Press Releases

SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after President Biden signed an Executive Order, which will protect America’s old-growth forests by creating a cohesive strategy across the federal government and fighting wildfires with data, combat global deforestation and coordinate foreign assistance, and direct the first national nature assessment in the history of the United States.
 
“I have said time and again that climate change is the greatest existential threat we face as a country. We simply have no time to waste, and the President’s action today represents an important step in our fight against climate change by leveraging the benefits of old-growth forests. The EO will help put us on a path to promote forest resiliency and enhance our ability to prevent and fight wildfires, which have had devastating consequences in the Pacific Northwest. But keeping forests in the United States healthy isn’t enough alone – this EO reflects the need for the U.S. government to coordinate with our partners around the world to put an end to global deforestation. As we make the transition to a truly green economy, it is critical that we utilize every tool available to combat climate change – today’s executive order does just that by enlisting the help of nature in our fight to preserve the planet.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the distribution of more than $20 billion for Fiscal Year 2022 to strengthen public transit across the country, including over $379 million for Washington State, representing the largest investment in public transit in our country’s history.

“Thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Washington State will receive $369,533,187 in funding to distribute to local public transit agencies across the state to repair, modernize, and expand our public transit network – a major win for Washingtonians. This funding will help connect communities throughout the region and make it easier for people to get where they need to go.

“As the Puget Sound Region continues to experience explosive growth, this funding will be especially important to expanding public transit to every corner of our state, so that all members of our community have access to safe, reliable, and convenient transportation.

“This funding will also allow our state to invest in clean energy technology to power our public transit network, an important step in combatting the climate crisis. Public transit agencies will now have additional resources at their disposal to assemble electric and zero-emissions fleets that will reduce pollution and help to decarbonize the transportation sector to make our communities and our planet healthier.

“I am proud to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law deliver major investments like this to states across the country and I commend President Biden and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for taking action to advance the strength and resiliency of our communities.”

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SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the United Nations announced a mediated, two-month truce between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis, who have been at war in Yemen for years.
 
“I am encouraged by the announcement of this two-month truce in the Yemen conflict. The Yemeni people have been suffering for years, living through one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. It is imperative that all parties to this conflict abide by the ceasefire. While this truce is a positive step, ending this war remains the ultimate goal. During these next two months – the first of which is the Holy Month of Ramadan – it is my hope that the negotiators will make progress towards a political compromise that will yield lasting peace in the region.” 
 
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SEATTLE, WA –Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the passing of Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State, ambassador to the United Nations, and veteran diplomat.

“Today, we mourn the passing of Madeleine Albright, even as we feel immense gratitude for her legacy of service to the United States. Born in what was then Czechoslovakia, Secretary Albright came to the United States as a refugee at the age of eleven, and with each step in her long and storied journey, she opened new doors of opportunity and leadership for future generations of women. She served the American people skillfully as the first woman Secretary of State after representing the United States at the United Nations. A staunch advocate for diplomacy and dedication to our highest values, she defended American democracy even in her last days. Today my thoughts are with her loved ones and everyone she inspired.”


SEATTLE, WA – Yesterday U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health, Admiral Rachel Levine, visited International Community Health Services (ICHS) in Washington’s Ninth District for the first stop on the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health. Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Admiral Levine were joined by Deputy Secretary for Prevention, Safety & Health Lacy Fehrenbach, Washington State Health Care Authority Director Sue Birch, and International Community Health Services (ICHS) President and CEO Teresita Batayola for a tour of ICHS and a roundtable discussion about our nation’s mental health crisis and the steps we can take to address it. Rep. Smith issued the following statement following the visit.
 
“It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health challenges across the country, resulting in a national mental health crisis, and we must do more to address it. Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in the first stop on the National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health – hearing from patients and providers about our behavioral and mental health care needs and moderating a conversation about the steps we can take to bolster behavioral and mental health care systems in our communities.
 
“Yesterday’s conversation was a great opportunity to discuss funding deficiencies, specifically related to the capacity of our mental health care system. Expanding access to mental health care is vital, and to accomplish that goal we must ensure that our communities have enough providers to turn to. Funding is needed to invest in workforce development to train and retain mental health care professionals. Additionally, it’s crucial that we invest in community organizations that are already doing great work on the ground to provide personalized and tailored care to community members so that they can expand upon the work they’re doing and reach more people in need. These community organizations are especially vital to our most vulnerable and underserved community members.
 
“In our discussion, we also touched on the need to make mental health investments earlier on in people’s lives, such as funding early childhood education about mental and emotional health and funding preventative care, so that people have the foundational tools they need to lead happy lives.
 
“It was an honor to host Admiral Levine in the Ninth District and I commend her and the Biden-Harris administration for prioritizing the mental health crisis and making a concerted, national effort to tackle this issue. I also extend my gratitude to health care professionals in the Ninth District and across the country for their tireless work to help individuals and families work through the mental health challenges they are facing and live happier, healthier lives. I look forward to my continued work with the administration and mental health care leaders to develop effective solutions to this urgent crisis.”
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