Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) led members of the Washington State Congressional Delegation in a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen in support of the Washington Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver application. The 1332 waiver would make it possible for thousands of currently uninsured Washington residents to purchase health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder who are currently ineligible due to their immigration status. This waiver would address inequities in health care access, reduce health disparities, and lower health care costs for all Washington residents who purchase coverage through the state-based marketplace.

“Over 100,000 uninsured Washington residents are unable to purchase coverage through the state-based marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder, due to federal restrictions. Washington’s waiver will eliminate this restriction, an action which is broadly supported at the state level and will advance efforts the state legislature has taken to help ensure all Washingtonians can obtain high-quality health coverage,” the members wrote. “By decreasing the number of uninsured, addressing health disparities, strengthening the individual market, and improving health care affordability, this waiver also takes an important step forward in addressing health equity.”

“We believe Washington’s Section 1332 Waiver will meaningfully improve access to affordable coverage for Washingtonians and reduce costs, consistent with the law and the Administration’s commitment to expanding health coverage,” the members concluded.

A fact sheet about the Washington Section 1332 Waiver Application can be found here.
A full copy of the letter can be found here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8294, a six-bill government funding package, by a vote of 220-207. The funding package includes Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations bills for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Energy and Water, Financial Services and General Government, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.
 
“The funding advanced by the House today will address some of our nation’s most pressing challenges – including housing and homelessness, transit and transportation, and energy and environment – by spurring investment from coast to coast. The package includes funding for new affordable housing development, housing vouchers, targeted services to reduce homelessness, and new nationwide transit routes. Importantly, the bill will move us towards a clean energy future by investing in clean, affordable, and reliable energy sources, low and no emission transit, and efforts to accelerate domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies. This package also includes record funding levels for Urban Indian Health and Tribal Epidemiology Centers, which I helped champion, that directly support organizations like the Seattle Indian Health Board and Urban Indian Health Institute in Washington’s Ninth District.
 
“These investments pay special attention to the most vulnerable among us, including people experiencing homelessness, low-income individuals and families, people with disabilities, seniors, and – because of the historic increase in funding for environmental justice initiatives – those at the frontlines of the climate crisis, most often low-income communities and communities of color.
 
“I am glad to see this bill pass out of the House today and I look forward to getting this transformational funding across the finish line to deliver immediate and direct support to communities across the country.”
 
Additional information about the government funding package, including fact sheets for each of the six bills, is below.
 
Climate and Energy
  • Includes a historic increase of $301 million in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice initiatives.
  • Includes $4 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which provides for clean, affordable, and secure energy and ensures American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy.
  • Provides $100 million for activities at the Department of Energy to utilize the Defense Production Act to accelerate domestic manufacturing of key clean energy technologies. 
Housing
  • Provides over $12.8 billion in funding for new affordable housing, including critical health, safety, and maintenance improvements to ensure the safety and quality of public and low-income housing.
  • Provides funding for new support for manufactured housing, and community development activities, including $515.3 million to construct approximately 5,600 new affordable housing units for seniors and persons with disabilities.
  • Includes $1.7 billion in direct funding to states and local governments through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and increases the number of distressed neighborhoods that could be revitalized through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative program.
  • Expands housing choice vouchers to more than 140,000 low-income individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including survivors of domestic violence and Veterans.
  • Invests $3.6 billion in efforts to reduce homelessness through Homeless Assistance Grants, including targeted services for survivors of domestic violence and youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Reduces our carbon footprint by investing more than $983 million across the Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve energy and water efficiency and increase resiliency in public and low-income housing.
 
Transit and Transportation
  • Includes $17.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, including $13.6 billion for Transit Formula Grants to expand bus fleets and increase the transit state of good repair; $3 billion for Capital Investment Grants to create new transit routes nationwide, an increase of $764 million above the Fiscal Year 2022 enacted level; and $646 million for Transit Infrastructure Grants, to assist transit agencies in purchasing low and no emission buses, improving urban and rural ferry systems, adopting innovative approaches to mobility, and carrying out local projects, an increase of $142 million above Fiscal Year 2022.
  • Includes more than $2.6 billion to reduce emissions, increase resiliency, and address historical inequities in transportation and housing programs.
 
Urban Indian health
  • Includes record funding levels for the Urban Indian Health program and Tribal Epidemiology Centers.

