Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after the President asked the Federal Communications Commission to protect net neutrality:

 
“I applaud President Obama for coming out strongly in favor of net neutrality.  An open internet is critical in promoting innovation, economic growth, and accessibility to information, and we must ensure that it remains free and open.  For these reasons, I believe the FCC should implement a strong rule that protects net neutrality.”

 

 

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement as the House begins debate on an amendment to provide the President with the authority to train and equip moderate elements of Syrian opposition forces: 

“If left unchecked, ISIL could become a direct threat to the United States, but this isn’t just an American problem. ISIL poses a serious threat to our allies in the region. The people of the Middle East, with our support, must have a stake in this fight. 

“Today we will begin debate on an important piece of legislation that will, if passed, authorize the Administration to begin training and equipping moderate elements of the Syrian opposition. This opposition will become the backbone of the resistance to ISIL in Syria and the Assad regime. It will not be easy, but it is necessary. Eventually, there will need to be a capable force that can confront ISIL fighters on the ground and that ground force should not be United States military personnel. To achieve a lasting solution, the Syrians must help defeat this cancer. It is their country, and they will ultimately be part of what comes next. 

“In Erbil, with our support, our Kurdish partners have resisted ISIL’s offensives. In Mosul, the Kurds and Iraqi Security Forces, with US airpower, took back the Mosul Dam. We saw the Iraqis fight off ISIL in Amerli with the support of US airpower. There is a formula for success and ISIL can be defeated. We must continue and expand our support in Iraq and we must develop moderate Syrian partner who can take the fight to ISIL on the ground.  

“With that in mind, I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment and give the Administration the authority it needs to develop a capable partner that can help us remove this threat from the Middle East and the world.”

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to the President’s speech on ISIL: 

“ISIL poses an existential threat to our allies in the region and, if left unchecked, it will become a direct threat to the United States. These cowards have already killed two unarmed American journalists and thousands of innocent Muslims. Their allegiance is to a perverted vision of Islam that justifies the killing of innocent people and this threat must be confronted in a holistic and forceful way. Tonight, the President laid out an aggressive and appropriate course of action to address the threat posed by ISIL.

“This is a fight against violent extremists – it is not a conflict between Sunnis, Shiites and the West - and any action against ISIL must be supported by a broad coalition of nations, which the President is aggressively pulling together. The Sunni countries in the region must play a key role in confronting this Sunni extremist group. 

“Any military action must also be complimented by a political strategy that leads to the inclusion of marginalized Sunni populations in Iraq. ISIL is primarily comprised of Sunni extremists, but it does not represent the beliefs and aspirations of the vast majority of the Sunni population. To undermine ISIL and achieve a lasting solution, the government in Iraq must include Sunnis. I applaud the Administration for continuing to make this a center piece or their strategy and I am encouraged by recent progress. Much more work remains to be done on this front.  

“ISIL is not confined to historically recognized boarders and any strategy to defeat ISIL must recognize that reality. That is why I support the Administration’s request to support moderate Syrian fighters.  If we are to be successful in Syria as well as Iraq, we must have a capable partner on the ground. At this point in time we do not have that partner and so we should be working to develop the capabilities of moderate elements within Syria. 

“We must also be working to counter ISIL’s extremist message. This is not just a kinetic war – it is an ideological war. The distorted and manipulated version of Islam that groups like ISIL espouse must be countered and met with truth. 

“This is an extraordinarily difficult and complex problem that requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. In our limited involvement thus far, the U.S. military has had success in helping our partners on the ground push back ISIL. In Erbil, our Kurdish partners have resisted ISIL’s offensives. They have also pushed back ISIL in Mosul. Last week, we saw the Iraqis fight off ISIL in Amerli with the support of US airpower. There is a formula for success and ISIL can be defeated. It is time for Americans to come together and support the President as he ramps up our efforts to defeat this menace.” 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement in remembrance of the anniversary of September 11th:
 
“Today marks 13 years since the tragic day that we lost 2,977 Americans to brutal and horrific terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  I know that for myself and for our nation, the pain of that day remains fresh in our hearts.

“My thoughts and prayers remain forever with the victims of 9/11 and their families.  We must recognize that without our dedicated first responders who showed unparalleled courage, the toll would have been much greater.  The police, firefighters, and emergency medical teams that responded on 9/11 are true heroes, who in the face of evil and terrorism, risked their lives for others and displayed the true resolve and values of our nation. 

“On this day of observance, we come together as a nation to remember these horrific attacks against our country and to honor the heroes who sacrificed their lives to save others.  We will never forget.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after President Obama delayed executive action on immigration:
 
“I am disappointed by the lack of action on immigration reform.  First and foremost, it is way past time for the Republican majority to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.  That is the best solution to our broken immigration system--comprehensive legislative action.  But since Republicans refuse to address it, I believe the President should do what he can through executive action and am disappointed in the delay.  We need to bring our undocumented population out of the shadows and offer them a path to citizenship.  Failure to do so harms our economy and forces unnecessary hardships on countless families.”