Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and lead sponsor Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) issued the following statement on passage of the Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act which would help expand opportunities for military veterans to heal and seek treatment through outdoor recreation and public lands. The bill was included as part of nine provisions in the Veterans COMPACT Act to address gaps in current law to ensure veterans in crisis can receive emergency mental health care regardless of cost and better address issues that may lead to suicide.

“Access to the outdoors can have a profound impact on our veterans’ mental health and a tangible effect on physical wellbeing as a part of comprehensive therapy,” said Reps. Adam Smith and Chris Smith. “Veteran assistance groups agree that access to nature, combined with other treatments like group activities, have positive therapeutic effects on veterans especially those struggling with combat-related injuries or post-traumatic stress.

“By bringing together stakeholders from veterans, environmental, and outdoor recreation organizations, the Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act will help increase opportunities for veterans and their families to experience the benefits of the public lands and outdoors spaces that their service to our country has protected,” the Reps. continued. “We are proud to see the House passage of this bipartisan legislation, and we commend our colleagues for recognizing the need for this legislation to help our nation’s veterans and their families experience the outdoors – we urge our colleagues in the Senate to do the same.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after reports by The Washington Post highlighted that the Department of Defense repurposed funds allocated for pandemic relief.

“Today’s reporting confirms once again that the Trump Administration continues to exploit the trust of the American people. The congressional allocation of $1 billion under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act), was intended to increase the short-term and long-term domestic production of critically needed medical supplies and equipment. Instead of focusing on a clear, coordinated strategy to produce and acquire the medical supplies necessary to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, the Trump Administration carved up this billion-dollar appropriation and spent three dollars on defense contracts for every dollar it spent on acquiring health resources.

“I’ve long said that the Pentagon’s budget, which has continued to surge over time, is more than adequate to meet DoD’s operational needs. It is alarming that they have not properly aligned their spending with strategic priorities and continue to ask for more. DoD has requested an additional $5.3 billion for Defense Production Act Title III investments without providing a properly detailed spend plan.

“Our nation is counting on bold actions to bring us out of the grips of the pandemic crisis. With the safety and lives of our health care, first responder, and essential workforces at stake, the Department must be held accountable to administer the funding in the way Congress intended.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after President Trump announced he would nominate a candidate to fill the Supreme Court vacancy this Saturday.

“The President and Senate Republicans’ decision to move forward with a Supreme Court nomination flies in the face of precedent and their own words. 237 days before the 2016 election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a Supreme Court nominee should not be appointed and confirmed during an election year. We heard this same argument repeatedly from Senate Republicans. Yet the very night Justice Ginsburg passed, 46 days out from the 2020 election, Senate Republicans decided that they would vote on her replacement.

“As we knew all along, Senate Republicans were never acting on principle when they blocked the confirmation of Merrick Garland in 2016. They are continuing to show their true colors by dismissing their own arguments from 2016 so they can rush a nominee through the Senate weeks before an election. It is important to remember what is at stake here. The fate of the Affordable Care Act, civil rights, abortion and women’s access to health care, LGBTQ+ rights, the environment, campaign finance, and more all hang in the balance.

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy will forever be enshrined in our country’s history as a pioneer for equal justice and ensuring that the most vulnerable were given protection under our Constitution. She has left a profound impact on issues such as gender discrimination, voting rights, access to health care, same-sex marriage, and countless more issues that represent progress towards justice and quality.

“Justice Ginsburg made clear that she wished a replacement not be appointed until after the winner of the 2020 election is sworn in to ensure that the American people have their voices heard. I urge the Senate to honor her final request.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the Department of Justice named Seattle, Portland, and New York City ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ as justification for attempting to withhold federal funding:

“Attorney General Bill Barr’s effort to cut off federal aid from Seattle, Portland, and New York City is another baseless, unlawful move by President Trump and his administration to use the federal government for political purposes and distract from his failed leadership. The law still applies to President Trump and Attorney General Barr and their attempts to withhold congressionally appropriated money blatantly violate the separation of powers.

“President Trump is distracting from real crises and his failed leadership by fearmongering. As the U.S. reaches 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, he continues to ignore science and fail to respond to the pandemic. The President has unsurprisingly only further divided us as protests around the country have demanded progress on racial justice and police reform. This latest campaign stunt attempting to hold taxpayer funds hostage from American cities will not distract us from the critical issues facing our country.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an exemplary beacon of justice. Her life-long work to expand the rights of all Americans has enshrined her mark on the history of our country and will serve as an inspiration for generations to come. Her leadership and honorable service have shaped countless lives for the better, and we are a stronger, more just nation due to her jurisprudence.

“No words can accurately portray the monumental impact she had on our justice system or describe her profound dedication to our nation even until her very last moments with us. We mourn the loss of her today, but we continue our fight for justice tomorrow. I extend my deepest condolences to her family and my sincerest gratitude to Justice Ginsberg – may she Rest in Peace.”

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