Press Releases

Smith Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Decertify the Iran Deal

Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about President Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement:

October 13, 2017

“The President of the United States has a responsibility to exercise leadership when it comes to crucial national security issues such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. He should let the facts inform him and bear the burden of making the right decisions to safeguard our country’s interests. Instead, President Trump is abdicating his responsibility and kicking the question to Congress, in what appears to be a cravenly political attempt to have it both ways. That is as juvenile as it is dangerous.

“Congress must now act responsibly on this issue. Reneging on our obligations under the JCPOA by snapping back sanctions would seriously harm the national security interest of the United States. It could result in war or a nuclear-armed Iran. It would leave the United States isolated from our allies and partners who continue to support the JCPOA. It would undermine our global diplomatic efforts by sending a signal that the United States does not keep its commitments. And it would further destabilize the Middle East. We cannot afford to trigger any of those outcomes, especially at a time when we are confronting so many other grave national security crises.

“As the President’s decision not to decertify based on noncompliance implicitly admits, the Iranian government has not failed to deliver on its obligations under the JCPOA, whose terms are limited to the development of nuclear weapons. We have other methods of countering Iran’s malign activities—such as missile launches and terrorist activity—that fall outside the scope of the agreement. We should apply them vigorously to contain and counter Iranian actions that threaten our national security. But we should not take actions that violate our commitments under the JCPOA when adhering to its terms is the best option available, and when the alternatives would invite disaster.”

 

U.S. Representatives Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Transgender Servicemembers

Washington, DC — Today, Representatives Adam Smith (WA-09), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Charlie Dent (PA-15), Susan Davis (CA-53), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) announced the introduction of H.R. 4041, a bipartisan bill to protect transgender members of the U.S. military by preventing the Department of Defense (DoD) from removing currently serving members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity. Transgender troops have been openly serving in the military since June 2016. This legislation is the House companion bill to S. 1820, introduced last month by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, John McCain, Jack Reed, and Susan Collins.

October 13, 2017

“I cannot begin to stress how utterly immoral it would be for brave men and women who are currently serving in the U.S. military to be kicked out, and lose their careers, purely because of discrimination,” said Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This bipartisan legislation would prevent that kind of mindless discriminatory purge, and it is an important step toward reversing President Trump’s ban on transgender military service. We will continue to fight so that all individuals who are willing and able can volunteer in defense of their country.”

“Kicking out members of the United States Armed Services solely based on their gender identity is hateful, discriminatory, and on the wrong side of history,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier. “News flash, Mr. President—thousands of transgender troops already serve our country with pride and dignity. Our military should be focused on recruiting and retaining the best troops, not on rejecting qualified service members on the basis of discrimination.”

“I stood proudly with the previous administration when we lifted the ban on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” said Congresswoman Susan Davis. “Many of the arguments against transgender servicemembers are the same we have heard for gay servicemembers, and the same we heard for women before that. Transgender servicemembers have and are serving with honor, distinction, and courage. No evidence has been presented to warrant a ban, which is based solely on discrimination. Our servicemembers should be focused on the singular objective of protecting Americans. This ban will only serve as a disruptive distraction of that effort.”

“Congress' intention with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell was to allow our brave servicemembers to openly serve in our armed forces without fear of being discriminated against,” said Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. “The decision by the Administration to not allow transgender individuals to serve in the military is a sad reminder of the dark chapters in our nation's history that should never be repeated. The courts have usually been forced to adjudicate what constitutes discrimination but once again Congress is saying: no more. Any patriot, as long as they are qualified to serve, should have the ability to, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. These individuals are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom, a freedom that they should also be able to enjoy.’

“Any American willing to risk his or her life to protect and serve our country deserves our gratitude and support,” said Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema. “I’m proud to work with this bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers, including Arizona’s Senator John McCain, in standing with our military.”

  • Specifically, the legislation would:Express a sense of Congress that individuals who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be eligible to serve;
  • Prohibit DoD from involuntarily separating, or denying the reenlistment or continuation in service in the Armed Forces of currently serving transgender service members solely on the basis of the servicemember’s gender identity; and
  • Require Secretary Mattis to complete his review of accession of transgender individuals into the Armed Forces by the end of this year and report the results to Congress.

Congressman Smith Statement on Rollback of the Clean Power Plan

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency decision to gut the Clean Power Plan:

October 10, 2017

“Dismantling the Clean Power Plan is a direct attack on the health of Americans and the future of our climate. As the very real impacts of climate change continue to devastate vulnerable communities both at home and abroad, the United States cannot ignore our responsibility to defend the environment against the harmful effects of pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the responsibility to safeguard Americans from the damages of carbon pollution and EPA Administrator Pruitt's actions today make it clear that the Trump Administration is willing to ignore this essential duty and disregard proven science.

“With the Administration’s refusal to acknowledge that the health of our planet depends on the actions we take today, we must support the work done in our local communities to reduce pollution and prioritize the transition to clean energy solutions. I am proud of the work being done in Washington state to support and grow a job creating clean energy economy that protects our land, water, and air. As a member of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force, I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to fight this deeply irresponsible and dangerous decision.”    

Smith Statement on Trump Administration Decision to Limit Affordable Contraception

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to roll back access to birth control:

October 6, 2017

“Today, in an abhorrent attack on women’s rights the Trump Administration ended the federal requirement for employers to cover birth control. This dangerous decision turns back the clock by enabling employers to discriminate under the guise of religious freedom. The birth control mandate has allowed millions to access affordable contraception and given women autonomy over their reproductive health and futures. Health care must include access to affordable birth control and reproductive services. The Trump Administration’s ideologically-driven decision is a shameful sanctioning of gender discrimination that endangers women’s health.” 

Smith Statement Opposing Republican Budget and Tax Plan

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after voting to oppose the Republican’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution and Tax Plan:

October 5, 2017

Congress has a responsibility to put forth a budget that expands opportunities for American families to prosper. We must invest in education, affordable health care, rebuilding our collapsing infrastructure, and growing our economy for everyone. The Democratic budget proposals offered this week on the House Floor would do just that.   

In contrast, the Republican budgets are not only cruel and irresponsible, they are unrealistic. They use budget gimmicks to give the appearance that they balance, and they fail to address the many pressing issues that the American people face both at home and abroad. Slashing critical federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid, eliminating essential nutrition assistance, and gutting veterans’ benefits is unacceptable. Republicans should be honest with the American people about what their budget resolution is - a vehicle to support their proposal to cut taxes on the wealthiest and disproportionately shift the tax burden to working Americans. The disastrous Republican budget and tax plan would threaten our economic progress and hurt American workers and their families.