Press Releases

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.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after opposing House Republicans attempt to strip protections for DREAMers and the President’s executive action:

 

“In their latest attempt to deport DREAMers, rip families apart, and obstruct progress on immigration reform, House Republicans are now threatening to shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if they don’t get their way.  Instead of using this legislation as an opportunity to focus limited DHS resources on national security threats, House Republicans continue to play politics, and in the process are leaving millions of people and families to suffer from a broken immigration system.”
 
“I’m also disappointed with the failure to open the process by which this bill was considered.  Because of the closed process, Republicans refused to consider an amendment that I proposed with colleagues that would have eliminated the misguided detention bed mandate, which is costly and incentivizes the detention of more people when there are more cost-effective alternatives to detention available.”

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement in support of President Obama’s proposal to cover two years of tuition for students at community colleges:
 
“I am very happy to see the President take action to make higher education more affordable and accessible for every student.  Higher college tuitions and growing income inequality have made the cost of higher education an extremely difficult hurdle for students with limited resources.  At the same time, more and more jobs are requiring degrees and advanced study, making higher education attainment more important than ever. The America’s College Promise proposal would make two years of community college free for students committed to their education.  Providing universal access to the skills and education that our global economy demands is absolutely critical in leveling the playing field and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed.”

For more information on the President’s proposal, click here.