Press Releases

Congressman Smith Recognizes Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Congressman Smith released the following statement in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

January 16, 2017

“Today, I join in celebrating the life and the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. and honoring Dr. King’s dream of a nation where individuals are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

“While we have not yet achieved Dr. King’s full vision of equal rights and opportunities for every American, we have come a long way from when Dr. King spoke to our country from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As we continue our work to build a better future for all Americans, we must remember Dr. King’s message of transformative racial and economic justice. Dr. King’s legacy inspires us each to do our individual part to create broad-based opportunities for all and battle inequality throughout our society.”

 

Congressman Smith Statement on H.Res. 11

Yesterday, Congressman Smith voted for H.Res.11, which objects to the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2234 that passed unanimously, with the United States abstaining, on December 23, 2016.

January 6, 2017

“I voted in favor of H.Res. 11, although I have ongoing concerns about the resolution. At the end of the day, I fully support Israel. As one of our strongest allies, Israel has been under threat since its creation, and the multi-faceted relationship we share with the Israelis requires our steadfast support.

“My concerns stem from my deep apprehensions that are shared by many Israelis. Namely, that Israel’s expanded settlements have made a two-state solution much more difficult. At the same time, Palestinians have taken steps that have made it hard to achieve peace in the region. Continued violence against Israel is a serious obstacle to peace. The Palestinians refuse to engage in direct negotiations with Israel and opt to go to the United Nations, leading to a more one-sided approach. Many also refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and their legitimate security concerns.

“Looking ahead, a very real issue is the number of Israelis - including at times, Prime Minister Netanyahu - who push Israel down a path that seems to make a two-state solution impossible. Without a legitimate Palestinian state, Israel will control the West Bank. If that were to happen, Israel would either allow Palestinians to vote, and cease to be a Jewish state; or they will not permit Palestinians to vote and would cease to be a democratic state. Neither of these outcomes will lead to peace. Both Palestinians and Israelis must recognize the imperative for a two-state solution. Without it, all we will get is the violence and instability the region has suffered for generations.” 

“Prior to the election of Donald Trump, Presidents have historically removed themselves from business dealings to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest. President-elect Trump’s lack of concern for real or perceived conflicts of interest through the business he inherited is unprecedented and deeply troubling.  Following his election, Donald Trump said he would separate himself from his business. He has failed to do so. His decision has raised immediate ethical and legal issues that will only serve to distract from his responsibilities as the President of the United States.

“Our country deserves to know how the President-elect will handle his business conflicts. Unfortunately, because the President-elect has not released his taxes, as promised, we don’t fully know the extent to which his business dealings could impact his Presidency. By choosing to postpone a Press Conference originally planned for December 15th, the President-elect has shown he is unwilling to face very legitimate questions about how he will lead our country without the danger posed by conflicts of interest. 

“Before his inauguration, Trump must prove his commitment to transparency, and explain how he plans to completely separate himself from his business dealings. Trump has assured the American people that he will cut ties with his businesses because ‘the Presidency is a far more important task,’ and I plan to do everything that I can to hold him to that promise.” 

Smith, Cummings, Conyers, Engel, Hoyer, Schiff, Thompson Joint Statement Calling for a Comprehensive Investigation of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election

Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), and House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) released the following joint statement in response to news reports about intelligence assessments of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and comments by the House Republican leadership downplaying the need for a thorough investigation:

December 13, 2016

“All Americans should be deeply concerned by the reports that Russian agencies have interfered with a U.S. election. As Speaker Ryan noted, ‘any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable.’

“The first duty of the United States government is to safeguard the American people and the integrity of our free society from attacks by foreign adversaries. Cyberattacks on our political institutions are direct threats to their integrity and are just as menacing as attacks on our economic, physical, and military infrastructure.

“Given the gravity of these unprecedented attacks by a foreign state, we need a congressional investigation that is truly bipartisan, that is comprehensive, that will not be restricted by jurisdictional lines, and that will give the American people a complete and full accounting of what happened consistent with safeguarding our national security.”

Congressman Smith Statement on Nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement about President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State:

December 13, 2016

“In nominating ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, the President-elect has chosen an individual whose company opposed efforts to sanction Russia while also receiving an award from Russian President Vladimir Putin. This nomination raises critical questions about the manner in which the President-elect intends to lead our nation. As the President-elect formulates policy and considers nominees for positions in his Administration, it is critical that the fundamental standards of our system of government are met and respected.  The incoming Administration and those who serve it must demonstrate an absolute commitment to the highest ethical standards, pose no real or perceived conflicts of interest, be completely transparent and open on their prior, current, and possible future dealings. 

“The next Secretary of State should be tasked with leading the interagency on a cohesive, thoughtful foreign policy that advances our national security. Given Tillerson’s expansive potential for conflicts of interest, I am encouraged to see that a growing number of Senators with national security expertise have also expressed concerns with the nomination. There must be a full bi-partisan review and vetting of the President-elect’s nominees by the U.S. Senate.”