Press Releases

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.

Washington, DC — As more than 35 million Americans celebrate the joy of reading on March 1st and 2nd, Congressman Adam Smith will visit a classroom at Alpac Elementary School in Pacific, WA to read to the children.  The occasion is the National Education Association's (NEA) fifth annual literacy celebration, Read Across America, which coincides each year with the birthday of the late Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel).

“Promoting education is one of my top priorities,” Smith said. “Most education experts agree that reading aloud to children is imperative to their success.  It's also a great activity for parents, because they are spending time with their kids and helping them to build their knowledge.”

NEA's Read Across America was created by a small group of teachers and NEA staff in 1998 to honor reading and to celebrate the fun of the late great Dr. Seuss on his birthday, March 2.  Since the good doctor's 98th birthday falls on a Saturday in 2002, the official Read Across America celebration is being held on March 1. 

When:        March 1, 2002
                 11 a.m.

Where:      Alpac Elementary School
                 310 Milwaukee Blvd. North
                 Pacific, WA  98047

Contact:    Barbara Hegedorn, 253-931-4976.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) will be back in the 9th District during the President’s Day District Work Period from February 18 - 25.  While in the district, Smith will hold the following constituent meetings which will be open to the press:

Members of the media are encouraged to attend these meetings.  For further information or to speak with Smith during the week, please contact Katharine Lister at (202) 225-6902.
 

Wednesday, February 20:     12:00p.m. - 1:30p.m. Smith will speak to the Auburn
                                                 Rotary Club about Congress’ activities this year at 
                                                 Grace Church in Auburn.

                                                 3:00p.m. - 3:30p.m. Smith will meet with officials from the 
                                                 City of Kent to talk about appropriations requests.

    
                                                 7:00p.m. - 8:00p.m. At the invitation of the Young 
                                                 Democrats, Smith will speak to students at Pacific 
                                                 Lutheran University.  This event is also open to the 
                                                 general public.

Thursday, February 21:          7:00a.m. - 8:00a.m. Over breakfast, Smith will talk with 
                                                 Lakewood United.

                                                 6:00p.m. - 6:45p.m. Smith will brief the Des Moines City 
                                                 Council on the current state of Congress and upcoming 
                                                 legislation during their weekly Council Meeting.

                                                 7:00p.m. - 9:00p.m. At their invitation, Smith will address 
                                                 the Navy League’s monthly meeting at the Tacoma Elks 
                                                 Club. 

Friday, February 22:              2:00p.m. - 3:00p.m. Smith will meet with officials from the 
                                                city of Federal Way to discuss congressional and local 
                                                 issues.

Monday, February 25:          12:00p.m. - 1:30p.m. Smith will attends a Air Force 
                                                Association meeting and give an update on Congress’ 
                                                activities.