Press Releases

Smith Statement on Transgender Military Service

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about President Trump’s announcement that he will not allow transgender people to serve in the military:

July 26, 2017

“This announcement is an unwarranted and disgraceful attack on men and women who have been bravely serving their country. These service members are defending the United States around the world as we speak, and they have long done so with distinction. To prevent transgender people from joining the military and to push out those who have devoted their lives to this country would be ugly and discriminatory in the extreme.

“Secretary of Defense Mattis is currently engaged in a six-month review of policies to bring in new transgender recruits, and he has determined that transgender people who are currently serving should continue to serve.

“On January 31, President Trump said that he ‘is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the L.G.B.T.Q. community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election.’ What has changed since then? The inflated cost estimates that President Trump appears to be alluding to have no basis in fact, and appear to be cooked up by right-wing advocacy organizations whose real interest is not to support military readiness but to further discrimination. The cost of all hormone therapy for transgender individuals serving in the military since 2012 has been a grand total of $297,000, and there is no indication that the thousands of transgender people currently serving in the military have negatively impacted readiness.

“It takes a brave and committed person to volunteer to defend this country, and every American that is able and willing to do so should be allowed to join the U.S. military. We will fight this decision, just like we fought ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and ultimately justice will prevail.”

Smith Statement in Support of Bipartisan Sanctions Legislation

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement following his vote in support of H.R. 3364, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act:

July 25, 2017

“Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States were flagrant and unacceptable. Their meddling has not been confined simply to our borders –  as they carried out aggressive campaigns to disrupt the elections of our European partners. These actions must stop.

“In response, I joined a bipartisan majority of my colleagues today in voting in favor of comprehensive legislation that codifies existing sanctions put in place under the Obama Administration and enacts new sanctions against individuals and entities involved in these activities, and brings renewed pressure to the governments of North Korea and Iran. This package makes clear that cyber-attacks, provocative missile tests, and other destabilizing work by these governments runs contrary to global peace and security. It is incumbent upon our nation to lead the international community in confronting these actions.

“Today’s vote is a meaningful step in preventing Vladimir Putin from conducting future influence campaigns around the world and ensuring accountability for the Russian Federation’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine including the attempted annexation of Crimea and fomenting conflict in eastern Ukraine. This bill also holds President Trump accountable in any potential roll-back of existing sanctions. It also holds that North Korea’s continued violations of U.N. resolutions and threats to disrupt the Indo-Asia-Pacific region cannot be allowed to continue. Following the July 4, 2017 North Korean missile test, on top of continued Iranian ballistic missile tests, the United States must make clear that further development of long-range weapons systems that threaten the United States and its allies is unacceptable.

“Also included in the bill were critically needed initiatives, such as a pilot program to facilitate the processing of remittances by local credit unions and banks here in the United States to Somalia. The ability of Somali Americans to send money to their loved ones is an issue of life or death for families in Somalia, and we must explore creative solutions that allow for the continued flow of remittances to Somalia. The worsening humanitarian crisis in this fragile country will be made far worse if we do not take action.

“In recognition of the important provisions of this legislation, I encourage swift enactment of this package of sanctions for President Trump to sign into law.”    

Congressman Adam Smith will be a special guest at an event for small and diverse businesses this Friday, July 21st. Here in the Puget Sound region, small and diverse businesses are pillars of our local economy, and play critical roles in our continued economic growth and vitality.

Small Business Industry Day Information:

When: Friday, July 21, 2017, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. Congressman Smith will speak from 9:00 – 9:30 am.      

Where: Renton Pavilion, 233 Burnett Ave S. Renton, WA 98057

Who: Small and diverse businesses in manufacturing, engineering, and other industries

Program:

  • Learn how to do business with Northrop Grumman.
  • Meet with representatives from Northrop Grumman’s team.
  • Connect with resource partners.

In partnership with:

  • Washington State Department of Commerce
  • Washington Center for Women in Business
  • Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition
  • Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance
  • Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Learn more by visiting the Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center website: https://washingtonptac.ecenterdirect.com/events/850887

Media interested in attending should contact Rebecca Bryant at 202.225.8901 or Rebecca.Bryant@mail.house.gov

Smith Statement on Passage of the FY2018 NDAA in the House

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the passage of the FY 18 NDAA in the House:

July 14, 2017

“An enormous amount of good bipartisan work has gone into the writing of this bill, and I am supporting it. Make no mistake about it: We face a complex threat environment. North Korea is testing intercontinental ballistic missiles, Russia continues to undermine not just our elections, but democracy itself across the globe, and we face a terrorist threat. These are dangers that we must be prepared to confront.

