Press Releases

Today U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) participated in a classified Strategic Policy Forum, “Masked Dragon,” that brought together 14 Members of Congress, senior military and Executive Branch leaders, and selected state and local officials. The handpicked group examined the complexity and difficulty involved in responding to a series of escalating crises on the Korean Peninsula at a time of ongoing military operations and overseas deployment of U.S. Armed Forces. “Masked Dragon” sought to understand the full range of policy options available to the U.S. and their associated consequences in order to stem proliferation of nuclear weapons and their corresponding delivery methods.

Smith and Larsen represent Washington state congressional districts that made it especially important to participate in a strategy session on North Korea.

“The crisis simulation exercise that I participated in today gave me the opportunity to work with people from a variety of departments and specialties and to seriously discuss the implications of any escalations in a strategically important region of the world,” said Smith. “As a member of the International Relations committee and the sub-committee on Asian/Pacific affairs, it is important for me to have a good understanding of the potential crises that can develop in this region and today’s exercise put into perspective the strategic importance of our military assets in Washington state.”

"I have repeatedly stressed the fact that Washington state’s military assets are critical to our national security,” Larsen said. “Exercise ‘Masked Dragon’ underlined the necessity of having forces that are well placed to meet potential threats like North Korea.”

“Being prepared for a national security crisis means thinking about the unthinkable,” Larsen urged. “In any national security crisis, dozens of agencies have to make quick, coordinated decisions.  Today’s crisis simulation allowed me to better understand that decision-making process and to explore response actions and consequences.”

The Secretary of Defense initiated the Strategic Policy Forum program in March 2002 at the National Defense University located at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. “Masked Dragon” was the sixth event held with Members of Congress and senior executive branch decision makers. Previous exercises focused on port and transportation security and bioterrorism.

The simulations featured a realistic National Security setting, with participants such as the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the National Intelligence Council, the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Smith and Larsen serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Smith also serves on the House International Relations Committee.


The House Transportation Committee yesterday completed its mark-up of HR 3550, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, better known as the TEA-LU.  This measure reauthorizes federal surface transportation assistance for state and local governments.  When it was reported out of committee, the measure included language authorizing $14 million in projects that would go directly to the 9th District, due to the efforts by Congressman Smith.  Smith requested many quality projects be included in the TEA-LU bill and he was happy to see that 10 were included in the final bill.  The measure now heads to the full House of Representatives for a vote.  

“Investment in our infrastructure is critical to the continued growth of our economy,” said Smith. “By creating these opportunities in the Puget Sound region, we are creating jobs and improving the ability to move products and people in our area making it more productive and economically feasible to do business here.”

The following is a list of projects secured for the Ninth District:

State Route 167 - $2.5 million

Creates a new freeway from State Route 509 (Port of Tacoma) to State Route 161 (Puyallup)

Cross Base Highway - $1.5 million

Creates a new highway from I-5 to State Route 7 located between Fort Lewis and McChord AFB

Yelm 510/507 - $2.5 million

Creates an alternative route to two existing state highways that bisect Yelm, Washington

Renton 405/167 - $2 million

Rebuilds State Route 167 and the I-405 interchange and adds additional lanes to relieve congestion

Tukwila Urban Access - $1 million

Addresses necessary improvements to Southcenter Parkway in Tukwila to relieve congestion

Burien State Route 518 - $1 million

Creates interchange improvements and the addition of one travel lane on a portion of the corridor

Port of Tacoma Road - $500,000

Constructs a second left turn lane from westbound Pacific Highway to Port of Tacoma Road

Tacoma Lincoln Avenue - $1 million

Elevates Lincoln Avenue by constructing a viaduct over existing railroad lines

Valley Avenue/70th Avenue - $1 million

Widens both 70th and Valley avenues in Pierce County

Kent Willis UP Tracks - $1 million

Provides grade separation at the existing railroad tracks at the UP tracks

Today, the European Commission dealt a blow to technological innovation in its antitrust ruling against Microsoft. Headquartered in Washington state, Microsoft is a leader in job creation and economic growth in the Puget Sound region and today’s ruling will negatively impact on the economy there.  Congressman Adam Smith released a statement expressing his disappointment that efforts to settle this case have failed.

“Today’s ruling by the European Commission is based on protectionist policy, not on sound economic principles.  This ruling is an unprecedented action on an American company and it will force Microsoft to disclose to its European competitors its most valuable intellectual property assets, thus severely reducing the impact of research and development, which has helped to fuel our nation’s gains in technological innovation in recent years.

The Commission’s ruling also requires Microsoft to develop and distribute a substandard version of its popular Windows program: a version which all software code used to play audio and video has been removed. To have a government entity force a private company to spend millions of dollars designing, manufacturing and selling a product that is inferior is not only fiscally irresponsible but is simply preposterous.  There is no conceivable basis to believe that forcing Microsoft to offer a degraded operating system will promote competition in the European Union.  Rather, this form of government intervention will hurt innovation by tarnishing one of the world’s most recognizable and reliable computer operating systems.

Microsoft worked hard to reach an agreement that would address the European Commission’s concerns, proposing a settlement offer last week that would have offered far more choices and benefits to European consumers. I would urge the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce to encourage their European counterparts to resolve this case in a matter that does not harm U.S. workers, particularly those in the Puget Sound region, U.S. consumers and the American IT industry.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) received the Information Technology Industry Council’s 2003 “Legislator of the Year” award today.

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), representing top U.S. providers of information technology (IT) products and services, gives the annual award to a leader in high-tech policy.

"As co-chairman of the New Democrats, Congressman Smith is a leader in pro-growth policies and has consistently rallied support within the House Democratic Caucus on new ways of growing our economy," said Rhett Dawson, president of ITI.

