Press Releases

Today, Reps. Adam Smith (WA-09), Jay Inslee (WA-01) and Dave Reichert (WA-08) co-introduced a pair of complementary bills in the House seeking to address the deficiencies in the interstate compact system that governs the release and supervision of convicted felons across state lines. Companion bills were introduced in the Senate by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).  On November 29th, 2009, four Lakewood, Washington police officers; Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Greg Richards were murdered by a convicted felon from Arkansas who had been living in Washington State following the commutation of his sentence.  The legislation, crafted by the local lawmakers and working in coordination with Governor Christine Gregoire, law enforcement and federal agencies, purposes solutions that would improve information-sharing and best practices at all levels of law enforcement.  Legislation would also require the U.S. Department of Justice to review existing rules governing interstate transfers of adult offenders, to best ensure public and officer safety.

“As a former prosecutor, I understand how important it is for law enforcement agencies to share information across federal, state, and local jurisdictions,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “Last November, we saw the disastrous outcome of a break down in this communication. Based on lessons learned from this tragic shooting, the legislation introduced today seeks to address the shortcomings of current interstate policies and will protect and empower our law enforcement officials.”

“The lessons of this tragic event cannot be ignored,” said Rep. Jay Inslee.  “The system, as it is, failed to safeguard those charged with protecting and serving us.  By revisiting the rules and tools states and law enforcement use to communicate with each other, and by making some simple, common sense changes, we can prevent these mistakes from happening again.”  

 “Our law enforcement officers put themselves at risk every day to keep our families and communities safe, and we need to do everything possible to protect those who protect us,” said Senator Patty Murray. “We honor the memories of our fallen officers by learning the tough lessons and making sure that it never happens again.  We also need increased vigilance to ensure that other states are not allowed to dump their criminals into our communities, that’s why we’re calling for a rigorous review of the rules and improved communication at every level to prevent a tragedy like Lakewood from happening again.”

For the last few months, Members have been working with the experts who were tasked by Governor Gregoire to review the incidents leading up to Lakewood tragedy and make recommendations to change existing policies.   Members worked with expert staff at Washington State Department of Corrections and Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs to determine that in order to prevent future incidents, federal legislation is needed to ensure that the Interstate Compact rules are rigorously reviewed and all states act in good faith to protect all communities that host interstate offenders.

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Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) issued the following statement on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) final ruling that launch aid to Airbus is an illegal subsidy:

"Today’s ruling makes it clear that Airbus airplanes have been illegally subsidized by European governments.  These governments violated WTO rules by providing below market rate loans to develop Airbus planes.  

"These illegal subsidies distorted the industry in favor of Airbus planes.  As the U.S. regains its foothold in the global marketplace and continues to recover economically, it is essential that we fight to restore market balance for American workers.  Ensuring that governments and businesses are compliant with international trade rules is an important component.  In its final ruling the WTO has sided with U.S. officials, agreeing that rather than competing on a level playing field with U.S.-built aircraft, the European governments provided Airbus with an unfair competitive advantage, shifting market share toward Europe and away from U.S. aircraft manufacturing jobs.
"European governments and Airbus should end their practice of launch aid, comply with the WTO’s ruling, and cease all plans for illegal subsidies to future planes.  Boeing workers are among the best in the world and can compete directly in the aerospace industry but, in order to do so, we must ensure that the policies of our trading partners and international businesses comply with global trade rules."
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after his vote in favor of the health care reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives this evening:

“With the passage of this legislation today, we have reached an historic milestone in the long fight to reform our health care system. While the legislation is not perfect, it represents a significant step toward achieving the very difficult goals of reining in exploding health care costs and expanding access to care.

“After more than a year of discussions, this legislation brings together ideas from both sides of the aisle and it stands as our best opportunity to move forward on reform. Simply put, with this vote today we have categorically rejected the status quo.

