Press Releases

Today the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (ISG) released The Iraq Study Group Report: A Way Forward – A New Approach.  The ISG called for increased diplomatic outreach in the Middle East, for Iraqis to take responsibility for the security of their country, and the responsible redeployment of our troops from Iraq.  These recommendations validate positions that U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) has held for some time.

“The Iraq Study Group’s report supports many things I have said previously: that 'stay the course' is not an option, that the Iraqis must take responsibility for their country, and that regional diplomacy and a political solution are our only real options in Iraq,” Smith said.  “I hope the President listens to the bipartisan, highly qualified members of the Iraq Study Group and move past his refusal to listen to informed, credible voices in Congress.” 

Smith is encouraged that the ISG specifically validated a key position of his regarding the proper use of U.S. troops going forward. 

“I have advocated for months that our troops should be redeployed over a fairly rapid period of time and shift from combat duty to training and support for the Iraqi military.  The ISG confirms this, and I hope the President will take this opportunity to implement a real course correction in Iraq.”

Smith also expressed his eagerness to examine the ISG’s recommendations in the Armed Services Committee in the 110th Congress under incoming-Chairman Ike Skelton (MO-04).

Smith is a key Democratic voice in Congress:

  • Smith is the only Democrat serving concurrently on the House Armed Services and the House International Relations Committees.  This dual assignment provides him a unique perspective on the military and diplomatic issues in Iraq and around the world. 
  • Smith is also the co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, which is expected to grow to 60+ members in the 110th Congress.  New Democrats have built a reputation as the "go-to" group in Congress on the critical issues of economic growth, national security, personal responsibility, and technology development.

The Iraq Study Group’s recommendations are available at http://www.usip.org/isg/iraq_study_group_report/report/1206/iraq_study_group_report.pdf
 

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) issued the following statement in response to the introduction of a bill by House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Ike Skelton (MO-04) to extend the authority of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGR):

“Recent stories of missing weapons in Iraq highlight the need for oversight of war spending.  The Special Inspector General is key to any such oversight, and it is important that he have the authority he needs until the job is done.  As it stands, the SIGR could lose his oversight authority long before the last taxpayer dollar is spent in Iraq.

“I am an original cosponsor of a bill introduced today by Rep. Skelton that would extend the SIGR’s authority until most Iraq war spending is complete.  In addition, it would bring an additional $1.7 billion under the SIGR’s authority – money to be spent for the training and equipping of Iraqi troops.

“Americans spoke loudly and clearly against staying the course in Iraq last week.  Making sure we know where our money goes is essential if we are to get the situation in Iraq under control.  This bill is a good step in a new direction in Iraq.”

 

Today Donald Rumsfeld resigned his post as Secretary of Defense.  Rumsfeld’s ouster comes on the heels of a staggering repudiation of the President’s Iraq policy by the American people on November 7, 2006.

“The President is absolutely correct to accept Secretary Rumsfeld’s resignation,” U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) said.  “It is unfortunate that it took a stunning loss at the polls, more than 2,800 American lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives, billions of taxpayer dollars and Abu Ghraib to convince the President to do so.  Rumseld’s resignation is an opportunity for a new direction in Iraq, and the President must seize it.”

According to a November 4 editorial in the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times under the headline “Time for Rumsfeld to go”:

"Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.”

Smith first called for Rumsfeld’s resignation following the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004.  He has also called for a new direction in Iraq beginning with a phased redeployment of our troops from the country.

Smith is also a key Democratic voice on the war in Iraq.

  • Smith is the only Democrat serving concurrently on the House Armed Services and the House International Relations Committees.  This dual assignment provides him a unique perspective on the military and diplomatic issues in Iraq and around the world.
  • He’s also the co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, a large, moderate group of Democrats who fight for a strong national defense. 
  This dual assignment provides him a unique perspective on the military and diplomatic issues in Iraq and around the world.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) announced today a November 1, 2006 deadline for applications for nominations from his office to a U.S. military academy.
“It is an honor for me to be able to nominate outstanding young men and women each year to the U.S. military academies,” said Smith. “The academies provide an excellent education and an exceptional opportunity to serve our country.”

Smith may make nominations to four military academies:

  • the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York
  • the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York; and
  • the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut does not require a nomination; however, qualified applicants can request a letter of recommendation from Smith’s office.

Who may apply: To apply for an appointment, a candidate must live in Washington’s Ninth Congressional District be between 17 and 23 years old and be unmarried. Applicants whose parents are temporarily stationed at a military base but maintain legal residence in another state should apply to the congressional office from that district.

How to apply: Applicants should contact their Member of Congress and both Senators and apply to each office.

For further information, visit Smith’s website at www.house.gov/adamsmith or contact Rebecca Snyder in Smith’s office at (253) 896-3775 or toll-free (888) 764-8409.

 

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) today submitted the following statement on H.R. 4954, Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act conference report.  Smith was an original cosponsor of the bill, which passed the House early this morning by a vote of 409 to 2:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support the conference report on H.R. 4954, the SAFE Port Act.  This bipartisan legislation makes critical improvements to strengthen our domestic and international security efforts and provides the resources necessary to detect tampered cargo before it enters our ports.  Passage of the SAFE Port Act today is vital to our national security.

“For Washington state, the SAFE Port Act will bring greater regional coordination, new security grants, increased Customs personnel for Puget Sound and development of radiation detection equipment that is both modern and appropriate for the Port of Tacoma’s increased rail capacity. 

“The SAFE Port Act also takes important steps to plan for and immediately recover from any incidents on our docks.  With the increased role of western ports like the Port of Tacoma and the Port of Seattle in our global economy, we must ensure the free flow of commerce.

“Passage of the SAFE Port Act will help protect our communities, our critical infrastructure and our homeland.  The SAFE Port Act will move America in the right direction.”