Press Releases

SEATTLE, WA – The Fiscal Year 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee at the beginning of July includes historic increases in funding for Urban Indian Health organizations and Tribal Epidemiology Centers. This increase came after Representative Smith (D-Wash.) and Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) led their colleagues in urging the Committee to increase funding for both programs.

“Urban Indian organizations, such as the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB), play a pivotal role in providing health care for Native and non-Native communities across the country. They have been at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting urban American Indians and Alaska Natives who are often marginalized in the traditional health care system,” said Congressman Smith. “This proposed increase in funding to urban Indian health organizations will strengthen clinics across the country, give them the tools to continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and eliminate disparities and inequities in the health care system. The proposed increase in funding to Tribal Epidemiology Centers, including the Urban Indian Health Institute at SIHB, is long overdue to expand research and disease surveillance to improve health outcomes in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”

“After decades of underfunding for the Indian Health Service and urban Indian health, we are encouraged to see the House Appropriations Committee honoring its trust and treaty obligations to all Native people by proposing a necessary increase in resources for Indian Health Care Providers. Each year the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup provides an estimated need to Congress and this year, for the first time ever, the House bill includes the full amount from that request for urban Indian health at $200.5 million. We are grateful to champions like Congressman Smith who have fought to ensure that all American Indians and Alaska Natives have access to health care regardless of where they live,” said Francys Crevier (Algonquin), CEO of the National Council of Urban Indian Health.

“Seattle Indian Health Board commends the House Appropriations Committee for the historic action to address the chronic underfunding of tribal and urban Indian communities. We look forward to working with our congressional champions to strengthen the federal trust and create a path to full funding for American Indian and Alaska Native health programs that honor the treaties and serve all Native peoples, regardless of where we reside.” said Esther Lucero (Diné), President & CEO of the Seattle Indian Health Board.

The FY 2022 House appropriations bill includes $200,548,000 in funding for the Urban Indian Health Program (UIHP), a $137,816,000 increase above last year’s funding. The bill also more than doubled the funding for Tribal Epidemiology Centers to $24 million. In April, Representative Smith led a letter with Representative Don Young (R-AK) requesting these increases in funding for the Urban Indian Health Program and Tribal Epidemiology Centers. You can read the letter here.

The Urban Indian Health Program (UIHP) serves communities by providing culturally attuned health care and human services, conducting data research, and collaborating with tribal, community, and federal partners. The UIHP has traditionally received less than one percent of IHS appropriations to provide health care and medical services to the 71% of the American Indian and Alaska Native population that live in urban areas.

Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) conduct research used to identify the root causes of health disparities and improve data-driven health care decision-making in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. TECs play a critical role in providing disease surveillance and technical assistance to tribal and urban Indian organizations.


Washington. D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act.

“The INVEST in America Act puts over $700 billion into communities across the U.S. to move our transportation system and water infrastructure into the 21st century. The bill puts climate change front and center, creates good-paying jobs, and improves the lives of Americans. These investments are critical not only for improving the safety and efficiency of our transportation system, but will also ensure a stronger and more equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I am happy the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee included $20 million in funding for 11 projects across Washington's 9th district. I have worked hard with community partners and elected officials from across the district to be sure we submitted qualified and highly needed projects. They will support the transition to electric bus infrastructure, improve access to public transit, create new and enhanced bike and pedestrian connections, increase safety, and repair vital transportation corridors for the region’s economy.

“The INVEST in America Act not only authorizes hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in our infrastructure but ensures we do so in a more sustainable and equitable way. This funding will help repair our nation’s roads and bridges, significantly expand public transit systems, and invest in existing and new passenger rail corridors. It will also bring about much-needed improvements in road safety through smarter street planning, safer routes to schools, and new walking and cycling paths.

“I am proud that the bill includes my Promoting Affordable Housing Near Transit Act to spur affordable housing development near transit lines and city centers. This provision will provide new opportunities for transit entities to partner with community-based organizations to utilize unused land for affordable transit-accessible housing. The INVEST in America Act incentivizes transit-oriented development, ensuring that our communities remain walkable, become better connected, and remain affordable despite the rapid economic growth in many of America’s cities.