“Yesterday, I released a much more detailed statement on why I support this legislation to reform our health care system. To view my statement from yesterday click

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in support of the health care reform legislation expected to be considered by Congress tomorrow:

“There are far too many people in our country who either do not have insurance or are underinsured, and the cost of insurance is escalating at unacceptable rates.  We have to cover more people and get costs under control now.  

“These are very, very difficult goals to accomplish.  For over 75 years, Republicans and Democrats alike have bemoaned the current health care system.  It costs too much, covers too few, and often doesn’t provide the best results.  If we’ve discovered anything in our pursuit for reform, it’s that this is a difficult issue to address - but that is not a reason to avoid the problem.  If we are truly committed to addressing these issues, we cannot simply rage against what is wrong; we must do what we can to fix them.  

“I support this legislation because it is the best available step forward for reform.  With health care costs ever increasing, we need leadership on these tough issues.  The option before us is imperfect, but it begins the process in a substantial way.  The fact that reform is controversial should not be a reason to avoid it.  Supporting change now demonstrates leadership.  

“This bill will cover an estimated 30 million additional Americans and save more than $1 trillion in the long term.  These are huge steps forward in the reform process. These two key facts make it imperative that we pass this legislation and move forward now.

“The legislation before us is better than the House bill that was passed in November.  It does a much better job of getting costs under control.  The numbers demonstrate that this legislation will not only help reduce costs in the short term, but also help bend the long term cost curve.  The legislation moves forward on rewarding quality of care over quantity.  We would begin to shift away from the failed fee-for-service model that encourages high levels of utilization without regard to the quality of that care.  Instead, it encourages accountable care organizations (ACOs), which emphasize overall quality of care over the sheer number of visits, tests, and referrals.  We will have to monitor and adjust these policies as we move forward and see how they are implemented, but they will actively work toward controlling costs and improving the quality of health care in this country.

“This legislation includes a number of ideas from both sides of the aisle, such as portability, which allows insurance companies to sell insurance over state lines. It also encourages employers to provide incentives for their employees to manage controllable health factors known to lead to long term health issues. These incentives will help create an overall healthier society, and encourage individuals to control their own health care costs.

“Americans will be touched directly by the improvement in care.  In addition to no longer being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, Americans will have access to a greater choice of plans at more affordable rates.  The quality of care will also improve as doctors are rewarded for quality rather than quantity of care.  

“Further, this legislation empowers states to be the drivers of reform - not the federal government.  States have the ability to set up the exchanges to help individuals find quality health insurance, and states will be the primary regulators of insurance companies, rather than the federal government.  

“Over the last year, we have seen an extraordinary level of engagement from the American people about reform. In fact, in all my years a legislator, I have never seen this level of involvement from my constituents. This is a promising sign for the vitality of our civic culture and I hope we continue to see this level of participation as we move forward to address the many difficult issues our country faces.

“This vote is not by any means the end of Congress’ work to improve health care in this country.  If this legislation passes tomorrow, the months and years ahead will be filled with the continued work to improve upon these ideas, learn from our mistakes, and work toward a system that is sustainable and provides access to quality health care for all Americans.  

“Health care is an incredibly difficult issue to address, but I believe that I was elected to make difficult decisions, not to hide from them.  Leadership is about making the tough choices and I have chosen to support this legislation to give Americans the opportunity to have a better health care system.”

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement regarding Northrop Grumman’s decision to not bid on the aerial refueling tanker contract:

“While it is unfortunate that the Air Force will not have the KC-X competition we had hoped for, I am pleased to see that we can now move forward with providing our men and women in uniform with a new tanker that will meet their current and future mission requirements.

“With Northrop Grumman’s decision to withdraw from the bidding process, Boeing now stands as the sole company vying to build the next generation of aerial refueling tankers. While I am confident in Boeing’s ability to provide a high quality product; I intend to be diligent in my role as the Chairman of the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee to ensure we are providing our war fighters with the best possible product at the best possible price for the taxpayer.”