Press Releases

Today Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), led a group of his Washington colleagues in urging Totem Ocean Trailer Express Inc., the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union to come to agreement over the cargo bound for Alaska, which is currently docked at the Port of Tacoma.  

The letter, addressed to Mr. Bob Magee, President and CEO of Totem Ocean Trailer Express follows:

“We are writing today to express our concern regarding the labor negotiations between Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU).  We are hopeful that we can work together and find a solution to the immediate problem of Alaska cargo.

“We understand that Totem is not a member of the PMA and therefore not subject to the lockout order; however, Stevedoring Services of America, which provides contract services to you, is a PMA member and therefore subject to the lockout.

“The ILWU has informed us that they are willing to continue loading and unloading cargo for Alaska on your vessels.  Not only would this be critical for Alaska consumers, who rely on cargo shipped from the west coast ports for groceries and other essential goods, but it is also essential for our many military bases in Alaska.  

“We request that you work directly with the ILWU to fulfill your duties to the consumers and men and women in uniform in Alaska.  Due to the fact that this matter is extremely urgent, please respond to us as soon as possible.”

Click here to view the full text of the letter.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9, Tacoma) is currently looking for spring interns for his Washington D.C. office, as well as year-round internships for his Tacoma, Washington office.  The Washington D.C. will be from January 6, 2003 - May 15, 2003.  Interns will learn about the daily operations of Congress and its inner workings as part of a hard-working team of people working each day to better serve the citizens of Washington state.

Interns responsibilities consist of both administrative and legislative duties including attending committee hearings, briefings, researching and writing responses to constituent inquiries, opening mail and answering the phones.

Applicants must be undergraduate students who have completed at least one semester/quarter of college.  Students should be interested in the legislative process and have strong writing and research skills.  The willingness to undertake a variety of projects and the ability to work independently is also important.  

Internships are available for school credit if approved by the college/university.

For information or details on internships, contact Katy Andrew, D.C. Office Manager and Scheduler, at (202) 225-8901 or email her at katy.andrew@mail.house.gov.

Deadline for Washington D.C. spring 2003 intern applications is November 1, 2002.  To be considered for a D.C. internship, please email Katy Andrew at katy.andrew@mail.house.gov with the following information in a complete application: cover letter, resume, and a one-page statement on why you would like to be a congressional intern.  

There is no deadline for internships in the Tacoma, Washington office.  For more information, please contact Diane Brazell at (253) 593-6600 or diane.brazell@mail.house.gov for more details on positions in the district.  District office intern applications should include a cover letter expressing your interest in the internship program and a current resume.

The leaders of the New Democrat Coalition expressed their frustration today with the inactivity in the House of Representatives on critical legislation.  Since Congress’ return to session, the Republican leadership has failed to schedule a vote on legislation that enjoys broad bipartisan support and that they themselves have declared to be high priorities - Bankruptcy Reform and the Export Administration Act.  Meanwhile, with the fiscal year on the verge of expiring, the leadership has allowed intra-party politics to bring the appropriations process to a grinding halt.

Today New Democrat Coalition co-chairs Reps. Jim Davis (D-Fla.), Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement:

“While the House leadership is scheduling little more than non-controversial suspensions for debate, widely supported bankruptcy reform legislation has been repeatedly pulled from the floor because a small group of far-right Republicans are holding their own leadership hostage.  One piece of legislation labeled a White House priority, the Export Administration Act, has languished for months as the Republican leadership has failed to seek a compromise between the two Committees’ chairmen.  At the same time, Congress is well behind on the appropriations process, with the House having only taken up five of the 13 regular appropriation bills needed to fund the federal government for the fiscal year beginning October 1.

“The New Democrat Coalition has continuously offered support to the House Leadership on bankruptcy reform.  Last year, bankruptcy legislation passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support including the votes of 50 members of the New Democrat Coalition and several members of the Democratic leadership.  Our group has consistently made this legislation a top priority and has delivered a wide base of support for the bill.  

“Most recently, on September 3rd, 30 New Democrats sent a letter to Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) expressing support for this year’s fair, balanced and reasonable bankruptcy reform conference report.  We pledged to work hard with leadership to make sure that this legislation passed this year.  But rather than moving forward in a bipartisan fashion, the Republican leadership bowed to pressure from the extreme elements of their party and withdrew the bill from the calendar, yet again.

