Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act:

“Our nation’s current energy policy is outdated, inefficient and relies far too much on foreign oil. This undermines our national security and leaves us at the mercy of gas and oil prices, which can change dramatically in short periods of time. This is unacceptable, and Americans deserve better. We must establish energy policies that protect consumers, reduce our carbon footprint and free us from the tyranny of foreign oil.

“The dramatic increase in gas prices last summer demonstrated the urgent need to reform our energy policies. The sudden spike in oil prices had a devastating effect on our economy and essentially levied a steep energy tax on Americans at a time when they could least afford it.  

“We must take advantage of this situation to transform our economy and create the jobs needed to compete globally in the future.  We need stronger efficiencies and smarter policies in order to keep our energy prices reasonable.  Our current energy policy is a large tax on Americans in the form of extreme oil costs and it must change. The American Clean Energy and Security Act is far from perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. The bill is a cautious approach, one that strikes a balance between moving our economy away from its dependence on fossil fuels and mitigating the economic impact of this transition.

“This bill will also help to unleash the power of our entrepreneurs to invest in clean energy sources, create jobs, and move us toward energy independence. It will help reduce pollution and keep our energy costs at a reasonable level.  The bill reduces dangerous pollution by limiting emissions from major sources such as electric utilities, oil refineries, and coal fired plants.  The legislation protects and creates jobs now, and bolsters American competitiveness in global energy markets – where countries like China, Germany and Spain are already investing heavily.  

“The cost to consumers of our current energy policy is simply too great to ignore. If we do not increase efficiency and create alternative sources of energy the people of our country will always be at the mercy of the price of oil. Global demand for oil in growing economies like India and China will continue to cause the price of oil to increase. This bill gives us a chance to break this cycle and provide consumers with alternatives that will put us on a path to a better energy future, one where consumers do not have to simply absorb sudden and massive increases in the cost of oil.

“While this bill is a dramatic improvement from our current energy policy, it is not perfect – and it is not finished. In the weeks ahead the Senate will take up its version of the bill and then work together with the House to address the differences between the two versions.  As this process moves forward, I will work closely with my colleagues to ensure we craft the best possible energy policy that addresses the needs of all Americans.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) voted in support of legislation today that will allow disabled military retirees to concurrently receive both their retired pay from the Department of Defense (DoD) and their disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  H.R. 2990, the Disabled Military Retiree Relief Act of 2009, passed the House today by a vote of 404-0.

“Our veterans have dedicated their lives to our country, and they deserve to receive the benefits they have earned,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “While this is a step in the right direction, we must go further.  Expanding concurrent receipt to all military retirees remains a priority for me in Congress.  In the months ahead, I will continue working with my colleagues to achieve this goal.”

This legislation temporarily allows Chapter 61 retirees who are rated 100% disabled, 100% disabled by reason of being unemployable, or 90% disabled to receive full concurrent receipt of their DoD and VA benefits from January 1, 2010 until September 30, 2010.

Due to required budget offsets, finding funds to permanently expand concurrent receipt to all military retirees has been extremely difficult.  However, this bill contains the framework to extend the eligibility period and expand eligibility to those Chapter 61 retirees with a disability rating of less than 90% in the future.  Congress will utilize this framework to work toward a permanent solution in the months ahead.

The bill must now be approved by the Senate before it can be signed into law by the President
Smith Support Investments to Improve Homeland Security

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) voted in support of the Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which includes funding for critical border, transit and port security, as well as aid for first responders.  

“These funds are vitally important to securing our borders and protecting our critical infrastructure here at home,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “These funds will not only help secure our country against those who seek to do us harm, but they will also ensure that our first responders have the resources and tools to respond should an emergency occur.”

Some key provisions of the bill include:

Northern Border Security:

  • Increased Investment in Surveillance Systems: The bill supports ongoing efforts to secure the 4,000 miles of the sparsely populated, often remote Northern Border. It also provides $40 million to continue investments in mobile and remote video surveillance systems along the U.S.-Canada border.

