Press Releases

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass H.R. 1298, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003.  A bi-partisan bill, H.R. 1298 addresses the HIV/AIDS crisis in a truly systematic and comprehensive way, and increases the resources available to fight this growing threat.  Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) was pleased to see the bill that he had helped shepherd through the House International Relations Committee pass by such a large margin.

“That today’s vote on final passage was so one sided, 347-41, indicates the large support for tackling this critical issue.  Over 22 million people around the world have died of AIDS already, and some estimates say the world will see 100 million cases in just four years,” Smith said.  “We succeeded today in protecting the bill from attempts to cut funding – every dollar in this fight matters.  The global AIDS epidemic is an extremely destabilizing and dangerous problem that can only be solved with strong U.S. leadership, broad international support, and scientifically-proven methods of prevention and treatment.  ”

“My only disappointment with today’s vote comes from the inclusion of Rep. Joseph Pitts’ (R-Pa.) amendment which takes away the flexibility offered to local AIDS preventions efforts and instead pushes a one-size-fits-all agenda that emphasizes abstinence instead of other scientifically-proven forms of AIDS prevention,” continued Smith.  “A multi-pronged approach to HIV/AIDS prevention works, and I believe that we should not lock up one-third of prevention money for abstinence-only programs.  Both Democrats and Republicans on the International Relations Committee defeated this measure when it came before us in Committee and it’s disappointing to see it pass the House.”

In addition, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003 supports the care and treatment of infected individuals, funds vaccine research and development, and supports the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  The bill establishes a comprehensive strategy to strengthen our capacity to respond effectively, and authorizes the resources necessary to dramatically expand our prevention and treatment efforts in the developing world.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) was pleased to announce today that the Department of Defense has included $19 million in their Fiscal Year 2004 budget amendment to complete the revitalization and renovation of McChord Air Force Base’s Mission Support Center (Building 100).  Smith is committed to making sure these funds are authorized and appropriated.

“This is a very exciting indication that the Defense Department recognizes the crucial role that McChord plays in the defense of our country and our ability to project power overseas,” Smith said.  “In recent military operations, airlift capabilities proved critical; this project enhances McChord’s ability to serve that key role. I’ve argued for years that we need to modernize our military and invest in tomorrow's technology, to ensure that America's fighting men and women have the tools and equipment they need to fulfill their missions.  Today’s announcement means that McChord will be better prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow and meet the tasks we ask of them – we’re giving them the tools they need to support missions and win.”

Many of McChord AFB's vital mission and community support activities, including the Mission Support Center which serves as the hub of all McChord AFB mission support activities, are in substandard, uneconomical and non-upgradeable WWII or Korean War wood frame facilities that were originally constructed as barracks. 

This project revitalizes 247,000 square feet of space, creates a consolidated customer service center, improves the quality of the workspace for more than 650 personnel and will modernize the facility's structural (seismic), electrical, water, sewer, communications and HVAC systems. 

Smith has worked with McChord on this much-needed project since coming to Congress in 1996.  In Fiscal Year 2002, he was able to get $15.8 million appropriated for Phase I of this project.  Today’s language inclusion will enable McChord to complete the project.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today extended his congratulations to Loren Willson of Sumner High School for being selected by a distinguished panel of judges as a Semi-Finalist in the 2003 National Council on Economic Education/Nasdaq National Teaching Awards competition.  These awards are given to high school teachers for excellence and innovation in incorporating economic education into any subject area.

“Knowledge of fundamental economics and finance has never been more important than in today’s complex world economy,” Smith remarked.  “This award recognizes Loren Willson’s originality, creativity and effectiveness in the teaching of economics and finance, and both she and Sumner High School should take considerable pride in this accomplishment.” 

Created through a grant of the Nasdaq Educational Foundation to NCEE, the NCEE/Nasdaq National Teaching Awards are among the largest in the field of education.  Each year, the Grand National Award Winner, chosen from among five regional winners receives cash awards totaling $25,000.  The four remaining Regional Winners receive $10,000 each, while 20 Regional Semi-Finalists receive individual awards of $1,000.  The winners were chosen from among applications submitted by teachers in more than 40 states.

NCEE is a non-profit organization that for more than 50 years has been helping students in grades Kindergarten through 12 develop economic ways of thinking and problem solving to prepare them to function effectively in the global economy.  Through a nationwide network of State Councils and 250 university-based Centers for Economic Education, NCEE administers programs that each year reach approximately 120,000 teachers and over 7 million students in more than 70,000 schools.

House Centrist Democrats, led by Rep. Cal Dooley (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), will unveil minimum medical standards asbestos legislation at a press conference tomorrow – Thursday, April 10 – at 11:30 a.m.

The Asbestos Victims’ Compensation Act of 2003 is designed to ensure that victims of asbestos-related disease receive full, fair and timely compensation through the development and use of minimum medical standards.  Under the bill, a claimant would have the ability to go to their own doctor to determine if they have an asbestos-related illness.  The Asbestos Victims’ Compensation Act of 2003 ensures exposed individuals the right to bring their claim when they actually become ill.

Frustrated by Congress’ failure to pass a responsible asbestos litigation bill that provides legitimate help to those suffering from exposure to asbestos, Smith and other centrist Democrats have developed an alternative proposal that has been praised by both trial lawyers and industry.

WHAT:           Introduction of The Asbestos Victims’ Compensation Act of 2003, a centrist 
                        asbestos litigation reform plan offered by Rep. Smith and centrist House 
                        Democrats

WHEN:           Thursday, April 10

                        11:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

WHO:             Rep. Adam Smith and Centrist House Democrats, including: 

Rep. Cal Dooley (D-Calif.)

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.)

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.)

Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas)

WHERE:        122 Cannon House Office Building

 

Today the Department of Homeland Security, through the Office of Domestic Preparedness, announced that $11.28 million is being made available to the City of Seattle as part of the Urban Area Security Initiative.  The money, dispersed under the Urban Area Security Initiative, will help enhance Seattle’s ability to prepare for and respond to threats or incidents of terrorism.

 “Washington state, like many other states, has been feeling the financial burden of needing to increase security for our ports, our borders, our infrastructure, water sources, power plants, airport – the list goes on and on,” said Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) of the announcement.  “Today it looks like at least Seattle will get some help from the president.”