Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the ongoing conflict in Tigray.

“The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ethiopia is extremely concerning. It is imperative that Prime Minister Abiy’s government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front reach a ceasefire in the near term and engage in dialogue to resolve the dispute peacefully. Tens of thousands of people have already been displaced from their homes, at least hundreds have died, and humanitarian access to the region has been nearly impossible. It is critical that all parties involved work with partners to immediately open humanitarian access to ensure food, water, and supplies can reach the region.

“Further military action is not the solution to this conflict, and I urge the United States to continue to press Prime Minister Abiy to participate in ongoing negotiation efforts led by the African Union. We must work with regional partners and all parties to de-escalate tensions, protect civilians, and open up access to humanitarian organizations. Without immediate de-escalation, the livelihoods of millions of people will be further jeopardized, and the conflict threatens to spiral into an even wider regional crisis.” 


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after President-elect Biden announced appointments for key roles in national security and foreign policy.

“President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have started to assemble stellar and historic national security and foreign policy teams that are well respected both at home and abroad. These leaders with diverse backgrounds and decades of experience will without a doubt be ready to hit the ground running on day one.

“The incoming administration will undertake the monumental task of repairing the damage left behind from the Trump Administration, restoring America’s global leadership, and advancing a foreign policy that reflects our values and the interest of the American people. The nominees share the understanding that to address the challenges facing the world today, we must work with our allies and partners. From human rights to climate change and the refugee crisis, I am confident these nominees are prepared to help lead the U.S. on the many complex challenges we face.

“Congratulations to nominees Antony Blinken, Secretary of State; Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence; Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Special Envoy for Climate; and Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor. I look forward to working with these nominees to advance our shared interests here and around the world.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement following House passage of the reauthorization of the National Apprenticeship Act which would invest in increasing access to Registered Apprenticeships (RAs), codify and streamline existing standards that are vital to support RAs, and invest and expand the successful RA model to youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.

“Our nation is in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and the economic hardships and inequities impacting jobless workers and families are continuing to worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many out of work, now is the time to invest in Registered Apprenticeships – some of the most successful workforce training programs in the country – which provide paid, on-the-job learning opportunities and a pathway to quality, family-sustaining jobs.

“The National Apprenticeship Act would invest more than $3.5 billion over five years to create nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities in existing and emerging industry sectors. Expanding access to apprenticeships ensures more workers have a pathway to stable, lifelong careers and accelerates our nation’s economic recovery. Additionally, I successfully included an amendment that would enable pre-apprenticeship programs to offer stipends to pre-apprentices to assist with the financial costs of participating in these programs such as housing, childcare, transportation, and more. This financial assistance will ensure both pre-apprenticeship programs and apprenticeship programs are more widely accessible for those who may face financial hardship.

“While workers and families continue to struggle with economic hardships amidst the pandemic, we must do all we can to help people obtain the education and skills needed to succeed and get through this crisis, and help build an economic recovery for a better future.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) successfully included an amendment to the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 that would allow pre-apprenticeship programs to use grant funds under the legislation to provide stipends for participants to cover certain out-of-pocket costs such as housing, transportation, and childcare.

“With persistent inequities in our society and a struggling economy further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do more to help people obtain the education and skills they need to succeed,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “Rep. Langevin and I have heard from pre-apprenticeship programs in our districts that some of the biggest barriers people face entering and completing these programs are the costs to cover living expenses and fees associated with the programs themselves. This amendment would help pre-apprenticeship programs remove those barriers for students so they can obtain the initial credentials they need to enter an apprenticeship program and put them on a pathway to quality, high-paying jobs.”

“Pre-apprenticeship programs are valuable training opportunities that serve as the starting point of rewarding careers, and they are even more critical as we wrestle with the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Langevin, co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus. “I’m joining Chairman Smith to advance legislation to provide financial support for out-of-pocket costs for hard-working Americans participating in these programs because it will help them advance and help the nation meet the growing demand for highly skilled workers. This legislation underpins the ‘earn and learn’ approach that will prepare workers in areas ranging from advanced manufacturing to healthcare for success in a 21st century economy.”

This amendment that passed today was based on legislation recently introduced by Smith and Langevin, The Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-around Support Services Fund Act of 2020. This legislation would establish a new grant program at the Department of Labor which would provide funding for pre-apprenticeship programs to use for direct support to pre-apprentices. Unlike most apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs are usually unable to provide income support during the program. By allowing pre-apprenticeship programs to put grant funds towards stipends, it will help ensure equitable access and increased retention and completion of these programs.

Further, pre-apprenticeships will help students who have missed school time, especially those who have not been able to engage in in-person Career Technical Education (CTE) lab time, due to the pandemic. In an effort to prevent further spread of the virus, many facilities have had to close and thus limited access to hands-on experiences and training. Pre-apprenticeships will help bridge the knowledge gap and provide extra support to make up for lost learning time.

Text of the Amendment to H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, can be found here and text of the Pre-Apprenticeship Wrap-around Support Services Fund Act of 2020 can be found here.

Statements of Support:

Karen Dove, Executive Director of ANEW:

“On average, each client needs about $1,000 of support service funding to be able to complete our 11-week training program. In return, they receive four industry recognized certificates, and are ready to enter apprenticeship with their driver’s license and GED or diploma. This funding is critical to ensure those who are most in need are able to complete the program and transition to a family wage career.”

Shoshana Wineburg, MSW, Director of Public Policy & Communications, YouthCare:

“YouthCare is thrilled to support Congressman Smith's Amendment to H.R. 8294 to provide stipends for young people engaged in pre-apprenticeship programs. YouthCare is one of the largest organizations in Washington State serving youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. We know that safe housing is key to stability, but access to education and employment are key to maintaining that stability over time. Pre-apprenticeships play a significant role in helping young people build employment skills and create pathways to careers. Unfortunately, those pathways are often derailed because of cost barriers associated with housing, transportation, or childcare—which is exactly why this amendment is so important and why we’re so excited to support it.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after speaking with Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller regarding the White House direction to the Department of Defense to drawdown U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500 by January 15, 2021.

“After speaking with the Acting Secretary this morning, I believe reducing our forward deployed footprint in Afghanistan down to 2,500 troops is the right policy decision. At the same time, this reduction must be responsibly and carefully executed to ensure stability in the region.

“While the history of conflict in the region is complex and predates our direct involvement, after nearly 20 years of armed conflict, Americans and Afghans alike are ready for the violence to end. It is clear that groups like ISIS-K and the Taliban will continue to fight and sow chaos, but ultimately it is up to the Afghans to find a sustainable path to peace.

“Our primary goal has been, and continues to be, the prevention of transnational terrorists from launching an attack against the United States from Afghanistan. In order to contain the terrorist threat as we draw down our troop levels, it is critical that we coordinate the drawdown closely with our allies, as well as our partners in the Afghan government, to protect our interests and those of our allies in Afghanistan.”