“This legislation makes necessary investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, the largest source of emissions in the U.S. It will also help electrify the transportation system with tens of billions of dollars in funding for electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, zero emission buses, and greening the federal fleet of vehicles. The INVEST in America Act makes the largest down payment in public transit we have seen and establishes new funding sources specifically for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote resiliency for the impacts of climate change.  

“The water infrastructure investments made in this bill will finally address long-standing failure to ensure safe drinking water access for everyone. The INVEST in America Act dedicates over $115 billion in drinking water infrastructure and affordability, including the replacement of lead pipes across the country. 

“Through the INVEST in America Act, the House is making important strides in our commitment to revitalize our existing transportation systems, make ambitious, climate-friendly investments, creating new jobs, and promoting more equitable transportation investments.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) announced the successful inclusion of $20 million in funding for eleven transportation-related projects in the Ninth District as part of the INVEST in America Act that passed the House today.

“I am proud to have secured funding for eleven transportation projects in the Ninth District in the INVEST in America Act,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “These projects support efforts to electrify King County’s bus system, expand public transit access, improve safety and accessibility, increase connectivity through new pedestrian and bike infrastructure, and repair transportation corridors that are vital for the region’s economic growth. I look forward to working with my colleagues to further advance these projects and the broader legislation that invests in all of our communities.”

The eleven projects are listed alphabetically below.

You can read more about the projects here.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) secured $1,800,000 as part of the INVEST in America Act for the Seattle Department of Transportation's Georgetown to South Park Connection.

“The Georgetown and South Park communities have outlined that their number one transportation priority is a walkable, bikeable community,” said City of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Right now, these two communities are among the Seattle region’s most culturally vibrant and diverse neighborhoods yet lack access to easily accessible connections. We are thankful to Rep. Smith for making the Georgetown to South Park Connection a part of the Invest in America Act.”

This project would establish a pedestrian and bike connection from the business district in the Georgetown neighborhood to the business district in the South Park neighborhood. The route was determined through community input and outreach and is now ready for engineering assessment. The connection is to be made up of a combination of protected bike lanes and shared-use pathways.

This project connects two communities that are less than 2 miles apart, that share community resources such as a library, community center, and senior center. Currently, there is no continuous facility for citizens to walk or bike between these two Duwamish Valley neighborhoods that are heavily impacted by air pollution and the Duwamish River superfund site. These communities will benefit greatly from a new walking and biking facility to help offset emissions from automobiles, provide families with a new health and recreational opportunity, and provide a safe connection for those who cannot drive to access services they need.  

Click here for more information about member-designated transportation and infrastructure projects.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) secured $2,000,000 as part of the INVEST in America Act for Rainier Avenue South Corridor Improvements in Renton, Washington.

“We are extremely grateful for Congressman Smith’s leadership for including funds in the continued work on improving the Rainier Avenue corridor through our community,” said Renton Mayor Pavone. “This project will make Rainier Avenue more convenient for all users – for people walking, driving to transit stops, shopping, or delivering goods and services. The project will also make the Rainier Corridor easier to navigate for those who need to reach key employment centers.”

This funding will support Phase 4 of the Rainier Ave S Corridor Improvements project, starting from S Grady Way to Renton city limits, and adjacent to the Renton Municipal Airport. The project will upgrade walkway conditions and streetscape, and address pedestrian infrastructure continuity gaps. The funding will also support the reconstruction of substandard traffic signals, upgrading signal timing and coordination, and an extension of southbound Business Access & Transit (BAT) lanes

Since 2012, there have been over 250 collisions on Rainier Avenue. This project will improve the safety of the corridor by increasing separation between pedestrians and vehicle lanes with a landscaped buffer and wider sidewalks and by installing a new pedestrian-activated signal and curb ramp improvements for ADA accessibility. Reconstruction of substandard traffic signals, upgrading signal timing and coordination, and an extension of southbound Business Access & Transit (BAT) lanes will improve transit speed and reliability as well as general traffic mobility.

Accommodating transit is crucial as Rainier Avenue South connects with the current Tukwila Sounder Station and the soon-to-be constructed South Renton Transit Center (Rainier Avenue/Grady Way). That Transit Center will be a major connection hub for existing fixed-route services as well as new Bus Rapid Transit – the Sound Transit “Stride” and the King County Metro Rapid Ride I Line.

Click here for more information about member-designated transportation and infrastructure projects.