY)
  • Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) 

Several organizations endorsed the bill as it was introduced, including:

  • American Public Health Association
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • Global Green
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • National Center for Healthy Housing
  • National Housing Conference 

Press Contacts

  • Derrick Crowe (Smith): (202) 225-6902
  • Brenda Jones (Lewis):  (202) 226-4673
  • Erin Allweiss (Blumenauer):  (202) 225-4811
  • Catherine Bassett (Gilchrest):  (410) 749-3184

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) endorsed a plan to reduce abortion rates in the United States by becoming an original cosponsor of HR 1074, the Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act.  The bill is designed to help prevent unintended pregnancies and to support pregnant women, thereby reducing the need for abortions.  H.R. 1074 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 16, 2007.

“While we must protect a women’s right to choose, we also need to take necessary steps to make sure that women have access to critical services so they make that choice less often,” Smith said.

H.R. 1074 includes provisions to:

  • Mandate family planning services and supplies under State Medicaid programs 
  • Require states set the eligibility level for family planning at least to the level used to determine eligibility for pregnancy-related services 
  • Increase funding of Title X, the family planning program that provides a broad range of effective and acceptable family planning methods and related preventive health services 
  • Provide grants to states as incentives for reducing teen pregnancy as well as unique demonstration grants to reduce teen pregnancy 
  • Reauthorize after-school programs to reduce teen pregnancy 
  • Cover pregnant women under SCHIP 
  • Eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition for health insurance providers 
  • Make the adoption tax credit permanent and increase the credit from $10,000 to $15,000 
  • Increase funding of our Women Infants and Children (WIC) program 
  • Provide $540 million additional resources for the discretionary portion of the portion of the
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant 
  • Require counseling in federally-funded homes for pregnant women and parenting women 
  • Identify and treat pregnant women and new mothers who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking

Smith hopes to have the opportunity to vote for H.R. 1074 in the full House of Representatives in the near future.

 

Smith Opposes Bush War Plan

February 16, 2007

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) voted today in favor of a House resolution opposing President Bush’s plan to deploy more than 20,000 additional U.S. combat troops to Iraq.  The resolution, which also pledged the House’s continued support for the troops in Iraq, passed by a bipartisan vote of 246 to 182.

Smith spoke in favor of the resolution on the House floor yesterday.  The following are his remarks as prepared for delivery:  

“It has been nearly four years since the war in Iraq began—four-and-a-half since President Bush and his team in the White House started the effort to launch our nation on the path to this war.  We learned a lot during that time frame, but two things stand out.  First, the war effort has failed to achieve the outcome the President hoped for, instead creating problems he clearly felt would not come to pass.  Even he admitted that he is dissatisfied with the way the war has gone.  Second, at every step along the way, beginning with the way the President got us into the war, right up to the President’s latest plan to once again increase the number of U.S. troops in Baghdad, President Bush and his administration made mistake after mistake—failing to an almost incomprehensible level to learn from past errors or to demonstrate even a modest level of competence in prosecuting this war.  Countless books from all points on the political spectrum lay out in painful detail all the mistakes this administration made in Iraq. 

"It is way past time for this Congress to stand up and say enough.  We disapprove of what President Bush is doing in Iraq.

"But our friends on the other side of the aisle claim that such a statement in meaningless.  This is an astounding assertion.  The United States House of Representatives—the elected voice of the people of our nation—stating clearly and on the record how they feel about the single most important policy issue of our time is meaningless?  This opinion, expressed by the minority party, perhaps explains the utter lack of oversight and accountability that they employed when they were in charge—standing by and acting as mere cheerleaders for the President’s actions in Iraq as he made mistake after mistake.  The other side of the aisle at least has a consistent record of believing that the opinion of Congress, a body our Constitution set up as a coequal branch of government with the Executive, is meaningless.

"As much as I disagree with this conclusion as to the proper role of Congress in expressing its opinion on the Iraq War, I do understand this initial reluctance to pressure President Bush to change course.  In a time of war we all want to stand behind our Commander–in-Chief as a first option, and the powers of the presidency make it difficult for Congress to, in a clear-cut straightforward manner, direct the President in the conduct of war.  But the President’s record of mistakes in Iraq makes it clear we can no longer cling to this first option, and, difficulties notwithstanding, the cost of continuing down the same path the President has been pursuing in Iraq has reached the point where Congress must at least try to force a change in direction.

