Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) joined leaders of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), New Democrat Coalition (New Dems), and Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) in sending a letter to President Biden urging him to do everything in his power to reach a deal and sign into law a revised reconciliation package that includes the climate investments passed by the House in November. The members pointed to the energy and inflation crises resulting from Putin’s war against Ukraine as further proof that the U.S. must transition to a clean energy economy as quickly as possible.

“As the world continues to deal with the fallout of Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis, we write in support of your long-term vision for a clean energy future,” the members wrote. “The climate investments in the House-passed reconciliation package would provide the long-term antidote to both the energy crisis and the inflation crisis our nation currently faces. These investments would help transition all sectors of our economy to a clean future with good jobs and environmental justice at its heart – from our power grid to our transportation systems, our buildings to our industries, and our agriculture to our public lands and waters.”

The members continued, “Unfortunately, we no longer have the luxury of waiting if we want to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. We simply cannot fail to meet this moment.”

“We urge you to work with our colleagues in the Senate to reach a deal that will get these critical climate investments signed into law. The window to achieve a deal is rapidly closing, and so time is of the essence. We stand ready to do what is necessary to accomplish our shared goal of building a clean future for America,” the members concluded.

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

“Ten years ago today, under President Barak Obama, the Department of Homeland Security announced a transformative policy that would grant undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children temporary permission to stay in the country. Since then, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has protected millions of Dreamers from being deported from the only country they have ever known,” said Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash). “Immigrants across the country have made countless contributions to our communities, culture, and our economy. On today’s DACA anniversary, we must renew our commitment to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants who call this country home. By doing so, we can make the American Dream a reality for millions of hardworking folks."

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2377, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2022, by a vote of 224 to 202. This legislation would prohibit individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from possessing a gun by implementing a nationwide “red flag” law.

“Too often, in the aftermath of another horrific mass shooting we find out that there were warning signs that, if taken seriously, could have prevented the tragedy from taking place. Today, the House passed a crucial piece of legislation that would establish a federal extreme risk protection order to keep guns out of the hands of those who possess a threat to themselves or others. Along with the Protecting Our Children Act, which passed in the House yesterday, this legislation represents a monumental step forward in our efforts to put an end to gun violence across America,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash). “The devastating shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and the dozens of shootings since, underscore the need for government intervention. The vast majority of Americans want gun safety laws that will protect our children, families, and communities from the terror of mass shootings. The House has acted, and now it is the Senate’s turn to do the same. In the coming days, I hope that the Senate will bring these life-saving bills across the finish line and deliver commonsense solutions to the national crisis of gun violence.”

A fact sheet of the bill can be found here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) introduced the Immigrants in Nursing and Allied Health Act of 2022, the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Assistance Act of 2022, and the Professional’s Access to Health (PATH) Workforce Integration Act of 2022, legislation to help alleviate health care workforce shortages across the country and reduce employment barriers for immigrants who want to work in the health care field.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated national workforce challenges in health care. We must do everything we can to support health care workers, combat staffing shortages, and rebuild our health care system. One way we can do that is by reducing barriers to employment for immigrants looking to enter the health care field,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “Many immigrants, including those with international medical degrees, face significant costs and challenges to becoming health care professionals that deter them from entering the field. These bills will help reduce existing barriers and provide funding for training, licensing, certification, and case management services for immigrants in the U.S. to expand access to good-paying health care jobs and build a stronger health care workforce. Our country is in desperate need of more primary care physicians, nurses, behavioral health professionals, technicians, and other critical workers who care for our communities. There are many immigrants who are willing and able to fill these positions – these bills would take meaningful action to make these job opportunities a possibility for immigrants.”

“Healthcare provider shortages have created care deserts. This is unacceptable. At its current capacity, our nation’s infrastructure does not have the ability to supply a health professional workforce to fill the current and projected U.S. needs. At the same time, internationally educated health professionals already residing legally in the U.S., including physicians, nurses, dentists, mental health providers, pharmacists, social workers, and other health professionals, are currently working as childcare providers, home health aides, taxi drivers, laborers, and low-skilled jobs,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. “I commend my colleague, Representative Smith, for his leadership in addressing this issue and I am proud to be working with him to introduce these three bills that will reduce barriers to entry into the workforce for internationally educated health professionals. My bill, the “Professionals Access to Health Workforce Integration Act,” or PATH Act would help to create a pipeline for lawfully present foreign trained health professionals to enter the American workforce with employment matching their health professional skills, education, and expertise. By facilitating the integration of these internationally trained health professionals into the U.S. health workforce, we will help increase our nation’s workforce diversity and contribute to improvements in the quality and availability of care for underserved populations.”

More information about the bills, including endorsing organizations, is below.

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The Immigrants in Nursing and Allied Health Act would help immigrants, regardless of whether they have any previous health care experience, get the financial support they need to enter nursing and allied health careers including nursing, mental and behavioral health, and other health care professions.

A fact sheet about the bill can be found here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.

