Press Releases

Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) today announced the results of a Congressional study on the effects of concurrent receipt, also known as the Disabled Veterans Tax, which affects more than 25,000 veterans in Washington State.

Under current law, veterans with 20 years of military service are entitled to receive retirement benefits from the Department of Defense.  In addition, veterans who incurred service-related disabilities are entitled to receive disability compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  If a veteran has both 20 years of military service and a service-related disability, however, the veteran’s military retirement benefit is reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis by the amount the veteran receives in disability compensation.

“In effect, this is a Disabled Veterans Tax, which taxes our veteran’s income at 100%,” said Smith. “This is unfair and should be changed.  In the Ninth District alone, veterans are losing $33.5 million a year in benefits.  It is unfair to impose this tax on the men and women who have served our country so proudly and who have sacrificed for the freedoms that we enjoy every day.”

Smith has cosponsored the Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2003, passage of which would end the Disabled Veterans Tax for any veteran with over 20 years of military service.  Smith also signed the discharge petition associated with this bill that would force the bill to the floor for a vote and is actively engaging other Members of the House of Representatives to sign the petition and support the Retired Pay Restoration Act.

Congress enacted this unjust law in 1891, and it affects approximately 560,000 disabled military retirees.  Military retirees are the only federal employees affected by the offset.  For 18 years, legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to correct this long-standing inequity.  The Retired Pay Restoration Act has received strong bipartisan support in Congress.

“I believe that all our veterans should be justly compensated for their service and dedication, and I am hopeful that we can reach agreement on concurrent receipt and pass this critically important legislation,” said Smith.  “I remain committed to seeing concurrent receipt not only enacted, but fully funded and will do all I can to further its progress.”
 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) is pleased to announce today a recent law enforcement grant for the Nisqually Indian Tribe.  The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) announced a grant to the Nisqually Indian Tribe of $495,187 to cover the salary, benefits and training of new community policing officers and also includes funds for basic equipment and crime fighting technology systems. 

“This grant is good news for the members of the Nisqually Indian Tribe,” Smith said. “Since 1975, COPS has provided more than $270 million to Native-American law enforcement agencies to purchase equipment, receive training and hire 1,813 officers. I am pleased that the people of Washington State are the recipients of some of this funding and that it will enable the Nisqually Indian tribe to enhance the safety of their community.”
 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) today on Fox News Channel called for a delay to some aspects of the recent tax cut proposed by President George W. Bush to pay for the $87 billion in additional funds for spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I absolutely support spending whatever it takes to be successful.  I also think it would be nice to be able to pay for this instead of just putting it on a credit card,” Smith said on the Fox News Channel. “We should delay some aspects of the tax cut, particularly those going to the highest income earners in this country.”

“Repealing the top tax rate cut would allow us to actually pay for these operations,” Smith said.  “The highest income earners would still get a tax cut, just a smaller one.  Last week, President Bush repeated his call that Congress make the tax cuts permanent, costing the U.S. Treasury $1.1 trillion through 2013.”

“Why isn’t the President willing to sacrifice some of his priorities – like the trillions of dollars in tax cuts primarily aimed at the wealthy that haven’t done anything to create jobs and improve the economy here at home?  This effort requires a sacrifice, but there is no sacrifice involved in simply putting this on a credit card where the bill must be paid by future generations of Americans.”

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) is pleased to announce today two recent law enforcement grants for Pierce County.  The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) announced a grant to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department of $375,000 to cover the salary and benefits of new school resource officers assigned to protect schools.  COPS also provides school safety training for the officers and an administrator from the school where the officers will be assigned. 

“This grant is good news for the citizens of Pierce County,” Smith said. “By incorporating instruction on terrorism prevention and emergency response, this grant underscores the critical role of schools in community preparedness and disaster response.”

 In addition to the COPS In Schools funding, $300,000 was granted to the City of Fife by the COPS Universal Hiring Program which will help law enforcement agencies pay the salary and benefits of additional officers who will perform community policing and homeland security activities.  The program provides up to 75 percent of the total cost of salary and benefits of each new officer for three years, up to a maximum of $75,000 per officer. 

“This funding helps make Pierce County a safer place for our citizens,” Smith said. “This grant will aid local law enforcement agencies in expanding their ranks and will act as a catalyst for further innovations in community policing.”

Today Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) announced that Lars Anderson will be taking over from Katharine Lister as Communication Director beginning in September.

Several years ago, Anderson served as McChord’s public information officer and as a member of Smith’s committee to select candidates for the military academies.  Since leaving McChord, he has served as the Chief of Media Relations for the Secretary of the Air Force, a NATO spokesperson in Sarajevo, and currently is working as a Senior Account Executive at Fleishman Hillard.  Anderson is from Lacey, WA.  He graduated from the Air Force Academy.

Lister is leaving Smith’s office to serve as the Communications Director for Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll of Pennsylvania.  Her last day will be August 28, 2003.

Please note that after the 28th all press calls through September 4 should be directed to Alixandria Wade, Chief of Staff, at (202) 225-8901 or (202) 225-6901 (cell).