Press Releases

Washington, D.C. - On the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, House Republicans had planned on advancing extreme legislation that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks with the only exception being to protect the life of the mother.  Due to strong opposition by Democrats and some Republicans, they instead introduced a bill that would disproportionately restrict low-income women’s access to abortions and family planning services.  Congressman Smith released the following statement opposing the legislation:

“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we should be building on advancements in women’s healthcare rights and family planning services.  Unfortunately, Republicans seem intent on stripping these gains and restricting both comprehensive healthcare coverage and access to abortions.  I strongly oppose these efforts because the government should not be making health decisions that ought to be left between a woman, her doctor, and her family.  

“That is why I cosponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, which protects a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions no matter where she lives and promotes access to family planning services.  I will continue to do all I can in Congress to protect a woman’s right to choose and her access to the family planning services she needs.”

Today marks the 5th year anniversary of Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to spend freely in federal elections.  This decision was a significant change from years of government efforts to regulate the power of corporations in campaign finance.  Congressman Smith (D-WA) joined many colleagues in the House of Representatives today to introduce the Democracy for All Amendment.  This would amend the U.S. Constitution to grant states' and Congress the authority to strip the ability for corporations to spend unlimited resources in elections.

“Our current campaign finance system provides wealthy corporations and special interests disproportionate influence on our elections and in the process drowns out the voice of everyday people,” said Congressman Smith. “Congress must reform our campaign finance system to ensure that all Americans, regardless of wealth and influence, have a powerful voice in the election process.  I cosponsored the Democracy for All Amendment and the Government By the People Act to reverse Citizens United and establish a new system where candidates can rely on small donors.  I will work with my colleagues to pass both of these critical bills.”

Congressman Smith released the following statement in response to reports of possible Senate legislation that would weaken the Jones Act next week:

“The Jones Act is an important law that promotes a robust domestic maritime industry that helps to ensure our national security, while also providing for 500,000 U.S. jobs and producing over $100 billion dollars in economic output.  Any attempt to repeal or weaken this law would be harmful to our national security and our economy.”

 

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

“Tonight, the President laid out a forward-looking plan to improve our economy by investing in the middle class and the American worker.  Our economy and job growth continue to rise to levels not seen since the 1990s, but that growth is not being shared with the majority of our country.  Incomes for the top one percent have grown rapidly, while incomes for lower earners have been stagnant.  This has eroded opportunities for hard-working families, which has negative impacts on our economy and society as a whole.  We can do better.

“The President’s plan is focused on policies that will make paychecks go further, ensure upward mobility, and create and maintain good paying jobs at home.  Reforming our tax code to expand tax relief for working and middle class families is critical to helping families who are struggling to cover essential costs. Through the President’s America’s College Promise plan, more programs like South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship will be created to help improve access to good-paying jobs.  Additionally, investments will be made in clean energy and healthcare to ensure that good-paying jobs stay in the United States.  This plan will go a long way to support strong working and middle class families, and in turn improve our economy.  I will do all I can in Congress to advance this agenda.
 
“I was also pleased to hear the President reiterate the need for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR).  His recent executive action was a huge step in fixing our broken system, but this was a first step, not the last step. Congress must pass full CIR to make lasting reforms. 
 
“The President also spoke about our national security agenda.  As we have seen over the last year, the world is a dangerous and complicated place. Combating ISIL presents a number of challenges. Russia is attempting to reassert itself in Europe. North Korea’s recent actions underscore the challenges we face with regard to nuclear non-proliferation and cybersecurity. Negotiations with Iran continue to be difficult.  Congressional Republicans continue to do everything they can to prevent the Administration from closing the costly detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and developing a rational detention policy that the world can respect.
  
“These are just some of the challenges that we face on the foreign policy front. None of these challenges were sought out by the American people but in order to ensure our national security, we must work together to confront them. Managing all of these challenges to perfection would be impossible for any President, but President Obama has been consistent and steadfast in leveraging the full arsenal of U.S. power. And we have seen some successes.
                                                  
“Leveling sanctions against Russia has had a significant impact on the Russian economy. While Russia continues to be a menace to its neighbors, Putin now fully understands that there are significant costs to his actions. Additionally, sanctions have brought and kept Iran at the negotiating table. There is now a possibility for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program later this year.
 
"While we have decimated Al Qaeda’s core leadership, new challenges, such as ISIL, have emerged. The President has brought an unprecedented coalition together to confront this barbaric and troubling threat and I support his call for Congress pass a resolution authorizing the use of force. It will be difficult to find agreement on the specifics, but it is important for Congress to weigh in.
 
“Tonight, the President discussed a world that presents a lot of challenges both at home and around the world.   Moving forward, I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress as we work to confront these challenges.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
 
“There was no fiercer advocate for equality than Martin Luther King Jr.  Despite daunting challenges, he never stopped fighting and his legacy continues to inspire millions of Americans today.  As we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must recognize that his dream to provide equality and opportunity to every American still has not been reached.  Zip codes and incomes too often dictate one’s ability to access high-quality education, affordable healthcare, and good-paying employment opportunities, and the right to vote continues to be threatened for many Americans .  To truly honor Dr. King’s dream, our country must come together and recommit ourselves to continue the fight for equality by reducing income inequality and expanding economic opportunities for all.