Port Security:

  • Port Security Grants:  Provides $250 million for port security grants to help U.S. ports meet the security requirements established by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.
  • Developing Systems for the Screening of Cargo Containers:  Provides $804 million for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Offices to develop new and improved systems to screen cargo containers for weapons and nuclear materials.  
  • Overseas Cargo Container Security:  Provides $162 million to continue implementation of its efforts to strengthen operations at overseas ports to monitor and target cargo containers, and to develop better technology to accomplish this mission.      

Rail and Transit Security

  • Rail and Transit Security Grants:  Provides $250 million for rail and transit security grants to protect critical transit infrastructure, including rail and ferry systems, in high-threat areas.

First Responder Grants

  • State Homeland Security Grants:  Provides $950 million for State Homeland Security grants to help meet the needs of state and local first responders, including hiring, training and equipping emergency personnel to respond to terrorist attacks and catastrophic incidents.   
  • Firefighter Assistance Grants:  Provides $380 million in grants to fund equipment for firefighters.

The Homeland Security Appropriations bill is one of 12 annual appropriations bills that fund Federal Government programs and services.  For a full summary of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill visit the House Appropriations Committee.

The bill must now be approved by the Senate before it can be sent to the President to be signed in to law.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) today expressed concern over recent statements by European government officials that Airbus might receive further launch aid subsidies for the development of the Airbus A350.

“I am concerned by recent press reports indicating that France, Germany, the UK and Spain are seriously considering providing upwards of $5 billion dollars in launch aid to Airbus for the development of the A-350, especially since the World Trade Organization is poised to render a decision on the legality of this type of subsidy in the coming weeks.

“I firmly agree with the U.S. Trade Representative that further European government support for Airbus would be a ‘major step in the wrong direction.’  

“Airbus is a profitable company that should compete on a level playing field. They should invest their own cash and commercially borrowed funds in new products and services, not receive government subsidies to fund a significant portion of their development.  This is in stark contrast to the market realities that Boeing faces every day.  This assistance would allow Airbus to unfairly compete with American industry and American workers.

"I hope that the European countries involved will decide that this is not the best course of action."

Today, Congressman Smith (WA-09) voted in support of the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which includes funding for several critical law enforcement, public safety and justice assistance projects in the 9th District.

"These funds are important to ensure that our local law enforcement officials and crime prevention agencies have the resources and support they need to keep our communities safe," said Congressman Adam Smith. "These funds will support critical local programs that prevent drug abuse, crime, and violence and aid victims and affected communities."

Smith helped secure funding in the House bill for a number of local programs including:

  • $150,000 – Valley Cities Public Safety Wireless Regional Broadband Network. This funding will be used to construct a fiber and wireless broadband network to streamline communications throughout the Valley Cities including Auburn, Renton, Kent, Tukwila, Algona, and Pacific.
  • $200,000 – Lacy Records Management System. This funding will be used to purchase hardware and software components for a new records management system to be used by law enforcement agencies in Thurston County.
  • $1,500,000 – Washington State Meth Initiative. This funding will be used to continue investigations of clandestine meth labs, treatment programs for those addicted to methamphetamine, and mobilize education and prevention efforts.
  • $400,000 – Puyallup Justice Center. This funding will be used to purchase security and communications equipment for the Puyallup Tribe's detention center.
  • $500,000 – Pierce County Regional Gang Prevention (Safe Streets). This funding will be used to continue efforts for prevention and intervention entities to reach out to youth and families impacted by gangs.

The Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill is one of 12 annual bipartisan appropriations bills that funds vital Federal Government programs and services. This particular appropriations bill makes investments in law enforcement, science, innovation and other essential government priorities. For a full summary of the CJS bill visit the House Appropriations Committee.

The bill must now be approved by the Senate before it can be sent to the President to be signed in to law.