Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2547, The Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act.

“Throughout the pandemic, many consumers and small businesses have struggled to keep up with their bills through no fault of their own, while debt collectors have seen record profits. Recent reports found that almost 26 percent of Americans have an item in collections listed on their credit reports, and we know that abusive debt collection practices disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities.

“The Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act would provide important protections for small businesses, servicemembers, students, and other consumers against mistreatment and harassment by certain debt collectors. The bill would allow for higher damages under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for abuses by collections agencies engaging in unfair and deceptive practices and requires the agencies to obtain a consumer’s permission before using emails or text messages to collect on past due debt. Importantly, it would also prohibit collectors from threatening servicemembers with reductions in rank or revocation of security clearance.

“By enhancing consumers’ rights, increasing the accountability of debt collectors, and amending the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, H.R. 2547 will ensure debt collectors can no longer prey on consumers and small businesses. At a time when Americans and small business owners are struggling more than ever, we must protect them from egregious practices from debt collectors and update existing decades-old statutes to hold them accountable.”

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to escalating violence in Israel.

“The barrage of rockets over the past few days directed at Israeli civilians is abhorrent and I unequivocally condemn this deadly assault from Hamas. Hamas has once again taken advantage of heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israelis for its own destructive purposes, not for the benefit of Palestinians. I support the Biden Administration’s efforts to engage regional partners, including Israel, Egypt, and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East, to reach a ceasefire immediately and ensure that that all steps are taken to minimize civilian casualties in Israel and Gaza.

“It has been far too long since Palestinian and Israeli leaders have shown the leadership required to come to the table and talk to one another, and we are seeing the result of maintaining the status quo. Planned evictions in East Jerusalem not only uproot the lives of Palestinians who have lived there for decades but also inflame tensions and undermine the prospects for a two-state solution. It is vital that the U.S. urge leaders of all faiths and partners in the region take steps to deescalate the growing violence in Jerusalem and areas throughout Israel.

“Moving forward, the U.S. must play a more productive role in bringing the Palestinians to the table, preventing unilateral actions that undermine a future two-state solution, and facilitating peaceful dialogue between the two parties.”

###

KENT, WA – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, visited Pacific Propeller International’s facility in Kent, Washington.

“I had the pleasure of visiting Pacific Propeller International’s facility today in Kent to see firsthand how they plan to fabricate and manufacture propellers and parts for aircraft including C-130s and P3s,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “I want to thank the employees and those who are also former servicemembers for their continued support on such important platforms that ensure the safety, efficacy, and readiness of our military operations. It is crucial that we also work to bring more production back to the U.S. to create good American jobs and support the union workers who continue to elevate the standard of what it means to be ‘American made.’ I will continue to work with the Biden-Harris Administration to support domestic production, build back the economy, and ultimately keep our men in women in uniform safe.”

“On behalf of the Pacific Propeller team members, thank you for visiting PPI today,” said Jeff Heikke, CEO of Precision Aerospace Products. “With 70 years of proud tradition servicing our US military, foreign allies, and the commercial aerospace industry, we are honored that you are joining us at this critical time as we look to expand our manufacturing in the US to support our military customers domestically and overseas. We appreciate your time and interest.”

“We are honored to be represented by Congressman Adam Smith and appreciate his visit to our facility, Pacific Propeller International in Kent, Washington this week,” said George (Jorge) Canovas, Chief Compliance Officer, Strategic Global Relations, of Precision Aerospace Products. “His concerns for the wellbeing of our Country, business, our workers, and specifically his interest in bringing back jobs to the U.S.A. and Washington State, underscore his commitment to each citizen of this great Country and State.”

###

SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) announced today that restaurants in Washington state will be able to apply for direct relief through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund beginning Monday, May 3, at 9:00 AM PT. Applicants can register on the U.S. Small Business Administration application portal here.

“Independent restaurants in Washington’s ninth district are the cornerstones of our community and local economy,” said Rep. Smith. “I am proud that we passed direct relief for them and the people they employ as part of the American Rescue Plan. The recovery of our restaurant and hospitality businesses are both an important key to a full recovery and it’s crucial we continue to support them so we can soon gather again safely with friends and family.”

The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created by the American Rescue Plan that Rep. Smith helped pass last month. The law incorporated key provisions from the RESTAURANTS Act, which Rep. Smith also co-sponsored in the previous Congress.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will provide restaurants and other eligible businesses with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business. The relief does not have to be repaid, provided that the funds are put toward eligible uses by March 11, 2023.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund application portal can be accessed at https://restaurants.sba.gov/requests/borrower/login/. Participating POS providers include Square, Toast, Clover, NCR Corporation (Aloha). Entities that work with Square or Toast, you do not need to register beforehand on the portal.

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted a Community Project Funding request of $673,000 for the Entrepreneurship Incubation Hub: Teaching & Commercial Kitchen for Refugee & Immigrant Community, World Relief Seattle in Kent, Wash. to the House Appropriations Committee.

“We are beyond thrilled that World Relief Seattle’s Commercial/Teaching Kitchen has been elevated as one of the 10 CPF projects for Representative Adam Smith’s Office. This project, if funded, will enable hundreds of refugees and immigrants to build economic capacity, start microbusinesses, and bring neighbors of all races and ethnicities together-- over their passion for food!  What can be better than that!  In addition to the Commercial/Teaching Kitchen, we will bolster this project with an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Academy—so that people can be connected to culturally appropriate knowledge, access capital and connect to a network of business people who can add to the success of their business.  This opportunity could provide powerful pathways to economic thriving for the communities we serve, at World Relief Seattle.”

This request would help World Relief develop a teaching and commercial kitchen that will be a 1,215 sq. ft. multi-impact community space serving Washington’s King County refugee and immigrant community. This space will be used as an entrepreneurship and small business incubation hub to launch and promote local businesses, particularly food-based businesses, and train refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs through an Entrepreneurship Academy hosted in the space.

The project will promote entrepreneurship and successful small business ownership within historically underserved communities; advance community based economic empowerment through promoting food related businesses and income-generating initiatives; and simultaneously increase food security and sovereignty for refugee and immigrant communities.

Click here for information about other Community Project Funding requests submitted by Congressman Smith.

###