Press Releases

U.S. Reps. Sander Levin (D-MI) and Adam Smith (D-WA) and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have introduced legislation to extend through 2020 the Trade Adjustment Assistance program – which expires at the end of 2015 – and renew a vital 2009-2010 expansion of the program to provide assistance for thousands of service industry workers affected by trade, as well as for workers losing their jobs due to trade with countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement, such as China. The bill would also extend the TAA for Firms program, which helps businesses adversely affected by trade regain their competitiveness. A fact sheet on The Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 2015 is available here.
 
Trade Adjustment Assistance provides necessary assistance for workers who have lost their job due to trade. The Department of Labor estimates that since 1975 more than two million workers have relied on the TAA program to receive benefits to make ends meet and the training necessary to find new employment. Congress included a short-term TAA extension in the omnibus bill last year, but the statutory authority for the program expires entirely at the end of this fiscal year.  
 
“The extension of the basic TAA program at the end of the year while welcome did not address several key improvements that are vital to assisting an expanded group of trade impacted workers,” Reps. Levin and Smith, and Sen. Brown said. “For example, service workers and workers who lose their jobs due to trade with non-FTA, non-preference program countries like China are not currently eligible for TAA. Our bill restores benefits to these workers while also providing much needed technical assistance so firms can remain competitive. Our commitment to displaced workers and the value of the TAA program stands on its own merits and should not be held up by other trade debates.”
 
 

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after the ILWU and PMA came to an agreement:

"I am pleased that the ILWU and PMA came together to reach an agreement. I look forward to learning more about the details when they become available. Our economy, workers, and businesses rely on our West Coast ports so I am glad that they will resume full operations.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after President Obama’s speech:

"I applaud President Obama for his remarks about Muslim Americans in his speech about countering violent extremists.  The President is right- we are not at war with Islam. I am fortunate to represent many Muslim Americans in the 9th District and they contribute greatly to our community through their culture and faith. I look forward to continuing to work with them to create a more accepting environment for everyone in our community and across the country."

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) reintroduced legislation to fix unfair Medicare reimbursement rates that disproportionately hurt Washington State patients. Currently, many physicians who serve Medicare patients in Washington State are reimbursed at considerably lower rates than doctors in other parts of the country for providing the same services.  For example, in 2012, the average Medicare patient in Miami received over $17,000 in annual benefits, and the average Medicare patient in Seattle received only $7,300 in annual benefits.

“Despite having one of the most efficient Medicare programs in the country, our state is punished with some of the lowest reimbursement rates for health care providers,” said Rep. Adam Smith.  “This results in fewer doctors being able to accept Medicare and less patients receiving the care they need.  Access to quality health care should not be dictated by your zip code.  That is why I am reintroducing the MediFair Act, which would ensure that seniors relying on Medicare in Washington State would have equal access to doctors.”
 
The MediFair Act would level the playing field by increasing Medicare reimbursement rates in Washington State and other regions with payments lower than the national average and decreasing rates in regions that are inefficient and have payments higher than the national average.  
 
Smith first introduced the MediFair legislation in 2002, concerned that Washington State’s Medicare reimbursement rates were well below average for other regions of the country.  Fixing the regional disparities in Medicare reimbursement is critical to the program’s vitality. Representatives Derek Kilmer, Denny Heck, and Jim McDermott are cosponsors of this legislation.  

Click here for bill text.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement regarding a Texas U.S. District Court’s injunction on the President’s executive action on immigration reform:

“I am disappointed in the decision to temporarily delay the President’s executive action.  The President acted within his legal authority to help fix our broken immigration system as President Bush, Reagan, and many Presidents have before.  The President’s action is much needed as it would bring millions of families and children who live in constant fear of deportation out of the shadows and refocus our resources on individuals who present real risks to our communities.  Delaying this critical action continues to ignore the glaring need for immigration reform and will continue to rip families and communities across the country apart.”