“On the issue of terrorism, I want to warn strongly against using the issue of terrorism to demonize the Muslim religion. I know many people don’t want to do that—they simply want to confront groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS—but Steve Bannon, who works at the White House, indicates that he thinks that all Muslims are a threat. To the extent that we adopt a national security policy that views the world that way, we make the problem worse. That’s what ISIS wants. That’s what Al Qaeda wants. They want a clash of civilizations. We should not want that. Muslims have the biggest stake in this, and we must work with them, not against them, to confront the terrorist threat that ISIS and Al Qaeda and others present.

“On the broader budget issue, the main thing I am still concerned about in this bill is that it really doesn’t make choices. It continues to spend money in a variety of different places without a recognition of finite resources, and of the choices that need to be made about how to confront the threats that are most dangerous to us. This defense bill is $72 billion over the budget caps, so if we don’t eliminate or raise the budget caps, that additional money will go away, and leave us once again in the land of uncertainty for the Department of Defense. We have to make choices so that we don’t leave the U.S. military in the lurch, not knowing how much money they are going to have.

“I also want to point out that the rest of the budget does matter. The President’s budget contains a $54 billion plus-up for defense and a $54 billion cut from nondefense discretionary spending. So don’t tell me one thing doesn’t have anything to do with the other.  What are we talking about with domestic spending? Here are a few examples: I mentioned our infrastructure, that bridges are collapsing all across the country. We have incredible infrastructure needs that lead to the strength of our country. They are connected, just like national defense is, to the strength of this nation.

“Another example is the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which is close to my district in Seattle. It is doing incredible research right now about how not to use chemotherapy, but to actually go in and take out the white blood cells that aren’t working, get them to work, send them back in, and successfully fight cancer. This has worked for blood cancers, and they’ve just started studies on lung cancer, where basically we could cure cancer without going through the hell of chemo. The President’s budget would cut Fred Hutchinson’s funding by more than two-thirds.

“So cutting domestic spending is not a political issue. It is a policy choice, and a very real deed that has an incredible impact on the lives of Americans just like national security, just like making sure North Korea doesn’t hit us with nuclear weapons. Making sure that terrorist groups don’t attack us, curing cancer, stopping bridges from collapsing, these are policy priorities. And because we’re not making budget choices, these are priorities that get pushed aside.

“We heard yesterday that in a time of war, you make domestic sacrifices. We’ve read all about World War II and the domestic sacrifices that were made at that time. But you know what else you do in a time of war? You don’t cut taxes. You raise them. Prior to 2001, we had never gone to war without raising taxes or issuing war bonds or raising more revenue. Yet, we are unwilling to do that. I care enough about the national security of our country that I would raise taxes and pay for it. That’s the choice I would make. These choices are not being made in this so-called budget resolution, and I think that places us at risk.

“Lastly, the nondefense discretionary budget is the State Department; it’s USAID; it’s the Department of Homeland Security. If you’re going to have a national security strategy, it can’t just be the military. And you know who will tell you that more often than anybody? The military. They don’t want to bear the burden alone. Secretary Mattis said it best when he told us, I believe, that ‘If you’re going to cut diplomacy, if you’re going to cut development, you had better give me four more divisions. Because that’s how many more wars I’m going to have to fight.’ All of these things matter to the national security of this country.

“It is more likely than not that this bill—with all the good work that has been done on a number of different policy provisions unrelated to the money—that all of that is in jeopardy because this bill has at least $72 billion in it over the budget caps, that is not likely to be there come October 1 or the end of the year. So, if we don’t make the choices on the budget that reflect the priorities of the entire country, that actually reflect the budget numbers, then we are doing a disservice to the men and women who serve our country. It’s a good bill. It is going to be better once we figure out the budget issues and actually start making the choices that are necessary to make us stronger in every aspect of society.”

Smith Statement on the Defense Department Delaying Transgender Enlistment

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the decision to delay the date for transgender accessions to the military:

July 1, 2017

"This decision to delay transgender accession to the military is unjustified and morally wrong. The Defense Department has already studied the issue extensively and found that there are no substantial practical obstacles to allowing trans people to join the military and defend their country. To the contrary, many are already serving in the military and doing so with distinction. The only remaining obstacle is prejudice."