As co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Smith has promoted pro-growth policies and investment in the technology sector to ensure that the U.S. leads the way in the New Economy and that all Americans can succeed in it.  These policies range from investing in math and science education and worker retraining to expanding IT infrastructure and encouraging R&D investment.

“American economic leadership has always depended on staying at the forefront of technological innovation,” said Smith.  “I will continue to fight for policies that encourage innovation, economic growth, and good jobs.”

The three co-chairs of the House New Democrat Coalition (NDC), Representatives Jim Davis (FL-11), Ron Kind (WI-03), and Adam Smith (WA-09), issued the following joint press release on the 2004 New Democrat e-genda.

The New Democrat Coalition is a leading force in Congress for growing the U.S. economy through technological innovation and has, for the past six years, committed itself to providing the intellectual and policy framework necessary to achieve its goals.  This framework, known as the e-genda, outlines the specific action items necessary to achieve its goal of creating more jobs for Americans, while retaining the U.S. position as a global leader in the creation of jobs in the new economy.

“By offering proposals to jumpstart the tech sector, promote highly skilled, American workers and foster innovation and business development, the New Democrat Coalition’s e-genda provides all the tools needed to recharge our nation’s economic engine,” said NDC co-chair Jim Davis.

This year’s e-genda, highlights seven areas of concentration that will boost our economy and facilitate the growth of cutting edge jobs.:

1.      Retraining American workers for jobs of the future.

2.      Increasing the number and quality of math, science and engineering graduates in the U.S.

3.      Developing the world’s best IT infrastructure

4.      Fueling the research and development necessary to keep the U.S. at the forefront of technology

5.      Promoting employee ownership to incentivize and attract employees

6.      Encourage capital investment in the U.S. economy

7.      Strengthening the economy through fiscal discipline

"Our competitiveness in the global market relies both on the strength of our workforce and the progress of our technology sector; the NDC e-genda maps out key initiatives to stimulate job growth, encourage innovation and promote technological development," said NDC co-chair Ron Kind.

“Lifelong learning and access to job training is critical in today’s ever-changing economy. I, along with my NDC colleagues, am committed to creating a business environment that fosters innovation and provides workers the training they need to assist them in finding jobs or advancing in their current jobs,” said NDC co-chair Adam Smith.

The entire text of the 2004 e-genda follows.


New Democrat E-Genda 2004:

Agenda for Job Growth and Innovation

New Democrats have always recognized that innovation is the key to growing our economy and creating the cutting edge jobs of the future. Our goal remains advancing American technological and economic leadership by fostering an atmosphere of innovation that outpaces our rivals. To do so, we must make the financial and intellectual commitment to these issues, not simply provide America with empty rhetoric. The impact of this effort has broad implications, including creating new U.S. jobs, keeping more jobs in the U.S., protecting our national security, maintaining U.S. global leadership, and improving our quality of life.

Retraining American workers for the jobs of the future.  New Democrats believe that lifelong learning and job training is critical to workers in the 21st Century.  We are committed to ensuring that those people who need job training receive services to assist in finding jobs or help in advancement of current job.  We believe that a comprehensive reexamination of government retraining programs is critically important.

Action Item #1:  As a first step in this process, the NDC support HR 3881, which expands Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to include service workers.

Increasing the number and quality of math, science and engineering graduates in the US.   An atmosphere of innovation must be built on a foundation of education and a skilled workforce.  Quality education at all levels – most importantly strong math, science and engineering training - from early childhood through higher education, is critically important.  In China 70 percent of all college undergraduates received degrees in math, science and engineering. In the United States it's only 5 percent.  This issue is central to our ability to compete and win in the world marketplace.

Action Item #2: The NDC will continue to strongly advocate for full funding of No Child Left Behind, including teacher training for math and science education.

Action Item #3:  The NDC supports full funding of the Tech Talent bill.

Developing the world’s best IT infrastructure.  The rollout of high-speed broadband is an important driver to economic growth and a key differentiator from our global competitors.  Today, the US ranks 11th in the world in broadband access behind countries like Korea, Canada, Belgium and Japan. 

Action Item #4:  The NDC believes we must establish a national broadband plan.

Action Item #5: The NDC supports passage of a next generation broadband deployment tax credit

Fueling the research and development necessary to keep the US at the forefront of technology. Today, over 90 percent of R&D by US companies takes place in the US.  But to keep it here we must provide an atmosphere of innovation that make the US more attractive than anywhere else in the world.

Action Item #6: The NDC supports expanding and making permanent the R&D tax credit

Action Item #7:  The NDC supports increased funding for basic research through NSF, NASA, NIH and DOE.

Promoting employee ownership to incentivize and attract employees.  Stock options are a vital tool for furthering the atmosphere of innovation that has driven our nation’s technology leadership by giving employees a stake in their company.  

Action Item #8:The NDC supports passage of HR 3574, the Stock Option Accounting Reform Act.

Encourage capital investment in the US economy.  We must help the private sector create jobs while investing in the future growth of the new economy.

Action Item #9:  The NDC supports passage of HR 1162, the Invest in America Act, which would bring an estimated $135 billion of new capital into the U.S. economy to invest in hiring new U.S. workers, making infrastructure investments, or fueling R&D.

Strengthening the economy through fiscal discipline.  America’s deepening federal deficit and debt is causing investors to loose confidence in our economy. Left unchecked, the long term impact will be higher interest rates, which slow economic growth and penalize Americans who carry debt.

Action Item #10: The NDC will continue to work toward balancing the federal budget and paying down the nation’s debt.