Press Releases

Today, Congressmen Adam Smith (D-WA) and Sander Levin (D-MI), as well as 30 other House Democrats, sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which is set to expire December 31, 2014.  Reps. Smith and Levin introduced the TAA Act earlier this Congress, which would fully reauthorize the program.

“TAA is a critical part of our nation’s competitiveness strategy in the face of a rapidly evolving world economy and its reauthorization enjoys bipartisan support,” the Members wrote. “Congressional leadership and action to reauthorize TAA is needed to stop the termination of an effective program that helps American workers and firms compete, innovate, strengthen, and diversify America’s economy. We must do all we can to save jobs by helping firms readjust and workers regain their edge and competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

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

 

Congressman Smith released the following statement after House Republicans passed legislation attempting to ban the President from taking executive action on immigration reform:
 
“Today’s passage of  H.R. 5759 proves once again that House Republicans’ priorities for immigration reform are to obstruct progress and to rip families apart.  It is shameful that House Republicans are willing to take immediate action on this bill to restrict the President’s authority to provide relief for millions of undocumented immigrants, but for over a year have refused to allow a simple vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  
 
“While Republican leadership continues to play politics, millions of people and families are suffering.  They cannot wait any longer.  That is why I opposed this legislation which tries to ban the President from using his authority to improve our immigration system and bring millions out of the shadows.  I will continue to fight for deportation relief, reforms to our immigration detention policies, and most importantly for comprehensive immigration reform.  We must come together to pass a meaningful comprehensive immigration reform bill that keeps families together.”


 

 

Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to the extension of negotiations with Iran:

While I had hoped that we would have been able to reach a final deal, I support the extension of the interim deal that maintains a freeze on Iran’s nuclear program and makes progress towards a final deal. The President has made it abundantly clear through his words as well as his actions, that under his leadership the United States will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.  I firmly support that goal, which is why I support the extension of negotiations. During negotiations, Iran’s nuclear program will remain frozen and the painful sanctions will stay in place. The extension keeps the pressure on Iran.
 
It is clear that sanctions are having an effect, and that the economic impact has brought Iran to the negotiating table in a real way.  We should continue to pursue this path and not forget that the President has assembled a rare level of international cooperation. The European Union has put in place forceful sanctions.  China, India and South Korea are all cutting back on oil purchases from Iran or making it harder for Iran to profit.  The world has united to isolate the Iranian regime, which cannot be lost on those making decisions in Tehran.  We should allow the time and space to see if negotiations can work.

We must also remember that negotiations are difficult, and they require significant effort from all sides. The issues are complicated and politically sensitive for all parties involved. Moreover, any potential deal must be lasting, enforceable and achieve the desired outcomes. Forcing an outcome that falls short of our goals or walking away from negotiations at this point in time would not be wise.

 

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."