FACT SHEETS:
 
The Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies fact sheet is here.
The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies face sheet is here.
The Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies fact sheet is here.
The Financial Services and General Government fact sheet is here.
The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies is here.
The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies is here.
 
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act by a vote of 223 to 205 and the Women’s Health Protection Act by a vote of 219 to 210 in response to the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which revoked the constitutional right to abortion.

“In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and strip millions of Americans of their right to access abortion, at least nine states across the country have banned abortion, with more states expected to ban or severely restrict abortion in the coming weeks. The gravity of this ruling cannot be overstated, both in terms of reproductive freedom and privacy, and we know Republicans intend to pass a federal abortion ban if they retake control of Congress. Democrats know the threat we face, and today, we took action to protect Americans’ freedoms.

“I was proud to vote for the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, which would provide support to people who are already suffering from the consequences of the Court’s decision. This crucial bill would protect people from being prosecuted if they need to travel across state lines to receive abortion care. I also voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act to create a statutory right to receive and provide an abortion, so that every person across the country can access essential reproductive health care, regardless of their zip code or income. Importantly, this bill would protect both patients and providers who are being unjustly targeted by state laws that are attempting to criminalize abortion.

“While the action by the House today reflects the will in Congress to defend access to abortion and reproductive health care for every person across the country, these bills will now go to the Senate where their fate is not as promising. As I have said before, we must immediately end the filibuster so that we can put an end to minority rule in our country and pass legislation into law that the overwhelming majority of Americans want and need. Our fight for reproductive freedom depends on it.”

A fact sheet of the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act can be found here.
A fact sheet of the Women’s Health Protection Act can be found here.

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Rep. Smith Statement on the House Passage of the FY23 NDAA

House Democrats Support Strong, Diverse Military

 
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. 7900, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), by a vote of 329-101.

“After months of hard work, negotiations, and vigorous debate the House has completed our work to pass the FY23 NDAA. The annual defense bill serves as the legislative foundation for national security policymaking. The United States must meet global challenges with humility and in ways that live up to our values – that’s why this year’s bill includes a package of bold reforms to prevent and mitigate civilian harm in military operations.

“At a time when democracies worldwide face both old and new threats, the FY23 NDAA supports investments in what makes our country competitive around the world and strong at home: a diverse and talented military and civilian workforce; groundbreaking science and technology research, especially at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and the alliances and partnerships we need to meet our biggest global security challenges. I am especially pleased that this year’s bill supports those who defend our country by giving them the compensation they deserve with a 4.6% pay raise for service members and civilian personnel, as well as relief for their housing and other everyday costs.

“Some will say the bill authorizes too much money for the Department of Defense. They’re right. I supported President Biden’s original budget request and I staunchly opposed efforts to allow further increases in defense spending. But we don’t always win every vote, even in a functioning democracy. And we shouldn’t let the results of one vote outweigh all of the worthwhile things in this bill that we fought for.”

The House’s version of FY23 NDAA includes a range of key national security priorities for House Democrats, copied below, and full summary of the provisions in the FY23 NDAA is available here:

  • Extends vital benefits for service members, their families, and federal workers:
    • Supports a 4.6% pay raise for service members and civilian personnel and includes 2.4% inflation bonuses for service members and DoD civilian personnel earning less than $45,000/year.  
    • Adds $750 million for commissary to help reduce costs for service members and their families.
    • Establishes a $15/hour minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts, applies to all federal agencies.
    • Eliminates TRICARE copays for contraception for one year and increases access to infertility services for service members and their families.
  • Promotes clean energy and climate resilience
    • Requires all main operating bases in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility to adopt installation energy plans to increase energy resiliency and sustainability in order to reduce reliance on Russian energy and sets a DoD goal of eliminating their use of Russian energy entirely.
    • Establishes an energy resilience testbed initiative, requiring each service to designate military instillations to conduct demonstration projects on new energy technologies including energy storage, electric vehicles, building efficiency, clean energy generation, and electrification.
    • Requires DoD to establish a pilot program to transition nontactical vehicle fleets at certain military instillations to electric vehicles.
    • Creates a pilot program on sustainable aviation fuel requiring DoD to collaborate with civilian airfields on the use of sustainable aviation fuel in military aircraft.
    • Requires the DoD to promulgate a policy to increase the recycling of advanced batteries to address rare and strategic mineral shortages.
  • Support for HBCUs and other minority serving institutions, allocating over $111 million for research activities at HBCUs – triple the amount in the President’s budget request – and establishing a pilot program to increase research capacity at minority serving institutions.
  • Civilian harm mitigation measures, including the establishment of a Commission on Civilian Harm and a Center for Excellence in Civilian Harm Mitigation at the Department of Defense.
  • Makes progress towards closure of Guantanamo Bay by omitting the arbitrary statutory prohibitions on the transfer of detainees out of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • Addresses Contamination and PFAS Associated with Military Instillations:
    • Requires the DoD to adhere to the strictest relevant standard (state or federal) when conducting environmental remediation of PFAS contamination.
    • Expands the list of non-essential items containing PFAS that DoD is prohibited from procuring for use within DoD.
    • Requires the DoD to send a list of essential uses for PFAS and to report on its progress in minimizing the use of certain non-essential PFOS and PFOA containing items.
    • Requires the DoD to implement Comptroller General recommendations to set goals for the timely clean-up of formerly used defense sites that fall under the military munitions response program.
  • Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs): extends the authorization of this program, the deadline for those who qualify to apply for SIVs, and allows those Afghans wounded during their service to the U.S. Government to apply for the SIV program even if they have not met the one-year minimum employment threshold. This provision reaffirms the commitment to Afghan citizens who, at great personal risk, supported U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
  • New investments in science and technology competitiveness
    • Authorizes a 20 percent increase in basic research funding, strengthening the pipeline of future innovation.
    • Authorizes $500 million to create a new class of biomanufacturing capabilities and facilities, providing a crucial capability to transition products successfully proven in the lab to commercial scale. 
    • Triples investment into the National Security Innovation Network and increases the authorization for the Defense Innovation Unit by over 150 percent.
    • Extends the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs until 2024, ensuring continued engagement with small technology businesses to build innovative solutions to operational challenges.
  • Resources for U.S. allies and partners, including $1 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and funding for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) and Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI). It also requires Inspector General (IG) oversight of the response to the further invasion of Ukraine, including assistance to Ukraine, and requires semi-annual reporting to Congress on the IG oversight, including contracting, compliance, and end-use monitoring issues.
  • Includes the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow state-legal cannabis businesses to access the banking system. In states across the country, including here in Washington, a lack of banking access for cannabis businesses has posed a public safety risk.
  • Protects public lands by designating millions of acres of public lands as wilderness or potential wilderness area, including lands and rivers on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.
  • Improves the federal government’s efforts to restore and protect the Puget Sound, by including key legislation championed by Representatives Strickland and Kilmer.  
  • Repeals the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, which is important to continue the effort to address outdated authorities.
  • Eliminates the federal sentencing disparity between drug offenses involving crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
  • Permanently reauthorizes the Japanese American Confinement Site (JACS) program to preserve and educate Americans on the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
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SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The Supreme Court's decision today in West Virginia v. EPA is another step backwards for our country and our collective efforts to combat climate change. Overturning yet another precedent, the Court’s decision will severely restrict the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, which is central to combating the global climate crisis. By limiting the power of the EPA and consequently other federal agencies, the Supreme Court is ignoring the will of the American people and overstepping their bounds once again.

“To tackle climate change and ensure that future generations are afforded clean air and clean water, we must make strides as a nation to reduce harmful pollution and transition to renewable energy sources. Today’s ruling severely limits the EPA’s ability to protect Americans. We must not forget that this decision will have the deepest impact on Black, brown, and low-income communities who are on the front lines of the climate crisis and who bear the biggest burden of its consequences.

“Congress must now take swift action to promote the health of our communities and our planet. The Senate should immediately pass crucial climate investments already passed by the House in November in a reconciliation package and pass additional legislation to clarify the EPA's authority to protect our environment.

“Make no mistake: the Court’s decision today gives power to polluters and endangers communities across the country. I am extremely disappointed by this ruling and will continue my work in Congress to advance climate investments that will promote a more sustainable and resilient future for all Americans.”

Representative Adam Smith recently joined leaders of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), New Democrat Coalition (New Dems), and Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) in sending a letter to President Biden urging him to do everything in his power to reach a deal and sign into law a revised reconciliation package that includes the climate investments passed by the House in November. Find more information here.

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