"This effort should logically begin with a clear statement from the House that we disapprove of the way the President is conducting the war in Iraq.  That is what this resolution does.  With this vote members can no longer hide behind, “on the one hand, but then again on the other” statements.  We can all mutter about things we don’t like in Iraq, but an official on the record vote is required to make that disapproval clear.  Do you support the way President Bush is conducting the war in Iraq?  Yes or no.

"And make no mistake about it the President’s plan to increase the number of U.S troops in Baghdad represents no change in policy.  It is stay the course, more of the same.  In the last year we made large increases in the number of our troops in Baghdad twice already.  Both times violence went up in the city, and as we have begun the current increase in troops that violence has once again increased.  The lesson should be clear at this point--United States military might will not stop or even reduce the violence in that city.   

"Listening to the arguments against this resolution helps to understand why our President insists on making some of the same mistakes over and over again in Iraq.  We are told that our fight in Iraq is a clear-cut battle against the same type of Al Qaeda-backed extremists who attacked our nation on 9/11 and that we are defending a worthy Iraqi government against these evil forces.  If this were true, I would support whatever increase in troops was necessary to defeat that evil force. 

"But it is not even close to true—it is instead a dangerous attempt to paint a black and white picture on a situation that is far, far more complex.  Baghdad is caught in a sectarian civil war.  Both Shia and Sunni militias are battling each other as well as United States forces and the Iraqi government.  It is a complex web of frequently changing alliances and interests that makes it impossible for our troops to separate good guys from bad guys.  This is why our troops cannot stop or even reduce the violence.  And the Maliki government we are being asked to support spends as much time acting like they are supporting the Shia side of the civil war as they do acting like they want to bring Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds together to form a stable Iraq.

"Al Qaeda is in Iraq and we should continue to target them, but that effort will require a far, far smaller U.S. military presence than we have there today.  Currently we are expending an enormous amount of resources in Iraq, most of which is going towards putting our forces in the middle of a chaotic civil war where our efforts do not advance and may even retard our fight against Al Qaeda.  That massive military commitment reduces our ability to pursue Al Qaeda in the dozens of other nations where they have influence—most glaringly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

"This larger, more important fight is not solely or even primarily military.  Diplomacy and other efforts to move disaffected Muslim populations away from joining Al Qaeda are a huge part of our battle, and we need to enhance those efforts.  But we can’t, because we’re hamstrung both by a lack resources - financial and strategic – that are tied down in Iraq, and because our open-ended occupation of Iraq continues to undermine America’s standing in the world.     

"Instead of sending more troops to Baghdad the United States policy in Iraq should be to instruct our military leaders there to put together plans to as quickly and responsibly as possible reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.  We need our troops to focus on Al Qaeda and its supporters, not to be bogged down in a sectarian civil war that is only tangentially related to the larger fight against Al Qaeda.

"The first, critical step in this process of changing our policy in Iraq is this resolution.  Congress must make its disapproval of the President’s policy in Iraq clear and on the record.”      

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) today announced guidelines for his Ninth District Congressional Art Contest.  Students in grades nine through 12 who reside in the Washington’s Ninth Congressional District may submit entries between March 1 and March 23.  Entries should be sent to Smith’s district office at 3600 Port of Tacoma Rd, Suite 106, Tacoma, WA  98424.

Artwork should be supplied with a pre-cut mat; frames are not necessary.  Pieces must be no larger than 30 x 30 inches when framed.  All art must be able to be framed to the 30 x 30 inches size limitation to be considered.  The winning entry will be framed by a sponsor for display in a ten-month exhibit in the U.S. Capitol Building.  In addition, a major airline sponsor will provide the winners and two guests round trip airfare to travel to Washington D.C. to attend the national reception in June.

If students have no art teacher or are home schooled, a parent or guardian must sign the originality certification to ensure that the art entry is an original work not copied from, nor does it include, any other person’s copyrighted work.

The top 40 entries will be displayed at Tacoma Art Museum from April 6 through April 22. 

Adam Smith’s Congressional Art Contest reception will be held Saturday, April 14 at 1:00 p.m. at the Tacoma Art Museum Classroom.  Tacoma Art Museum is located at 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402

Guidelines and registration forms are posted www.house.gov/adamsmith and distributed to high schools.  Those interested in more information should email tina.johnson@mail.house.gov.