Press Releases

Smith Statement on Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to Serve on the United States Supreme Court

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch for the vacancy that has been conspicuously vacant for just under one calendar year, due to Republican obstructionism:

February 2, 2017

“The absolute hypocrisy of Senate Republicans calling for ‘regular order’ to fill the Supreme Court vacancy after more than a year is beyond belief. In February of last year, President Obama carried out his constitutional obligation in nominating Judge Merrick Garland, who was denied even the common courtesy of a meeting with Republican leadership in the Senate – let alone a hearing.  It seems the Senate Majority Leader has been struck with a sudden case of memory loss, as he now miraculously believes it’s imperative to quickly fulfill the Senate’s explicit Constitutional responsibility to review the new President’s nominee. The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an infrequent event of major significance in American government and it is inexcusable that the door was slammed shut on President Obama’s nominee.

“President Trump cannot continue to put campaign promises ahead of bringing together a divided nation. In nominating Judge Gorsuch yesterday, the President has chosen an individual with an alarming history of judicial activism. Gorsuch’s remarks on the Citizens United v. FEC case are serious cause for concern. He would be wise to remember that corporations are not people, and money is not free speech. Furthermore, the opinion he argued in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case shows a deeply disturbing willingness to allow extreme latitude in cases where corporate interests have usurped individual rights.

“Senators swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Although I anticipate Senate Republicans will move quickly in the confirmation process on this nominee, I understand if my Democratic colleagues in the Senate want to afford Judge Gorsuch the same level of courtesy that was afforded Judge Garland.” 

Smith Statement on Award of Congressional Award Medals to Local Students

Congressman Adam Smith presented the Bronze Congressional Award Medal to Jessica Waller and the Silver Congressional Award Medal to William “Max” Waller, both students at Mercer Island High School. Congressman Smith released the following statement in recognition of both students receiving these prestigious medals:

February 1, 2017

“It is a privilege to see young students like Jessica and Max demonstrating such a commitment to strengthening our communities. Their ability to complete challenging personal goals demonstrates determination and focus. They should be extremely proud of their accomplishments.

“To earn the Bronze Congressional Award Medal, Jessica volunteered more than 400 hours, primarily with Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, where she is a member of the youth advisory board, and at the Seattle Humane Society, where she is a teen leader.  Max earned his Silver metal and his Eagle Scout Badge by volunteering extensively with various environmental organizations, including Earth Corps. He also volunteered Seattle Music Partners, where he provided trombone lessons to students at Leschi Elementary School. In addition to their public service, both Max and Jessica set and achieved lofty personal development and fitness goals. I look forward to seeing the contributions both students will have to their community as future leaders. I wish both Max and Jessica the best as they continue to work toward the Gold Congressional Award Medal, the government’s highest honor for the country’s most ambitious youths.”

The Congressional Award was established in 1979 in order to recognize initiative, achievement, and service in young Americans. Since its inception, participating teens have logged more than 7.5 million volunteer hours.

“President Trump continues to sign vague and ill-conceived executive orders that have clearly not been properly considered in a rush to fulfill campaign promises. The executive order related to regulation signed this week is just another gimmick under the guise of reducing regulations. It arbitrarily requires that for every regulation passed, two have to be eliminated. This would wreak havoc on our regulatory system and hurt American businesses that are faced with an unpredictable and unsound regulatory environment. The very first indication that this order was alarmingly unclear and confusing is that the White House itself had to quickly issue a subsequent clarification to explain that independent agencies were exempt from it.

“I support a regulatory environment that focuses on the long term needs of our country, protects the American people from harmful environmental impacts, financial fraud, and unethical labor practices, while allowing us to transform our economy and create the jobs needed to compete globally in the future.  A well-functioning agency rulemaking process is critical to that goal. President Trump’s regulatory executive order does not move us closer to that goal, it does just the opposite.” 

Smith Statement on NSC Reorganization

Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the Trump administration’s presidential memorandum on organization of the National Security Council (NSC) and the Homeland Security Council (HSC):

January 30, 2017

“This arrangement could hardly be more ominous for the U.S. national security decision-making process and the security of our friends and allies. The moves laid out in the National Security Presidential Memorandum take an unprecedented step to politicize the NSC. By placing a political operative at the table for all meetings, it concentrates power in the hands of Steve Bannon, an ultra-right-wing political strategist who wants to take national security policy in a direction that will undermine global security, strengthen our enemies, and shred American values. This goes beyond the long-standing practice of including the President’s Chief of Staff. At the same time, the memorandum downgrades the role that objective intelligence and military advice will play in the president’s decision-making process. We should not be going down this road. Congress will have no choice but to question the integrity of the NSC’s recommendations going forward.”

 

Smith Statement on President Trump's Executive Order Contradicting American Values

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the extensive damage President Trump's most recent Executive Order banning refugees is already causing:

January 28, 2017

“President Trump's Friday afternoon executive order banning refugees is already wreaking havoc on countless individuals here in the United States and creating lasting repercussions for our country's international stature. Aside from the fact that the United States already has a very extensive vetting process for refugees, the White House's failure to issue guidance for the Department of Homeland Security, airport employees and airlines across the world is causing chaos, fear, and potentially irreparable harm to our international alliances. Legal scholars are already raising serious legal questions about whether the President's ban is even constitutional. 
 
“In directing the Department of Homeland Security to indefinitely deny Syrian refugees from entering the United States, as well as callously barring all refugees from the rest of the world for a minimum of 120 days, the President has chosen to act in direct contrast to our nation’s proud history of helping those in need. The fact remains that there have been no fatal terror attacks in the United States by immigrants from the seven nations identified in the President's executive order. 

“Mr. Trump's disturbing lack of knowledge of the current vetting processes and his complete disregard for American values is both disturbing and dangerous. If we are to succeed in the fight against Islamic extremists, we must make it clear that our fight is not against the Muslim religion. We need our Muslim allies now, perhaps more than ever. The President's executive action will only lead to a clash of civilizations and write a chapter of history America will be ashamed of.”