Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today sent a bipartisan letter to Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Gephardt endorsing the suggestion that September 11, 2002 should be the target date for enacting legislation to establish a cabinet level homeland security department.

Representatives Jane Harman (D-Calif.), William "Mac" Thornberry (R-Texas), Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), Jim Gibbons (R-NV), Diane Watson (D-Calif.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), Lane Evans (D-Ill.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), Ralph Hall (D-Texas), Ron Kind (D-Wisc.), John Baldacci (D-Maine), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Michael Castle (R-Del.), Cal Dooley (D-Calif), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) and Max Sandlin (D-Texas) also signed the letter, saying, "We strongly endorse the suggestion that we set 9-11-02 as the target date for completing Congressional action to fine tune and enact into law the President's Department of Homeland Security proposal."

Click here for the full text of the letter: www.house.gov/adamsmith/pdf/Sept112002letter.pdf

Today Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, and 30 additional Members of the New Democrat Coalition, wrote to Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) “to reiterate [their] support for bankruptcy reform legislation” and urging that the bankruptcy reform bill conference report to accompany H.R. 333 to the floor quickly be brought immediately to the floor of the House. 

When the conference report is finally brought to the floor, Smith will vote in favor of “The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001,” H.R. 333, to overhaul bankruptcy law to require debtors to take responsibility for their debts and repay them when they are financially able. 

“Frankly, bankruptcy needs to be more of a last resort instead of a first action.  This conference reports requires greater personal responsibility from debtors by ensuring that those who have the ability to pay off some of their debt do,” said Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.).  “It supports consumers by reducing irresponsible bankruptcy filings.  It is unfair that many higher-income families are declaring bankruptcy even when they have the ability to repay some of their debts, costing other families hundreds of dollars each year.”

“Over the past five years, we have worked to advance reasonable and balanced legislation that would require individuals who have the ability to repay their debts to do so, while preserving the important safety net of bankruptcy under Chapter 7 for those who truly need it,” the New Democrats write.  “We believe that the bankruptcy reform compromise that has been reached by the House-Senate conference embodies the New Democratic principle of personal responsibility, while at the same time adding important new consumer protections such as requiring enhanced credit card disclosure information and encouraging participation in consumer credit counseling.   In addition, the bill significantly strengthens the ability of women and children to collect child support payments that they are owed, as well as curtails abuse of homestead exemptions.”

“Legislation passed the House last year with overwhelming bipartisan support.  More than 90 Members of the Democratic Caucus voted for the legislation, with 50 Members of the NDC supporting the measure,” the letter continues.  “We believe that this year’s bankruptcy reform conference report represents a fair, balanced, and reasonable bill, and we look forward to working with you to see that such legislation is enacted this year.”

Since coming to Congress in 1997, Representative Adam Smith has been a leading Democrat in favor of Bankruptcy reform.  As a leader of the New Democrats in the House, Smith has long fought for common sense changes to bankruptcy laws.  The New Democrat Coalition has co-sponsored bankruptcy reform this session and last session, and has continually provided key Democratic support for the issue.  When the House considered H.R. 333 last March, it was approved by a vote of 306-108, with 75 percent of all voting New Democrat members voting yes.

On Wednesday August 28, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) will talk with seniors and health care professionals about problems with our health care system and describe some of his proposals to begin to address them.  

Congressman Adam Smith believes that we need a long-term solution to our health care problems.  Currently, there is a decline in access to doctors, hospitals, nurses and home health care for seniors on Medicare in Washington state and prescription drug costs are rising dramatically, while generics are not getting into the marketplace quickly.  

The reality is that we have a ‘perfect storm’ brewing: health care inflation is rising quickly, and, as the baby boomers retire, we will face simultaneously the influx of seniors into the program and dramatically rising health care costs.  Fundamental reforms are needed that focus on healthy outcomes, gives seniors health care options, provides coverage for prescription drugs, and ensures the program is viable for future generations.  

Members of the media are invited to attend both the Firs Retirement Community meeting and the visit to Valley Medical Center.  For further information on the meetings or to speak with Smith during the day, please contact Katharine Lister at (202) 226-8454.

1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m.  
Address to the Firs Retirement Community about health care, prescription drugs, Medicaid, Medicare and reimbursement rates and Smith’s MediFair Bill.

Where: Firs Retirement Community 
426 Lilly Road NE, Olympia

5:00p.m. – 6:00p.m.  
Visit with Valley Medical Center to discuss a variety of health care issues with representatives from Washington State Hospital Association, SEIU and Washington Citizen Action.
 
Where: Valley Medical Center, Renton

On Tuesday, August 27, Congressman Adam Smith (D-09) will be in Rainier to meet with the some of the City’s elected and community leaders. 

The lunchtime conversation will concentrate primarily on events and concerns in Rainier, but Congressman Smith will also speak briefly about the current state of affairs in Congress, including new developments in legislation on health care, transportation, veterans affairs, homeland security and the war on terrorism.  

Members of the media are invited and encouraged to attend the lunch with Rainier’s leaders.  Please contact Katharine Lister at (202) 226-8454 to RSVP or for further information on the meeting.

12:00p.m. – 1:30p.m. 
Lunch with City of Rainier leaders.  Invitees include Mayor O’Dell, City Councilmembers, Fire Chief Rita Hutchison, Pastor Rex Niblack, Superintendent Jerry Black and Public Works Director Ron Gibson.

Where: Rainier City Hall, Rainier.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that the City of Federal Way was awarded a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and United States Fire Administration (USFA) to purchase new lifesaving equipment and provide more firefighter training.

“This grant will provide Federal Way’s firefighters with the tools they need to do their jobs safely and more efficiently,” Smith said.  “Our nation’s fire departments are the first responders into almost every emergency situation and this grant program is one of the ways that we can help to ensure their continued safety as they face a variety of threats.  This was a very competitive grant process, involving a national peer review process with over 300 fire service leaders.  With their receipt of the award, the Federal Way department has successfully demonstrated their commitment to ‘safety first’ for their team.” 

Awarded jointly by FEMA and USFA, the Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant Program is designed to increase the effectiveness of fire fighting operations, fire fighter health and safety programs, new fire apparatus, EMS programs, and Fire Prevention and Safety Programs.  The Federal Way Fire Department received $475,950 to help address firefighter safety issues and improve the basic fire fighting services they provide to the community.