Press Releases

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass H.R. 1298, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003.  A bi-partisan bill, H.R. 1298 addresses the HIV/AIDS crisis in a truly systematic and comprehensive way, and increases the resources available to fight this growing threat.  Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) was pleased to see the bill that he had helped shepherd through the House International Relations Committee pass by such a large margin.

“That today’s vote on final passage was so one sided, 347-41, indicates the large support for tackling this critical issue.  Over 22 million people around the world have died of AIDS already, and some estimates say the world will see 100 million cases in just four years,” Smith said.  “We succeeded today in protecting the bill from attempts to cut funding – every dollar in this fight matters.  The global AIDS epidemic is an extremely destabilizing and dangerous problem that can only be solved with strong U.S. leadership, broad international support, and scientifically-proven methods of prevention and treatment.  ”

“My only disappointment with today’s vote comes from the inclusion of Rep. Joseph Pitts’ (R-Pa.) amendment which takes away the flexibility offered to local AIDS preventions efforts and instead pushes a one-size-fits-all agenda that emphasizes abstinence instead of other scientifically-proven forms of AIDS prevention,” continued Smith.  “A multi-pronged approach to HIV/AIDS prevention works, and I believe that we should not lock up one-third of prevention money for abstinence-only programs.  Both Democrats and Republicans on the International Relations Committee defeated this measure when it came before us in Committee and it’s disappointing to see it pass the House.”

In addition, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003 supports the care and treatment of infected individuals, funds vaccine research and development, and supports the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  The bill establishes a comprehensive strategy to strengthen our capacity to respond effectively, and authorizes the resources necessary to dramatically expand our prevention and treatment efforts in the developing world.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today extended his congratulations to Loren Willson of Sumner High School for being selected by a distinguished panel of judges as a Semi-Finalist in the 2003 National Council on Economic Education/Nasdaq National Teaching Awards competition.  These awards are given to high school teachers for excellence and innovation in incorporating economic education into any subject area.

“Knowledge of fundamental economics and finance has never been more important than in today’s complex world economy,” Smith remarked.  “This award recognizes Loren Willson’s originality, creativity and effectiveness in the teaching of economics and finance, and both she and Sumner High School should take considerable pride in this accomplishment.” 

Created through a grant of the Nasdaq Educational Foundation to NCEE, the NCEE/Nasdaq National Teaching Awards are among the largest in the field of education.  Each year, the Grand National Award Winner, chosen from among five regional winners receives cash awards totaling $25,000.  The four remaining Regional Winners receive $10,000 each, while 20 Regional Semi-Finalists receive individual awards of $1,000.  The winners were chosen from among applications submitted by teachers in more than 40 states.

NCEE is a non-profit organization that for more than 50 years has been helping students in grades Kindergarten through 12 develop economic ways of thinking and problem solving to prepare them to function effectively in the global economy.  Through a nationwide network of State Councils and 250 university-based Centers for Economic Education, NCEE administers programs that each year reach approximately 120,000 teachers and over 7 million students in more than 70,000 schools.

House Centrist Democrats, led by Rep. Cal Dooley (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), will unveil minimum medical standards asbestos legislation at a press conference tomorrow – Thursday, April 10 – at 11:30 a.m.

The Asbestos Victims’ Compensation Act of 2003 is designed to ensure that victims of asbestos-related disease receive full, fair and timely compensation through the development and use of minimum medical standards.  Under the bill, a claimant would have the ability to go to their own doctor to determine if they have an asbestos-related illness.  The Asbestos Victims’ Compensation Act of 2003 ensures exposed individuals the right to bring their claim when they actually become ill.

Frustrated by Congress’ failure to pass a responsible asbestos litigation bill that provides legitimate help to those suffering from exposure to asbestos, Smith and other centrist Democrats have developed an alternative proposal that has been praised by both trial lawyers and industry.

WHAT:           Introduction of The Asbestos Victims’ Compensation Act of 2003, a centrist 
                        asbestos litigation reform plan offered by Rep. Smith and centrist House 
                        Democrats

WHEN:           Thursday, April 10

                        11:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

WHO:             Rep. Adam Smith and Centrist House Democrats, including: 

Rep. Cal Dooley (D-Calif.)

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.)

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.)

Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas)

WHERE:        122 Cannon House Office Building

 

Today the Department of Homeland Security, through the Office of Domestic Preparedness, announced that $11.28 million is being made available to the City of Seattle as part of the Urban Area Security Initiative.  The money, dispersed under the Urban Area Security Initiative, will help enhance Seattle’s ability to prepare for and respond to threats or incidents of terrorism.

 “Washington state, like many other states, has been feeling the financial burden of needing to increase security for our ports, our borders, our infrastructure, water sources, power plants, airport – the list goes on and on,” said Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) of the announcement.  “Today it looks like at least Seattle will get some help from the president.”

Two weeks ago in Washington, D.C. Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) introduced legislation to deliver affordable, universal prescription drug coverage for all seniors, the Medicare Rx Now Act of 2003.  On Thursday, April 24th Smith will visit senior centers around the 9th Congressional District to discuss his bill and provide seniors with information to help them with their prescription drug costs now. 

Prescription drug legislation has been debated in Congress now for six years, and it will continue to take long-term battle to get a bill passed.  Smith believes that our nation’s seniors shouldn’t have to wait much longer to get the help they need. 

Many drug companies currently offer no-cost discount card plans to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors and many seniors are unaware that they qualify for Medicaid’s drug benefit.  Smith has organized an information session at three senior centers in his district with representatives from AARP and pharmaceutical companies to provide seniors with real ways they can reduce their prescription drug bills now through free drug discount plans.   

Media seeking additional information should contact Katharine Lister at (202) 226-8454.  To RSVP for any of these visits or to find out more information, constituents should call Smith’s district office at (253) 593-6600 or (888) SMITH09. 

10:30-11:30am
Firs Retirement Apartments
426 Lilly Road NE, Lacey

12:30-1:30pm
Puyallup Senior Center
212 West Pioneer Ave., Puyallup

2:30-3:30pm
Des Moines Senior Center
2045 South 216th Street, Des Moines