Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed S. 937, the Senate-passed COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act which will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in reports of hate crimes and racist incidents against those of Asian descent. Recent reports show a total of over 6,600 reported incidents of anti-Asian hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community across the country, and many more incidents have gone unheard or unreported.

“Currently, state law enforcement officers do not have to report hate crimes to federal authorities. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act designates a point of contact in the Department of Justice to expedite the review of COVID-19 hate crimes and report out their findings to improve coordination between federal, state, local, and tribal resources and better understand the incidence of hate crimes across the country. The bill also provides funding to train law enforcement to better identify, investigate, and report hate crimes that occur in their jurisdiction.  Finally, it funds further prevention and response tools such as establishing hate crime hotlines and creating rehabilitation programs for perpetrators of hate crimes to receive better education and provide restitution through community service.

“Misinformation and racist characterizations about COVID-19 has led to the stigmatization of those of Asian descent based on fear and xenophobia, putting the wellbeing of our communities and public health at risk. We must remain unified and vigilant to finish the fight against COVID-19 and uphold our resilient and diverse communities in Washington’s ninth district and across the country. I am proud to stand with my colleagues to take collective action to crush the widespread anti-Asian American racism amidst this pandemic and beyond.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to ongoing violence in Israel.

“As I called for last week, there must be an immediate ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. The current path of escalation will only result in further civilian casualties and risks history repeating with another destructive and unproductive cycle of violence. The U.S. must work with Israel, Palestinians, the UN, and other countries in the region to reach a halt to hostilities, ensure that steps are taken to avoid further civilian casualties, and reopen peaceful negotiations.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

“Since the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act over 40 years ago, pregnant workers still face discrimination on the job. As people increasingly work later into their pregnancies and maintain their family’s financial security, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act establishes a straightforward right to reasonable workplace accommodations.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic putting pregnant individuals at an increased risk for severe illness, the need for these protections is more important than ever. Additionally, women of color who are overrepresented in low-wage, physically demanding jobs are disproportionately impacted by the lack of access to reasonable accommodations. This bipartisan bill protects pregnant workers from being denied employment opportunities, retaliated against for requesting reasonable accommodations, or forced to take leave if another reasonable accommodation is available.

“No one should be forced to choose between continuing in their current job and a healthy, safe pregnancy. Without clear federal guidance, workers and employers have been left with an incomplete patchwork of state and local laws that leave many pregnant workers without protections. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act will help ensure that speaking up to address challenges faced on the job while pregnant is not a barrier or excuse for discrimination or retaliation.  I am proud to be a cosponsor on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act which finally secures clear fundamental rights for pregnant workers by establishing their right to reasonable accommodation.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2547, The Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act.

“Throughout the pandemic, many consumers and small businesses have struggled to keep up with their bills through no fault of their own, while debt collectors have seen record profits. Recent reports found that almost 26 percent of Americans have an item in collections listed on their credit reports, and we know that abusive debt collection practices disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities.

“The Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act would provide important protections for small businesses, servicemembers, students, and other consumers against mistreatment and harassment by certain debt collectors. The bill would allow for higher damages under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for abuses by collections agencies engaging in unfair and deceptive practices and requires the agencies to obtain a consumer’s permission before using emails or text messages to collect on past due debt. Importantly, it would also prohibit collectors from threatening servicemembers with reductions in rank or revocation of security clearance.

“By enhancing consumers’ rights, increasing the accountability of debt collectors, and amending the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, H.R. 2547 will ensure debt collectors can no longer prey on consumers and small businesses. At a time when Americans and small business owners are struggling more than ever, we must protect them from egregious practices from debt collectors and update existing decades-old statutes to hold them accountable.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to escalating violence in Israel.

“The barrage of rockets over the past few days directed at Israeli civilians is abhorrent and I unequivocally condemn this deadly assault from Hamas. Hamas has once again taken advantage of heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israelis for its own destructive purposes, not for the benefit of Palestinians. I support the Biden Administration’s efforts to engage regional partners, including Israel, Egypt, and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East, to reach a ceasefire immediately and ensure that that all steps are taken to minimize civilian casualties in Israel and Gaza.

“It has been far too long since Palestinian and Israeli leaders have shown the leadership required to come to the table and talk to one another, and we are seeing the result of maintaining the status quo. Planned evictions in East Jerusalem not only uproot the lives of Palestinians who have lived there for decades but also inflame tensions and undermine the prospects for a two-state solution. It is vital that the U.S. urge leaders of all faiths and partners in the region take steps to deescalate the growing violence in Jerusalem and areas throughout Israel.

“Moving forward, the U.S. must play a more productive role in bringing the Palestinians to the table, preventing unilateral actions that undermine a future two-state solution, and facilitating peaceful dialogue between the two parties.”