Press Releases

SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the full implementation of the repeal of the U.S. military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
 
“Ten years ago, we affirmed the courage and sacrifice of tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ service members when the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ finally took effect. This milestone in the history of our country’s long journey to equality for all Americans, no matter who they love, also reminds us that when we support greater diversity and inclusion in the U.S. military, we strengthen U.S. national security.
 
“The fight for equality in the U.S. military did not end with the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for honoring its commitment to LGBTQ+ service members and their families by appointing several members of the LGBTQ+ community to key positions of leadership across the U.S. government and for announcing in March that transgender members of the military may serve openly. Together, we must all continue our efforts to ensure that the U.S. military — and our country as a whole — affirms the dignity, value, and courage of LGBTQ+ Americans.”
 
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SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after President Biden signed an Executive Order to address the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia.
 
“The ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, and I am glad to see the Biden-Harris administration take additional steps to urge an end to this violence. It is critical that all parties to the conflict immediately move towards a negotiated ceasefire and political resolution. The United States, African Union, United Nations, and other international parties continue to provide ample opportunities to facilitate this dialogue. In addition, actions that inhibit the flow of humanitarian aid must end and telecommunications and other basic services should be restored. 
 
“The violence must stop now. I fully support the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to help bring a resolution to this conflict, hold leaders of all parties to the conflict accountable, and restore humanitarian aid to those who so desperately need it.”
 
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SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill that strengthens the Department of Justice’s ability to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and safeguard the right to vote without arbitrary barriers.

“The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act restores critical voter protection provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that state and localities with a history of discriminatory voting practices would no longer have to obtain preclearance when enacting changes to their election laws. In the aftermath of that decision, areas previously under this preclearance provision immediately enacted discriminatory voting laws that primarily targeted Black voters, other voters of color, the elderly, and disabled people through a variety of methods to make voting more inaccessible, confusing, and difficult.

Congress should be making it easier for people to exercise their right to vote. The wave of state laws restricting the right to vote in the name of election security flies in the face of our democracy. The people passing these laws are the same people who supported Trump’s conspiracy to overturn a free and fair election. Enacting H.R. 4 into law is critical to keep our democracy alive and I am proud to have voted for its passage in the House. I now urge my Senate colleagues to take up the legislation as soon as possible.”

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SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House passed H.Res. 601, a resolution that initiates the budget reconciliation process that will be the platform to enact President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal.

“Passage of the budget resolution is a critical step towards enacting transformative legislation to improve the lives of people and address some of our most pressing challenges. It starts us off with a bold vision for what Americans need to get back on the right foot after the difficulties we faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While specific provisions of the final reconciliation bill need to be negotiated, this budget resolution provides a framework for several key priorities to be included in a final bill.

“To address the growing climate crisis, the resolution allows for policies to decarbonize the electric grid, establish bold incentives in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation, and prioritize environmental justice. The Puget Sound region is unfortunately all too familiar with the housing crisis. This budget resolution envisions enormous investments in public housing, affordable housing supply, and green housing.

“Health care costs continue to burden far too many people. This resolution expands Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing to create a more comprehensive health plan; extends health insurance subsidies and premium caps included in the American Rescue Plan to make insurance more affordable; and reduces prescription drug costs. It makes long overdue investments in home and community-based services. The framework further envisions universal pre-K for children, Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits, and an extension of the Child Tax Credit expansion.

“Importantly, the budget resolution also includes instructions that would allow for the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and immigrant youth, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders, and essential workers. This is a vital opportunity to finally pass legislation in Congress to support immigrants who are too often left behind.

“These are just a few of the many priorities that the budget resolution makes possible in a final reconciliation bill. I will continue to work with my colleagues to push for the strongest reconciliation bill possible and help enact President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.”

For more information about the budget resolution please click here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3985 the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act.

“Today Congress has sent another message to the courageous Afghans who provided faithful and valuable service while working for or on behalf of the U.S. government: The United States remains committed to your safety, your families, and your future. The passage of today’s legislation will support the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing efforts to provide those Afghans whose service has put them, and their families, at risk of retribution by the Taliban access to new opportunities in the United States.

“By removing or revising some statutory requirements in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process, this bill will improve the efficiency of the program while retaining thorough security vetting for each visa recipient. By expediting the SIV process and increasing the total number of visas available by several thousand, this legislation will help meet the demand for  those Afghans currently in the application process as well as those who have yet to apply.”

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