Press Releases

Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to Secretary Hagel’s resignation:

Secretary Hagel stepped into office during a very difficult time. In addition to dealing with the mindless cuts forced on the Department of Defense through sequestration, Secretary Hagel helped manage the continued drawdown in Afghanistan, and among other issues, the challenges posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Russia and Ebola. These are significant challenges, and we owe Secretary Hagel a debt of gratitude for his efforts to deal with them.

Secretary Hagel has been a very good partner with Congress. He worked hard to stay in touch with us, and ensure that there was good communication and coordination. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors, and I thank him for his service.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after the Grand Jury decision on the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO:
 
"The tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson showcases major issues that need to be addressed in law enforcement throughout our country.  To best protect our communities, it is critical that law enforcement work to develop and improve relationships with the communities they serve.  This requires a police force that is representative of the people they serve. In Ferguson and in many cities across the country, law enforcement fails to represent the diversity of the people they are entrusted to protect.  Additionally, the militarization of some of our law enforcement has led many to view police as an outsider and a threat, rather than a protector. I will do all I can in Congress to push for these changes."

 

 Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after President Obama’s announcement that he would expand deferred action for millions of undocumented immigrants:

“I strongly support the President’s executive action on deportation relief.  This action is long overdue and will bring millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. It will provide relief for many families and children living in constant fear of deportation by allowing for discretion to focus law enforcement resources on individuals who truly pose a risk to our communities.  I’ve met many undocumented immigrants who are law-abiding fathers, mothers, and children who have lived in the United States the majority of their lives and have contributed greatly to communities.  I do not believe these individuals should be deported or be forced to live in constant fear of being deported.  This executive action is a good step, but millions of undocumented immigrants will continue to live in fear.  To truly address our broken immigration system, Congress must pass a permanent comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill.

“Congressional inaction on this issue is incredibly frustrating because CIR has bipartisan support and could pass tomorrow if a vote were allowed in the House.  Over a year ago, the Senate passed CIR with large bipartisan support and the House introduced a CIR bill shortly afterwards.  This means that for well over a year, Congress has had the votes to pass landmark CIR with a pathway to citizenship.  Shamefully, Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership have refused a vote on the bill and obstructed the process for purely political reasons. In the meantime families and children have continued to be ripped apart by our broken immigration system.    

“Both Republicans and Democrats agree that we must address the fact that 11 million undocumented immigrants are currently living in the shadows.  However, House Republicans have not only failed to offer a plan to address this problem and obstructed legislation that does, they’ve also insisted on moving backwards with continued attempts to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides deportation relief for DREAMers.  The failures of Republican leadership have forced the President to use his legal authority to act.  His executive action to provide relief for millions is well within his legal authority. There is a long list of Presidents who have used deferred deportation as a form of discretion, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush  Obama is simply expanding the list of those who should receive deferred action and I commend him for doing so.  In Congress, I have strongly advocated for deportation relief, reforms to our immigration detention policies, and for CIR.  I will continue to do all I can to work with my colleagues to pass a meaningful CIR bill that keeps families together.”

Washington, D.C.- Today, Senator Sherrod Brown introduced a Senate companion bill to the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Act of 2014, introduced by Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Charles B. Rangel (D-MI). These bills would renew TAA, which is set to expire on December 31, 2014. Reps. Smith, Levin, Rangel, and Kilmer released the following statement calling for the immediate passage of the TAA:

“It is critical that Congress pass Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation before it expires at the end of the year. Both the House and Senate TAA bills provide critical work training, income support, and health care to help dislocated American workers transition and learn new skills for new careers in competitive industries.  This vital assistance helps American workers and businesses adapt and compete in a rapidly evolving world economy.” 

 

Background: Congress created the TAA program in 1962 in response to the loss of jobs among hard-working Americans as a result of increasing global competition, as well as to promote American competitiveness.  TAA benefits have several components: training assistance, income support while in training, and job search and relocation assistance.  The program assists workers dislocated by the elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade.  Additional programs assist farmers, fishermen, and firms with the development and implementation of business plans to enable them to regain a competitive foothold. Click here for the full text of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Act of 2014.

 

TAA by the numbers:

  • 2,192,910:  The number of workers served by TAA since it was created in 1974
  • 104,158:  The number of workers eligible to apply for TAA in 2013
  • 50:  The number of states with workers eligible for TAA benefits in 2013
  • 75%:  The percentage of TAA workers who got a job within six months of finishing the program
  • 90%:  The percentage of those TAA workers who remained employed at the end of the year

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to continued calls by Republican for U.S. ground combat troops in Iraq and Syria:

“The incessant call by Republicans for U.S. combat ground forces to be sent into Iraq and Syria is ill-founded and does not comport with reality. We did that before, and it didn’t work. After nearly nine years of conflict, nearly 4,500 dead Americans, and more than $1.5 trillion spent, Iraq is still broken. Why do Republicans want to relive the failed policies of the past?
 
“Yes, we should support the Iraqis as they fight ISIL, but they must be the boots on the ground in their own country. With our support, they must reach the political and military objectives necessary to stabilize Iraq. Only then can the stability be lasting. For years, we had more than a hundred thousand U.S. troops in Iraq, yet the sectarian conflict raged on. This must be a local effort.
 
“Similar to Iraq, any U.S. strategy in Syria must continue to guard against U.S combat ground troops getting bogged down in another costly land war in the Middle East. A force is necessary to confront ISIL on the ground, but combat troops must be a domestic force committed to the long-term stability of Syria. We should train, equip and support moderate groups willing to confront Assad and ISIL. We need a capable and willing partner on the ground if we are to be successful in Syria as well as Iraq. But it must be a local force with the support of the local population.”