Press Releases

Congressman Smith Joins in Reintroducing Bipartisan Legislation to Promote Efficient Use of Foreign Assistance

WASHINGTON – Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) joined Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) in reintroducing The Economic Growth and Development Act, H.R. 2747. This legislation supports opportunities for the private sector to more effectively engage in foreign aid, driving enduring economic growth in countries that receive U.S. assistance. Companion legislation, S. 1274 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., David Perdue, R-Ga., and Chris Coons, D-Del.

May 26, 2017

“I am pleased to be an original co-sponsor of this this bicameral, bipartisan legislation to advance U.S. interests by creating opportunities for economic development and to improve planning and coordination of our international development efforts,” said Rep. Adam Smith.

“America is the most generous nation in the world when it comes to foreign aid,” said Rep. Ted Yoho, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. “Today’s introduction of the bi-partisan Economic Growth and Development Act (EGDA) will ensure that our foreign aid dollars are used effectively and efficiently. By focusing on these objectives, we can transition recipient countries from aid to trade with the United States. I want to thank Rep. Adam Smith for joining me in introducing this bill.  I would also like to thank Senator Isakson for introducing his companion bill in the Senate as well as his co-leads, Senators Coons and Perdue. Collectively we can refocus the delivery of U.S. foreign aid so it leads down a path of shared economic prosperity for all.” 

Full text of the legislation can be viewed HERE.

Background:

U.S. Sens. Isakson and Coons are co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance in the U.S. Senate along with U.S. Reps. Yoho and Smith in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Smith Statement on President Trump's Budget Proposal

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018:

May 23, 2017

“Instead of proposing a budget that makes available the tools Americans and this country need to succeed, the Trump Administration has proposed a disastrous and ideologically-driven budget that demonstrates this President’s complete lack of interest in or understanding of the realities of governing. The President has doubled down on his earlier campaign promises, and makes clear he wants to limit the government’s ability to improve the lives of working Americans and diminish our country’s role in the world. 

“The budget released today would radically slash investments in programs that seek to expand broad-based economic opportunities and are effective at growing our economy. This proposal would up-end healthcare in the United States, undermine equitable universal education, underinvest in infrastructure, and inflict disastrous cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health, among many other agencies and programs.  The proposal would endanger the health, well-being, and success of Americans now and in the future. Furthermore, this proposal supports an isolationist worldview that ignores the importance of diplomacy and development abroad.

“The assumptions underlying the Administration’s budget are also based on budget gimmicks. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves and economic growth cannot be wished into existence. Instead, we must enact sound policy solutions and make strategic investments in the economy.  It is telling that Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have already stated that this budget proposal is dead on arrival.

“I fundamentally believe that government can, and should, be a force for good. We can responsibly invest in our future and grow the economy to ensure that America remains strong at home and abroad. I encourage the President and my colleagues in Congress to support a budget that focuses on investing in a better future for everyone.” 

Ranking Member Smith Statement on Tunnel Collapse at Hanford

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the tunnel collapse at the Hanford Nuclear Site managed by the Department of Energy in Richland, Washington:

May 17, 2017

“This month’s tunnel breach at the Hanford Nuclear Site underscores the importance of policies that prioritize worker health and safety. While the complete collapse of the tunnel was averted, I remain concerned. The Department of Energy (DOE) is relying more on luck than on certainty that all measures have been taken to avoid a potential incident that could release radiation and contamination. Such an incident would cause unacceptable harm, endanger lives and require long-term evacuations of the area and huge remediation costs. There have been too many near-misses across the nuclear complex. In addition to this latest incident, there are on-going concerns about noxious fumes at Hanford. Looking beyond Hanford to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, in 2014, a drum burst because of an inexcusable typo in drum packing guidance which could have killed or sickened workers at the site had the underground area not been evacuated a week prior due to an unrelated incident. The culture of complacency cannot continue.

“A successful clean-up of Hanford requires rigorous safety rules and regulations, as well as a strong and reliable safety culture that focuses on protecting the men and women conducting the essential, and often dangerous, work at the site. The DOE and its partners must demonstrate that it has met these objectives and use all incentives and coercive measures at its disposal to do so. The health and safety of employees at Hanford must always come before consideration of the bottom line.

“As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will carefully monitor the investigation into the tunnel collapse and efforts to ensure that the risk of another collapse at additional tunnels is as close to zero as possible. I remain committed to ensuring a safe and transparent clean-up at Hanford and I will continue to fight to ensure that the DOE has the well-being of all workers as a top priority and that it has the resources it needs to do so.” 

“President Trump's decision to fire FBI director James Comey is deeply disturbing.  It comes as Comey is in the midst of an investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  We know the Russians were behind the hacking of DNC emails and that they did so to try and give Trump an advantage in the election.  Furthermore, there is troubling evidence of connections between a number of Trump campaign operatives and the Russians, connections that on more than one occasion those Trump campaign officials were caught lying about.

“FBI Director Comey was in charge of what was the one clearly independent investigation of this unprecedented interference in our elections by a foreign power.  Did Trump fire Comey to stop this investigation?  There is no way to prove that, but it is a very troubling coincidence.  Coupled with President Trump's refusal to turn over his tax returns and continuing denial of what the Russians clearly did in the election, there is every reason to believe our president is acting to stop any legitimate investigation into those Russian actions.

“We are a nation of laws, not individuals.  By firing Director Comey President Trump has shown he does not understand this basic, governing, Constitutional principle of our nation.  We must continue to push for a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of what happened in the 2016 election and not let this President sweep it under the rug.” 

Smith Statement Condemning Executive Order Expanding Religious Liberty

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order greatly expanding religious organization’s freedom in political speech:

May 5, 2017

“The executive order President Trump signed today allows for discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. I respect the fundamental right of free exercise of religion, but not at the expense of women’s personal health decisions that should be left between them, their doctor, and their family. Freedom of religion does not include the right to impose those beliefs on others.  

“I strongly support increasing access to family planning services. We need to fight for equality for all – not encourage and legitimize those who seek to limit women’s reproductive rights. Family planning has been proven to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and, as a result, the total number of abortions. I will continue to fight this and similar attacks every step of the way.”