“The Export Administration Act has also languished thanks to Republican Party in-fighting.  Many of the nation's leading defense experts recognize the need to fundamentally revamp the way we protect our nation's security, and the bottom line is that export control reform is critical to the future of U.S. global economic, technological and military leadership.  For years, New Democrats have been working to change the debate on export controls from a false choice between profits and national security to a matter of improving national security while maintaining U.S. competitiveness.  

“It seems clear that the White House is committed to ensuring passage of appropriate export control legislation and the New Democrats continue to be willing and eager to work with them to make that happen.  Unfortunately, despite our regular offers of support, and requests for meetings to discuss a bipartisan plan to move this crucial legislation forward, the House Republican leadership has continued to ignore all calls for action and reform.  Instead, they have proven unwilling to work with their own party’s chairmen to pass legislation that the White House has asked to see on the floor.

“Meanwhile, with the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, the leadership is also refusing to bring to the floor the appropriations bills that we must pass to keep our government running.  Apparently, the leadership, in another bow to their right-wing Republican members, would rather send the House home for another long weekend than spend this Friday voting on any of the four appropriations bills that are ready for floor debate. 

“We, as members of the New Democrat Coalition, wonder what the Republican leadership is waiting for.  We see them torn between the two competing interests of intra-party politics and effective legislating.  We ask them to choose bipartisan action on these, and other, important issues and not to allow the narrow special interests in their own party handicap the legislative business of this nation.”

Today Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), joined by fellow Washington state Reps. Norm Dicks, Rick Larsen and George Nethercutt, sent a letter to all members of the House of Representatives urging support of military transformation currently exhibited at Ft. Lewis, WA with the Stryker and the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs). 

“We need to make smart investments in our military by developing and deploying cutting-edge technology that plays a critical role in the United States’ military transformation.” said Smith. “We must modernize our forces to make sure our soldiers have the equipment and training necessary to do their job, and investing in strong tactical power programs, such as the Stryker and the accompanying Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, is key to preparing our forces not just for the challenges we face today - but for tomorrow's fight.  I'm proud of the role Ft. Lewis plays in Army transformation.”

In the letter to their colleagues, the Representatives wrote “All six SBCTs the Army intends to field represent a transformation in warfighting capability that will ensure our battlefield commanders have the tools they need to immediately respond in the War on Terrorism and other conflicts.  The Stryker vehicle also represents a transformation in the weapon system acquisition process.  The first Stryker was fielded in February, less than two years after contract award, and there are now nearly 200 delivered to the Army.”

Since coming to Congress in 1997, Representative Adam Smith has been a critical voice on the House Armed Service Committee for making the military more efficient and utilizing technology to improve our readiness and soldiers' quality of life.  He helped draft legislation to raise the pay of every service member by between five and ten percent, the largest pay increase since 1982. This legislation also authorizes funding to continue the process of modernizing and "transforming" the U.S. Army so that it is a lighter, more lethal force capable of fighting the battles of the 21st Century.  Representative Adam Smith has also worked hard to keep Ft. Lewis, located in the Ninth District, a model for the Army's continuing transformation.

Click here to view letter

The following is a statement from Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.): 

“I am pleased that the President is addressing the United Nations this morning to make the Administration’s case for regime change in Iraq.  Ousting Saddam Hussein may be necessary; however, the President has not yet articulated a compelling justification for military action to either the American people or the international community.  

“His address to the UN is an important step toward that goal.  The case for regime change must be so compelling that the risks of inaction outweigh the risks of putting many thousands of servicemen and women in harm’s way.  

“I believe strongly that our allies must be involved in any effort to secure regime change - that begins with making clear to Hussein that the international community requires that weapons inspectors have nothing less than full, unfettered access to Iraqi sites.  I also believe that we must set a deadline for such inspections.  If Hussein fails to meet that requirement, then military action may be necessary - but that must be the last, not the first, option. 

“The President must also detail the Administration’s vision for Iraq after a regime change.  Clearly, the international community - from both a practical and financial standpoint - must be deeply engaged in building a new Iraq.

“Finally, I have been encouraged by the President’s recent commitment to seek both the counsel and the assent of Congress.  This is essential.  If the American people are to broadly support our military personnel risking their lives in Iraq, they must be confident that the decision to deploy was made in a deliberative manner with a clear strategy for victory.”