Press Releases

U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) was pleased that today the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of HR 32, the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act. The bill now goes to the White House where it is expected that President George W. Bush will sign it into legislation. The Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act would:

1. Expand the scope of trademark violations to include sale of counterfeit labels (patches, medallions, etc.) and;

2. Increase penalties for trademark violations so that not only the counterfeit products themselves would be seized and destroyed, as required by current law, but that assets gained from or used in the production and/or sale of counterfeit goods would also be seized and destroyed. 

“This bill is a step in the right direction,” said Smith. “Federal law enforcement officials estimate that sales of counterfeit goods now total approximately $500 billion a year. That’s a staggering figure that hurts commerce in the United States. This bill would not only help American businesses by cracking down on counterfeiters, but would also strengthen our hand in negotiating trade agreements with other countries where counterfeiting of U.S. products is a major problem.  Having these stronger laws on the books in the U.S. will allow the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate stronger trademark protections with our future trade partners.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) today introduced the Invest in America Act, saying it would bring billions in new investment to America and help spur our economy.

Smith was joined by 15 original cosponsors: Reps. Cal Dooley (D-Calif.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Jim Turner (D-Texas), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Chris John (D-La.), Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), Ron Kind (D-Wisc.), David Scott (D-Ga.) and Brian Baird (D-Wash.).

The bill would encourage companies with foreign subsidiaries to return their foreign profits to the United States by offering a temporary reduction in the tax rate on foreign profits.  The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates passage of the bill would result in an additional $135 billion in investment in America.

“The Invest in America Act meets the criteria for a sensible economy stimulus measure,” Smith said.  “It encourages investment and job creation right away and is fiscally responsible, unlike the Republican proposals that fail to give the economy the jump-start it needs and instead will only increase the deficit and grow the national debt.”

Republican Congressman Phil English has introduced a measure similar to Smith’s, and Smith will be working with him, and other interested Republicans, to see the proposal included in any final stimulus package that Congress passes.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) issued the following statement in response to President George Bush's State of the Union address this evening:

"Tonight, the President failed to outline a bold, positive agenda for our nation. Instead, the speech was much of the same old rhetoric that has been the hallmark of his past State of the Union addresses.

As gas prices are again on the rise, the President needs to focus on alternative fuels instead of towards greater dependence on polluting imported fossil fuels. Since Bush took office in 2000, the amount of foreign oil consumed in the United States has gone up to sixty-six percent from fifty-eight percent. Americans now spend $200,000 a minute on foreign oil and more than $25 billion annually goes to Persian Gulf states for oil imports. The Bush Administration's Energy Bill, passed last year, preserves the status quo and contains billions in subsidies for fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas; subsidies that do not make sense if we are serious about switching to alternative energy sources and lessening our dependence on foreign oil. As a nation, we must be prepared to invest in forward-thinking and emerging technologies, renewable energy, and energy efficiency and conservation.

In tonight's speech, Bush failed to address one of the critical problems are nation faces: an irresponsible and out-of-control fiscal policy. Bush insists on making his tax cuts permanent, yet these cuts are targeted to help the wealthiest in our country, they do almost nothing to benefit the average American, and they worsen the nation's poor fiscal health. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the cost of making the tax cuts permanent is $3.4 trillion through fiscal year 2015. At a time when we have annual budget deficits approaching $500 billion and a national debt that exceeds $8 trillion, we cannot afford these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He also showed no plan for reining in government spending and he appears content to simply continue his fiscally irresponsible policies.

President Bush also failed to provide America tonight with a vision to adequately address the growing health care crisis that faces the nation. Health care inflation is rising at a rate of approximately 15 percent a year, and yet he gave us no plan for controlling health care costs.  In order to ensure the competitiveness of our businesses and the vibrancy of our economy, we must control the cost of health care. 

He discussed relatively minor policy changes that will have a limited impact on what is clearly a large-scale problem.  In doing so, he's demonstrated that he has neither the will nor the creativity to deal with the central and urgent challenges faced by million of American families.  We need to do better and the Bush Administration needs to lay out a health policy that controls costs and also helps all Americans get the health insurance that they deserve.

Tonight's speech discussed energy independence, our economy and our health care system, yet the proposals that the President discussed tonight do not address the fundamental issues that Americans face. In the State of the Union, Bush had the opportunity to layout a serious and thoughtful vision for the future: a future for Americans that includes investments in the latest technologies to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, a future that includes a significantly reduced national debt and a health care system that doesn't leave 45 million Americans uninsured. President Bush did not do this. Rather, he laid out policies that maintain the status quo regarding our dependence on foreign oil, no plan to curb our spending and no effective plan to help the millions of uninsured Americans.  We need real solutions to these important and difficult problems and the President failed to provide the American people with policies that will address these issues."

 

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) today issued the following statement on H.R. 3, a bill to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.  The bill passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 253 to 174.

“More than 70 percent of Americans support stem cell research.  House Democrats promised to expand funding for this potentially life-saving and life-changing science.  I’m pleased to report that in the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress, we made good on our promise. 

“Local institutions like the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington could benefit from passage of this bill, so I hope we can get it to the President’s desk quickly.  President Bush should listen to the will of the people and sign it without delay.”
 

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) was pleased to vote for the fiscal year 2006 Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. The bill authorizes a total of $441.5 billion for programs in the bill which include all the activities of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the nuclear weapons activities of the Department of Energy, among others. The bill also includes an additional $50 billion authorization for a “bridge fund” to fund the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for six months, until a further formal supplemental request for these costs can be considered next year.

The language against prisoner abuse by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was included in the legislation. The language prohibits all U.S. personnel, including agents of the Central Intelligence Agency and other civilians, from engaging in torture, or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of foreign detainees by the government.

“As a conferee that helped shape the conference report, I was pleased with the McCain language in the report that sends a clear signal to the rest of the world that the United States is unequivocally stating that torture and mistreatment do not work and that they are not representative of American ideals or values. This is a critically important provision in the legislation.”

The Conference Report also adopts a Sense of the Congress that says 2006 should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. It also creates quarterly reporting requirements until all combat brigades have been redeployed from Iraq.

Provisions for our servicemen and women were also included in the report. Some of these provisions include a 3.1% pay raise for all uniformed service members and for the first time ever, all reservists who agree to continue service in the Selected Reserves will have an opportunity, depending on their status, to buy into a government subsidized TRICARE Standard health care program for themselves and their families. Finally, the conference report increases the bonuses for enlistment and reenlistment and raises the eligible enlistment age to 42.

“This bill is a positive step forward in providing for the needs of our brave servicemen and women serving at home and around the world,” said Smith. “They are the ones who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and ensuring that we take of them, as well as their families, is the least we can do.”