Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) spoke today to students, staff and community leaders at the University of Washington on progressive internationalism and sustainable development.

In his speech, Smith stated, “We are at war with al Qaeda and w must fight terrorism throughout the globe and here at home. We must deal with the threat of failed states. We must promote economic engagement throughout the world. Diseases like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are enormous challenges to stability and economic growth in developing nations.”

He goes on to state, “The White House has gone out of their way to push away friends, embolden critics and undermine any sense of progressive internationalism. Working with our allies and with institutions is simply the most effective way to keep America safe and strong. We cannot simply impose our will on others or pursue a narrow, myopic nationalism. In order to remain true to our best values, we must lead the world toward political and economic freedom.”

The complete text of the speech is available at: http://www.house.gov/adamsmith/SustainableDevelopment.htm

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) issued the following statement in response to President George Bush’s State of the Union address this evening:

“While the President outlined a number of issues that were important to his agenda, what struck me was what he didn’t elaborate on – the exploding federal debt, a real plan for job creation and a strategy for reinvigorating our foreign policy and repairing damaged relations with our allies.

The Bush Administration has squandered historic budget surpluses and now has annual budget deficits of nearly $500 billion – a collapse of fiscal discipline that will lead to a $5 trillion national debt over the next decade. We must roll back the components of the Bush tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the very wealthiest and we need to show restraint on large new spending programs. The Administration’s suggestion that their tax cuts have been only a minor factor in the fiscal deterioration is wrong…the tax cuts are the largest single contributor to the deterioration of our budget outlook.

Along with the exploding federal debt, we are experiencing the greatest job loss in a recovery since the Great Depression.  Almost 2.5 million jobs have been lost in the past two years. Last month, only 1000 jobs were created. Clearly, there needs to be more opportunities for America’s workers to regain their footing. Long-term unemployment is close to a 20-year high because the labor market is so weak. The administration’s major initiative to help the struggling manufacturing sector so far has been the appointment of a new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing and Services. We need to repeal tax cuts for the very wealthiest, let other tax cuts expire and extend benefits for the long-term unemployed. Sustained growth is necessary to bring the labor market out of its slump.  However, the large deficits, exacerbated in part by the past two tax cuts, undermine this goal.

Finally, we need to repair our relations with our allies across the world.  For example, we need to internationalize our efforts in Iraq.  No matter where people stood on the war resolution, we all have a responsibility to help Iraq through this period of political and economic reconstruction.  Although the Administration has shown some interest in getting the United Nations involved in Iraq again, we need to reach out to all of our allies through direct and personal involvement.  It is time to match words with actions.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) have awarded the Dupont Fire Department more than $116,000.  This one year grant was awarded to enhance their effectiveness by purchasing breathing apparatus, protective clothing and the funds will also be used for increased survivor training.

“This is a great way for the federal government to help out our local communities as these grants provide our local firefighters with the tools they need to do their jobs safely and more efficiently,” Smith said. “Our nation’s fire departments are the first responders to almost every emergency situation and this grant program is one of the ways that we can help to ensure their continued safety as they face a variety of threats.  This is a great program for our local first responders and I’m looking forward to expanding the number of Ninth District applicants to federal grant programs like this in the future.”

The three co-chairs of the House New Democrat Coalition, Representatives Jim Davis (FL-11), Ron Kind (WI-03), and Adam Smith (WA-09), issued the following joint statement on the 2nd anniversary of the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act.

This week marks the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. New Democrats played an integral role in ensuring that NCLB refocused federal education policy on raising academic achievement for every child, provided public schools with more funding and flexibility, targeted those new dollars to districts with the greatest needs, and demanded accountability for results.

Unfortunately, over the past two years we have seen the Administration and Republican Congressional Leadership underfund this important Act, forcing our nation's public schools to cut critical programs that ensure public schools make the grade and educate our most needy children. For this year alone, the NCLB received $7.5 billion less than what is authorized under current law. Instead of barnstorming the country and taking credit for this legislation, the President should be working to ensure that NCLB is fully funded, properly implemented and that schools districts and teachers receive proper assistance and guidance. By failing to allocate the needed funds, the White House has exacerbated the fiscal crisis in states and localities. This has a direct and harmful impact on children and their schools.

As New Democrats, we believe every child must be given the opportunity to learn the skills they need to compete in the increasingly global economy. We remain committed to improving the performance and accountability of our schools, yet this historic opportunity will be lost as long as the Administration and congressional Republican Leadership continue to ignore their responsibilities to educate all of our nation's children. As we begin work on the fiscal year 2005 budget our top priority will be to provide the necessary resources to help the states and local school districts implement this Act so all our students receive a high quality education.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) will be traveling to Honduras January 10th – 15th, 2004 to study the impact of sustainable development on Honduras and Central America.  During his trip, sponsored by Global Partnerships and the Seattle Initiative for Global Development, Smith will meet with several groups, public officials, and NGO leaders to examine the range of issues, opportunities and challenges facing America’s relationship with Honduras and this critical region.  Highlights of the trip include a visit to the Mixed Cooperative of United Women (COMIXUL), which is a microfinance institution that focuses on microcredit and its impact; a visit to microcredit programs where Smith can see firsthand the impact of solidarity groups and village banking methods and he will visit local people who have participated in microcredit lending.  Smith will also receive briefings from the U.S. Embassy in Honduras on the impact of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and will conduct field visits to small and micro enterprise development programs to see, first hand, rural development programs at work.

“This trip is critical to my understanding of the economic and social situation in Honduras and Central America as a whole,” said Smith. “It is important to see first hand the impact of good, sustainable development programs in this growing economy.”