Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3985 the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act.

“Today Congress has sent another message to the courageous Afghans who provided faithful and valuable service while working for or on behalf of the U.S. government: The United States remains committed to your safety, your families, and your future. The passage of today’s legislation will support the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing efforts to provide those Afghans whose service has put them, and their families, at risk of retribution by the Taliban access to new opportunities in the United States.

“By removing or revising some statutory requirements in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process, this bill will improve the efficiency of the program while retaining thorough security vetting for each visa recipient. By expediting the SIV process and increasing the total number of visas available by several thousand, this legislation will help meet the demand for  those Afghans currently in the application process as well as those who have yet to apply.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) reintroduced the Emergency Economic and Workforce System Resiliency Act, which will provide new funding to state and local workforce agencies to prevent layoffs, support displaced workers, and collaborate with employers on innovative strategies for preserving the existing workforce and creating new jobs. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will be introducing the bill in the Senate.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our workforce and left many workers experiencing joblessness or employment instability. These disruptions have underscored the need for an updated workforce training system that better prepares our workers for changing job markets and supports them in times of disruption. Current economic development programs, workforce training programs, and unemployment benefits programs are often siloed and focus on workers already out of work,” said Congressman Smith. “The Emergency Economic and Workforce System Resiliency Act will provide critical funding to state and local workforce agencies to prevent layoffs and support workers and firms as jobs and industries encounter transitions. Through increased resources for training, upskilling, and piloting innovative incumbent worker training models, this bill will help workers develop and stay current on the skills and credentials necessary to maintain high-quality jobs with good wages and benefits.”

“This legislation will provide resources to states and localities to help prevent layoffs, retrain employees, and protect against market disruptions,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “By meeting the needs of our workforce, we are investing in our economy and future generations.”

The current workforce system focuses heavily on helping workers already out of work but provides much less support for incumbent workers. The Emergency Economic and Workforce System Resiliency Act puts forward a new model of investing in workers and firms prior to layoffs and sector-wide changes in workforce needs. The bill creates a five-year funding stream to state and local workforce boards to invest in new programs to prevent layoffs, assist displaced workers, assist firms in transitioning to employee ownership or worker cooperative models, and support employers in preserving existing jobs and creating new ones.

This funding will help states meet the exacerbated needs of the workforce system during the recovery from the pandemic and economic downturn, and serve as a model for future workforce disruptions from economic downturns or increased automation. The bill encourages states to collaborate across state agencies and with other non-profit and for-profit entities. States are encouraged to prioritize partnerships with firms and industries that offer high-quality, in-demand jobs with competitive wages and benefits.

The Emergency Economic and Workforce System Resiliency Act also funds five-year pilot programs for states to implement innovative workforce system-wide layoff aversion models. These grants will promote state-wide innovation to effectively support workers throughout their careers and bolster firm resiliency in the wake of economic disruption.

For more information, here is a fact sheet, section-by-section, and text of the bill

Endorsing Organizations: Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, Center for Law and Social Policy, National Cooperative Business Association, Impact Washington, National League of Cities, National Skills Coalition, Democracy At Work Institute, CooperationWorks!, ICA Group, Project Equity, Northwest Cooperative Development Center, Local Enterprise Assistance Fund, National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International, Cooperative Fund of New England, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, SEIU-UHW West, Cooperative Development Institute, Sustainable Economies Law Center, Employee Ownership Expansion Network, National Association of Workforce Boards

Statements of Support:

Eleni Papadakis, Executive Director, Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board

“I am struck by the potential long-range impact inherent in this bill. It is rare to see federal legislation that addresses the issues of the here and now, while also supporting transformative investments for future impact. While this bill would provide significant new resources to help displaced workers prepare for high-demand, high-wage employment, it will also enable states to learn from the pandemic and re-engineer public systems for the future—to better support businesses, workers, and communities for economic resilience. I so appreciate the bill’s aim towards shared prosperity and equitable and inclusive economic recovery. The bill also shows a solid understanding of how globalization, technology, environmental, and security issues are inducing tremendous changes to work and workplaces—and supports states to face these critical challenges to our economic vitality.”

