Press Releases

“On Labor Day, we pay tribute to the American worker and their role in supporting a strong economy. In an ever-changing world, the contributions of the labor community make certain that the United States remains globally competitive. As the son of a union baggage handler at SeaTac Airport, I know firsthand how labor unions have helped generations of America’s working families thrive. 

“We must show America’s workers the same devotion they have shown to our society. Growing economic inequality is one of the defining challenges facing our economy and our country. The commitment of the labor movement to ensuring equality of opportunity is closely aligned with our efforts to enact legislation that will protect living wage jobs, lower health care costs, and ensure that future generations of Americans have the ability to build a better life for themselves and their families.” 

“President Trump’s decision to bring an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program disrespects America’s values. DACA has provided relief to nearly 800,000 immigrant youth, protecting individuals from deportation who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own. Known as DREAMers, these young people serve in our military, attend school, give back to our communities, and contribute to the American social fabric. After promising DACA recipients they could ‘rest easy,’ President Trump’s decision to end DACA defies our history as a nation of immigrants. I have long supported the DACA program and will continue to do everything in my power to protect DREAMers from deportation.

“DREAMers came out of the shadows and willingly gave their information to the government, trusting that they would be protected. Now their futures are in peril due the President’s heartless action. The Trump Administration’s nationalistic immigration policies continue to threaten our country’s principles, undermine the economy, and tear families apart.” 

Smith Statement on Trump Expansion of Program Giving Surplus Military Equipment to Law Enforcement Agencies

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about President Trump’s announced expansion of surplus military equipment transfers to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies under the 1033 program:

August 28, 2017

“This is a dangerous decision. After a careful interagency review, the Obama administration halted the provision of surplus armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, large-caliber weapons, ammunition, and other specific equipment to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies for a reason. Providing these weapons can pose risks to our communities, undermine civil liberties, and improperly blur the line between military and civil authority.

“We should be especially concerned about handing this equipment to law enforcement agencies without proper training; processes to track where the equipment goes; and enforcement of rules that suspend law enforcement agencies from the program when they violate the law and civil rights.

“That is not an idle concern. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently found that the 1033 program’s controls for the federal law enforcement program were so inadequate that it provided potentially lethal controlled equipment to a fake Federal law enforcement agency. In the wake of that incident, I have called for the suspension of the program’s controlled-property transfers until adequate controls are in place.

“The demonstrated lack of controls in the 1033 program for federal law enforcement should give us additional pause regarding expansion of the program for state, local, and tribal agencies. While some transfers under the 1033 program are valuable, excessive militarization of our civilian police forces is highly inappropriate and we should not be repealing the safeguards established by the Obama administration, especially in the face of these documented problems and documented risks.”

“President Trump's pardon of Sheriff Arpaio is an affront to the rule of law and a deeply disturbing use of Presidential Power to sanction discrimination. As Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio flagrantly ignored clear Federal immigration enforcement guidelines and aggressively pursued policies of racial profiling. His continued violation of civil rights led to a conviction in a court of law for his unlawful immigration practices. Trump's pardon is an endorsement of the bigoted and racists actions that led to Sheriff Arpaio's conviction, and undermines the pursuit of justice that our system of government is built on.”

Armed Services Ranking Member Smith Statement on Trump Transgender Ban

Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about President Trump’s order on transgender military service:

August 26, 2017

“This Presidential order is a cravenly opportunistic act of discrimination against men and women who volunteer to defend the United States. 

"President Trump has no credible information suggesting that transgender service undermines military readiness. Yet he is willing to ruin lives and deface our government’s commitment to equality in an apparent attempt to secure funding for his border wall. Apparently, if Mexico won’t pay for the wall, President Trump has decided that honorable men and women in uniform should pay instead as their service is traded away for funding. I oppose this decision in extremely strong terms, and we will fight for its reversal.”