Press Releases

In the Social Security Commission’s annual report released last week, the Commission warned of major shortfalls in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that will result in a 19 percent reduction in benefits for 11 million disabled Americans starting in 2016 if Congress doesn’t act.  Today, Congressman Smith cosponsored the One Social Security Act to prevent these cuts and to help ensure individuals get the benefits they deserve. 

“It is critical that we preserve the guarantee associated with Social Security and continue the system in a sustainable way.  This legislation would prevent 11 million disabled Americans from facing harmful cuts to their Social Security benefits without adding a penny to the deficit and without changing the overall financial standing of the program.  By simply unifying the two existing Social Security funds, the One Social Security Act will prevent SSDI from running out, and ensure disabled workers get the benefits they have earned,” Adam explained.
 
A 1956 law required the government to distribute Social Security in two separate funds: one triggered by retirement or death (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance–or OASDI) and the other by a severe injury or illness (SSDI).  This separation makes it harder for the much smaller amount of SSDI beneficiaries to access OASDI funds, despite disabled workers having fully contributed to Social Security as a whole.   As a result, Congress has periodically been forced to authorize the transfer of funds between OASDI and SSDI to ensure disabled beneficiaries get what they deserve.  This legislation would merge the two funds to streamline Social Security payments and ensure that SSDI beneficiaries do not see their benefits fall in 2016.
 

Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement after hearing about the death of Donnie Chin:

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the death of Donnie Chin. As the director of the International District Emergency Center, Donnie helped provide critical support and emergency services to the International District and he will be greatly missed.  My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

On June 25, 2015, Congressman Dave Reichert and Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced legislation that would establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area. This designation would help to preserve our region's scenic natural lands and wildlife habitat, while also recognizing its economic benefit through the promotion of outdoor recreation, tourism, and agriculture. 


Just days after the reintroduction of the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Act, the legislation received broad support from several organizations, community groups, and local elected officials.  The diverse coalition of organizations and community members supporting this effort speaks to the value our community places on protecting our environment for generations to come.  Below are statements of support for the Act, as well as an excerpt from Crosscut’s recent feature on the legislation and efforts to support it. 


Les Welsh, Regional Executive Director, Pacific Regional Center, National Wildlife Federation

“We applaud Congressman Smith’s efforts to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway and add important public recognition to a space that is enormously valuable to both people and wildlife in the backyard of the Washington’s largest metropolitan area.”

Councilmember Larry Gossett, King County

“The creation of the Greenway has been a major effort that King County has taken the lead on over the past 20 years, investing well over $100 million in land acquisition and recreational development.”

Josh Brown, Executive Director, Puget Sound Regional Council

“The Mountains to Sound Greenway is an important component of VISION 2040, the region’s integrated strategy to ensure the well-being of people and communities, economic vitality, and a healthy environment as we grow.”

Gene Duvernoy, Executive Director, Forterra 

“Such a designation will further empower a consensus-based approach for the continued care and improvement of the Greenway—a model proven successful by the remarkable achievements of the Greenway coalition over the last 20 years. It is yet another means of achieving the goals of the Cascade Agenda and ensuring a livable place for us all.”

Terri Butler, Executive Director, Sustainable Seattle

“We at Sustainable Seattle have found that our members grew to appreciate the earth and the importance of keeping it healthy through their own personal positive experiences in the outdoors, either as children or later in life”

Patrick Bannon, President, Bellevue Downtown Association

“Bellevue residents and businesses benefit from having world-class recreation at our doorstep. The Greenway is an attraction for top employers and talent, helping to keep our local and regional economy strong.”

Bruce Bassett, Mayor, City of Mercer Island

“As a city within the Mountains to Sound Greenway, Mercer Island shares the vision of a connected landscape extending from the shores of Puget Sound, across the Cascade crest and into the central portion of Washington State, providing scenic beauty, outstanding recreation and a high quality of life for this region.”


Elizabeth Stewart, Executive Director, Renton Historical Society

“This area exemplifies the rich and storied history of our region, and we support recognizing the uniqueness of this region by designating the Greenway with a fitting national label.”

Janet Ray, Assistant Vice President, AAA Washington, Bellevue

National Heritage Area designation will create a framework that will provide a higher profile and enhanced reputation for this corridor and allow it to become even more a destination for heritage and recreational travelers, a goal of our company since its inception.”

Congressman Smith Statement on Boy Scouts Ending Ban on Openly Gay Leaders

Smith Hopes Change Will Reinstate Troop 98 in Rainier Beach

July 14, 2015

On Monday,  the Boy Scouts of America announced that their executive committee approved a resolution that would end the organization’s ban on gay leaders.  This comes well over a year after Troop 98 of Seattle’s Rainier Beach United Methodist Church had their charter revoked when they refused to remove openly gay scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath.  Congressman Smith released the following statement:

“No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, and I am pleased to see the Boy Scouts of America take this initial step.  With this policy change, I hope that Geoffrey McGrath and Troop 98 will be reinstated, as well as any other openly gay scoutmasters who have been unjustly removed because of their sexual orientation.”
 
In April 2014, Congressman Smith wrote a letter to the President of Boy Scouts of America expressing deep concern that Troop 98 had their charter revoked.  
 

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following comments after the Administration announced it has reached a deal on Iran’s nuclear program: 

I applaud the Administration for all of its hard work.  From the harsh sanctions that brought Iran to the table, to the strenuous and lengthy negotiations that have brought us to this point, the Administration has worked tirelessly to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 

 I look forward to thoroughly reviewing the agreement announced today. We cannot let our desire for a deal allow us to accept a bad deal. And we cannot allow politics to stand in the way of a good deal. In the coming days, Congress will have the opportunity to scrutinize the deal presented today. It is my hope that Congress takes advantage of this time to honestly review the deal and determine whether it is in the best interest of the United States to move forward. This potential agreement comes on the heels of a long history of mistrust and cheating by Iran. Consolation with our allies and a strong inspections and verification regime will be vital to the success of this agreement. 

 Again, I applaud the Obama Administration for the progress it has made thus far and look forward to reviewing this agreement in far greater detail.