Olivia Golden, Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

“The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is pleased to endorse the Emergency Economic Adjustment Assistance and Workforce System Resiliency Act which offers critical supports for navigating the recession and includes actionable workforce interventions for states and localities. CLASP applauds this bill’s prioritization of populations that have been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic, including people of color, justice impacted youth and adults, immigrants, displaced workers and others facing systemic barriers to employment.”

Deloit R. Wolfe, Jr., President and Center Director, Impact Washington

"The need for a skilled workforce remains a top priority for manufacturers nationally, and we appreciate the leadership of Congressman Smith in this legislation to address it.," said Deloit R. Wolfe, Jr., President and Center Director of Impact Washington. "As an agency that works closely with the manufacturing sector, the funding streams provided will foster continued collaboration to ensure we're working together as agencies to plan and implement workforce development programs with regional economic development strategies to meet employers' local and regional needs."

Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities

“As cities, towns and villages work to rebuild and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must get our residents back to work and meet the changing demands of business. The pandemic has had an inequitable impact on our nation’s workforce, and this legislation provides important dollars to invest in the training and pathways to employment to help workers secure jobs. As Congress looks to the next economic recovery package, investments in workforce and skills development must be a critical component.”

National Skills Coalition

“Workforce and skills training is one essential part of ensuring an inclusive economic recovery. We’re glad to see the Emergency Economic and Workforce System Resiliency Act prioritizes skills training, support services, and connections to in-demand jobs that workers need today and that meet industry demand.”

Melissa Hoover, Executive Director, Democracy at Work Institute

“The Emergency Economic and Workforce Resiliency Act can play a critical part in reducing unemployment and creating a stronger and more equitable foundation for the American worker by making the tool of worker ownership a more widely used strategy for job quality and retention.”

Steve Storkan, Executive Director, Employee Ownership Expansion Network

“On behalf of the EOX network of State Centers (State Centers), we applaud your efforts for drafting and introducing the Emergency Economic and Workforce System Resiliency Act (EEWSRA) and we offer our full support. We are grateful that in Section 103 of EEWSRA, among the eleven uses for state grants, you recognize the need for federal and state financial support for education and technical assistance on all forms of employee ownership through State Centers and the establishment of loan funds through Community Development Financial Institutions and other State or non-profit organizations to fund the purchases of businesses by the employees.”

Doug O’Brien, President & CEO, National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA

“The National Cooperative Business Association is proud to endorse the Emergency Economic and Workforce Resiliency Act and appreciates the leadership from Congressman Smith and Senator Klobuchar. Cooperatives are an important tool toward sustainable and stable workforce development and economic growth, and we commend Rep. Smith for recognizing the value for workers, businesses and communities. By increasing financing and technical assistance resources for cooperatives through WIOA, this legislation will not only help reduce or avert layoffs, but also give more people the opportunity to own and control the businesses where they work and use, and we look forward to working with Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Smith to advance this legislation.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) announced the successful inclusion of $8,148,000 in the FY 2022 House appropriations bills for ten community projects in the 9th District.

“I am thrilled the House appropriations bills includes funding for the ten projects I submitted that will help address growing inequities and underinvestment in our communities,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “From affordable housing and economic development to mental health and youth services, investment in these projects will help address some of the most pressing challenges facing individuals and families. The projects and the benefits they will bring are only possible because of the community organizations and leaders working at the forefront of these issues every day. I will continue to work in Congress to support these community-driven efforts and direct more federal dollars to underserved and marginalized populations.” 

You can learn more about the projects listed in alphabetical order by project name here:

Click here for additional information about Community Project Funding requests submitted by Congressman Smith.

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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.

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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.”

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