Press Releases

Today, Congressman Adam Smith announced his schedule for this spring’s Town Hall meetings.  Interested district residents are invited join him for an open dialogue on important community issues — including energy, tax cuts, education and health care.

The schedule for the spring’s meetings is: 

Saturday, April 20th — Yelm 
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Yelm Senior Center
201 Yelm Avenue, Yelm

Saturday, May 11th — Puyallup 
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Puyallup Public Library
324 South Meridian, Puyallup

Saturday, June 22nd — Auburn
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Auburn Public Library
1102 Auburn Way South, Auburn

Staff from Congressman Adam Smith’s District Office will be on hand to help with any specific problems related to the federal government. Any questions about the Town Hall Meetings should be directed to the Congressman’s District office in Tacoma at (253) 593-6600.

The Secretary of the Air Force announced today that the United States Air Force will begin negotiations with the Boeing Corporation for the lease of 100 Boeing 767s which will be converted into aerial refueling tankers to replace the Air Force’s oldest KC-135 tankers.  Earlier, the Air Force had considered the European Airbus consortium’s Airbus 330 as well.

“I’m very pleased by the Air Force’s selection of Boeing to provide these tankers,” Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said.  “The economic impact for Washington state is tremendous.  After the House Armed Services committee hearing, we pointed out to the Air Force that Boeing was clearly the only technically acceptable tanker available and that it was the only American tanker option.  Their selection means concrete investment in American communities and American jobs.”

The decision was made after the Air Force’s Air Refueling Tanker Request For Information demonstrated that only Boeing’s 767 technology could meet their air refueling requirements.  The competing Airbus 330 lacked tanker and air refueling experience, making their initial approach to the task a significant risk increase for the Air Force that had to be weighed against Boeing’s experience.  The Air Force also discovered that the footprint of the Airbus 330 is 81 percent larger than that of the current refueling tankers (KC-135) and that the increase in size did not yield sufficient increases in air refueling efficiency.

Congressman Adam Smith noted that the contract award not only underscores Boeing’s role as the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer, but also recognizes the company’s commitment to innovation and transformation.

The following is a statement from Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on the Republican Budget proposal introduced on House floor today.  Media seeking more information or to speak with Smith should contact Katharine Lister at (202) 226-8454.

 “Like all Americans, I believe that we must meet our most pressing priorities of protecting our country against terrorism, improving our international relations, and growing our economy.  I agree with the president that these current challenges warrant small, short-term deficit spending.

 “However, I am concerned about the lack of sound budgeting practices in the Republican Budget offered today.  Under their plan we cannot both address our most pressing current needs, and establish a framework for a long-term, sustainable revenue and spending plan without relying on massive borrowing.  

 “The Republican Budget spends most of the Social Security surplus and all of the Medicare surplus, putting us in terrible position to deal with the impending entitlement crises when the baby boomers retire.  Despite promises last year from both the White House and Congress to save every single dollar of the Social Security surplus and Medicare surplus, and Congress’ votes for a Social Security “lockbox” five times in the past few years, this budget uses nearly all of the Medicare and Social Security surpluses —  more than 86 percent of the Social Security surplus and every penny of the Medicare surplus. 

 “The Republican budget also just isn’t honest - it doesn’t take into account the tax and spending programs that both Republicans and Democrats know Congress is going to pass.

 “For example, the individual Alternative Minimum Tax will balloon twenty-fold by 2012, affecting 39 million households (34 percent of all taxpayers), but fixing that problem isn’t in the budget.  Republicans also support making permanent last year’s tax cuts, which would cost $569 billion and Speaker Dennis Hastert plans to bring up an additional tax cut bill this spring.  None of these items are in the budget.

 “And in terms of spending, the White House has said that it will submit a supplemental appropriations request for defense and homeland security that will certainly be approved by Congress - but that isn’t in the budget either.  They are assuming non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending will be kept at only five percent of the levels necessary to maintain current levels of services in 2003.  We all know that’s an unrealistic projection — even under Republican control of Congress, spending has always increased on these programs.

 “Another problem with the Republican Budget is that it uses the optimistic, rosy projections from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) rather than the more conservative Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections.  Over the next five years, the difference between CBO and OMB revenue projections is $110.4 billion.  OMB also plans on the government spending $48 billion less over the same five year period on mandatory spending programs like Medicare and veterans’ benefits.  That’s a lot of ifs.

 “To be perfectly honest, I don’t really care whether the numbers we use are labeled CBO, OMB or UFO, but I do believe that it’s sound budgeting practice to use more conservative numbers when you’re balancing your checkbook. 

 “The bottom line is that even with all of these budget tricks and gimmicks that make it look like we can have everything we want, the budget is still in deficit and our debt is still climbing.  The budget deficit for next year is projected to be $46 billion, and we’ll be in deficit every year for ten years.  By 2007, when the baby boomers start to retire, the government will owe more debt to the public - nearly $3.5 trillion - than it does today.

 “Our federal budget needs to be more balanced and fiscally responsible than today’s Republican proposal.

 “I had hoped that House Republicans would recognize the need and the real possibility for bipartisan cooperation on developing a proposal for the federal budget.  If the House leadership is willing to invite more people to the table, to go to an economic conference as we’ve suggested, I am confident that we can have a federal budget that will protect the country against terrorism, lend needed support to our military, take care of workers at home, and pay for needed programs like education, healthcare and social security as well as ensuring a strong economic foundation for the future.”

Congressman Adam Smith’s (D-Wash.) newly redesigned Web site went live today at www.house.gov/adamsmith.

The site has been redesigned with the needs of constituents in mind and an effort was made to make it easy for residents of the Ninth district to reach Smith to share their thoughts and concerns.  The site is meant to serve as a good source of information for constituents about what's going on in Congress — what Smith is working on for Washington’s Ninth District and the nation.  Smith continues to make communication with residents of the Ninth District a top priority and the new Web site is part of his ongoing efforts to make communication easier and to encourage transparency in government. 

While retaining the constituent favorite “Question of the Month,” the new site introduces new features such as an easy email link to contact Smith; a special section for young constituents including “A Day on Capitol Hill” — a walk-through of a typical day for Smith; easy and searchable access to bills in Congress Smith has worked on; pages devoted to issues that Smith is working on; and clear access to information on constituent services like flags, tours, casework and academy nominations.  In just a few weeks, the site will also have audio clips from Smith that will change frequently to provide constituents with current “real-time” statements as issues develop.

Stop by the Web site and send the Congressman any feedback — www.house.gov/adamsmith.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) announced today that the Washington State Office of Community Development has awarded the City of Yelm $750,000 for the construction of a new senior center.  

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is given through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) General Purpose Program, which gives money to eligible local governments for projects that primarily benefit low- and moderate-income people. The Yelm grant, for which Smith wrote a letter of support to HUD, will enable the Senior’s Center to continue to provide area seniors with dietary and social service needs in a new and up-to-date facility.

The current building is cramped, aging and often inadequate for the center’s services.  The single multi-purpose room functions not only as a dining room, classroom and lounge, but also as a games room, meeting space and community store.  The kitchen is approximately half the size needed to prepare and serve the number of meals that the center provides on a daily basis.

“Seniors are one of our country’s greatest resources and we need to make sure that we are providing them with quality care,” Smith said.   “I am always pleased to help secure federal dollars for worthwhile projects like this one for our district.  With this money, Yelm will be able to enhance and expand their delivery of critical services, like basic nutrition, legal services and emotional counseling, for Yelm area senior citizens.”

For more information on the project, please contact Fran Sherrill, director of the Yelm Senior Center, at (360) 458-7733.