The Immigrants in Nursing and Allied Health Act is endorsed by several organizations including Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), El Centro de la Raza, Church World Service, Congolese Integration Network, ICHS, International Rescue Committee and Refugee Advocacy Lab, National Partnership for New Americans, One America, Renton Technical College, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Seattle Indian Health Board, World Education Services, Health Workforce CouncilYakima Valley College, The Center for Disability Rights, The IMPRINT Coalition, Medicos Unidos Venezuela – USA, National Immigration Forum, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, Upwardly Global, The Advocates for Human Rights, The Welcoming Center – Pennsylvania, and the Coalition of Community Organizations (COCO).
 
See below for statements of support for the Immigrants in Nursing and Allied Health Act:

“Utilizing the great assets immigrant and refugee residents bring to our communities is vital for our collective well-being and is crucial to help address our healthcare needs. Reducing the barriers to immigrants joining the healthcare workforce benefits everyone, taking advantage of their experience and talent to make for a healthier society,” said Dr. Kevin McCarthy, President, Renton Technical College.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the urgent need to address long-standing health staffing shortages and uneven access to care across the U.S.,” said Esther Benjamin, CEO and Executive Director of World Education Services (WES). “An inclusive health workforce advances equity and has been shown to improve patient outcomes. We applaud Rep. Smith’s leadership in introducing these important bills and promoting the inclusion of immigrants and refugees in the U.S. workforce.”

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The IMG Assistance Act would help reduce the barriers that international medical graduates face when trying to complete the necessary training and certification to receive a U.S. medical license.

A fact sheet about the bill can be found here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.

The International Medical Graduate Assistance Act is endorsed by several organizations including Asian Counseling and Referral Services, AMOpportunities, Church World Service, ICHS, International Rescue Committee and Refugee Advocacy Lab, National Partnership for New Americans, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, One America, Pacific Islander Health Board, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Somali Health Board, the Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates, World Education Services, The Center for Disability Rights, The IMPRINT Coalition, Medicos Unidos Venezuela – USA, National Immigration Forum, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, Upwardly Global, The Advocates for Human Rights, The Welcoming Center – Pennsylvania, and the Coalition of Community Organizations (COCO).

See below for statements of support for the International Medical Graduate Assistance Act:

“We applaud Rep. Adam Smith for his leadership in introducing these important bills, which will promote pathways to health care professions for immigrant and refugee workers,” said Mohamed Khalif of the Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates. “There are at least 263,000 immigrants and refugees with health care backgrounds who are under- or unemployed in the U.S. It is critical that Congress passes the International Medical Graduate Assistance Act and the Immigrants in Allied Health Act to ensure more equitable access to health care professions while at the same time addressing looming health care staffing shortages.”

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The Professional’s Access to Health (PATH) Workforce Integration Act would offer training and counseling opportunities to internationally trained health professionals who are U.S. citizens, or immigrants legally residing in the U.S. while educating employers on the abilities and capacities of health professionals who have been educated overseas.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

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Correction: A previous version of this release listed the Washington Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board as an endorsing organization of the Immigrants in Nursing and Allied Health Act. The correct name of the organization is the Health Workforce Council. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act, by a vote of 223 to 204. The package includes several commonsense proposals to effectively reduce gun violence, including raising the age to buy and own certain semiautomatic guns, banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, and cracking down on gun trafficking, among others.
 
“On May 24, a gunman walked into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers. Days before, 10 people in Buffalo, New York were shot and killed while shopping in a supermarket. In the days following these tragedies, many more mass shootings took place that killed several people and injured many more. It could not be clearer: America has a gun violence problem, and we are in desperate need of legislation that will keep our children, families, and neighborhoods safe," said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash). “The scourge of gun violence has devastated communities across the country, and we must do more to prevent this senseless suffering. I am proud of the House vote today to turn this tragedy into action, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to work together to come to an agreement that will deliver real results for the American people. It is past time for gun safety legislation. Lives are on the line.”
 
Background
 
The Protecting Our Kids Act would:
  • Raise the lawful age to purchase a semiautomatic centerfire rifle from 18 to 21 years old.
  • Establish a new federal offense for the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of a large capacity magazines, with exceptions for certain law enforcement uses and the possession (but not sale) of grandfathered magazines; allow state and local governments to use the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program to compensate individuals who surrender large capacity magazines through a buyback program.
  • Establish new federal offenses for gun trafficking and straw purchasers and authorize seizure of the property and proceeds of the offense.
  • Establish voluntary best practices for safe firearm storage; award grants for Safe Firearm Storage Assistance Programs; provide a tax incentive to dealers for 10% of amounts received from the sale of safe storage devices.
  • Establish requirements to regulate the storage of firearms on residential premises; create criminal penalties for violation of the requirements.
  • Build on ATF’s regulatory bump stock ban by listing bump stocks under the National Firearms Act (like machineguns) and statutorily banning the manufacture, sale, or possession of bump stocks for civilian use.
  • Build on ATF’s regulatory ban of ghost guns by ensuring that ghost guns are subject to existing federal firearm regulation by amending the definition of “firearm” to include gun kits and partial receivers and changing the definition of “manufacturing firearms” to include assembling firearms using 3D printing.

A fact sheet of the bill can be found here.

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