Press Releases

Smith Statement on Republican Budget Proposal

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement regarding the House Republican’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017:

March 17, 2016

“Congress has a duty to enact a budget that responsibly invests in our nation’s future and grows our economy for all Americans. Unfortunately, the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget proposal released by House Republicans earlier this week would take our country in the wrong direction by demanding the most devastating cuts ever proposed by Republicans on the Budget Committee. The Republican budget pushed through the House Budget Committee yesterday despite opposition from every Democrat on the committee, calls for $6.5 trillion in spending cuts that cripple important investments in education and infrastructure and breaks our promise to our seniors by ending the Medicare guarantee. The proposal slashes funding for our nation’s core priorities, stifles future economic growth, and comes at the expense of our middle class.

“I support the approach laid out by President Obama earlier this year. The President’s vision for a strong future creates broad-based economic opportunities for all Americans while keeping our nation safe.  The President’s budget follows the funding levels agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA). Although enactment of the BBA began to address our budget challenges in a more balanced way by providing necessary relief from sequestration in FY 2016 and FY 2017, it does not completely address our long term budget challenges.  The BBA does not compensate for the damage already inflicted by arbitrary cuts imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), and it only provides for short-term relief.  Sequestration levels remain in effect for discretionary funding for Fiscal Years 2018 through 2021.  To truly address our budget challenges, Congress must eliminate sequestration and repeal the BCA caps.

“As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I know that national security involves much more than defense.  We must also properly resource diplomacy and development so that our budgets reflect a holistic approach to national security itself.  I recognize that while we must invest in a budget that responsibly addresses our national security challenges, focusing on defense priorities alone would be insufficient. We need to repair and improve our infrastructure, incentivize research and innovation, increase access to education and health care, invest in housing and training our workforce, all while supporting small businesses and working families. These important aspects of our nation’s economy contribute to our enduring national strength.  

“We must empower the American people and those charged with protecting our nation’s security by giving them the means to plan.  Moving forward, the House, Senate, and the President must work together to eliminate sequestration altogether and implement a long-term spending plan that provides certainty to the Department of Defense and our Armed Forces, as well as to the entire federal government.  It is critical that we provide hard-working American families the tools they need to succeed.”

Ranking Member Smith Statement on Iran Missile Tests

Washington D.C. – Ranking Member Smith released the following statement in response to Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests:

March 11, 2016

“The Islamic Republic of Iran recently conducted a series of ballistic missile tests and may be planning others.  While these tests do not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), they do violate a separate United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR), and I strongly condemn Iran’s actions.

As we weigh options to appropriately respond to Iran’s violations, we must be mindful of the broader context of Iran’s internal political dynamic and that more reform-minded candidates who supported the JCPOA made gains in Iran’s recent elections—to the displeasure of Iran’s hardliners.

“I recognize that the path forward with Iran will see challenging and uncertain times.  We must also recognize that millions of Iranians support the JCPOA, further integration, and a brighter, more hopeful future for their country.  We call again on Iran’s leaders to give their people the freedom they so clearly desire and to immediately cease provocative actions, including, but not limited to, their ongoing state sponsorship of terror and missile tests that clearly violate United Nations resolutions.”  

 

Ranking Member Smith Statement on Iran Elections

Washington D.C. – Ranking Member Smith released the following statement in response to the recent elections in Iran:

March 3, 2016

“Iran just conducted its first elections since agreeing to the multilateral deal to give up its nuclear weapons program.  While it is true that the Islamic Republic of Iran determines who may run for election, it is also true that the Iranian people turned out in large numbers to support candidates who backed the nuclear deal and want improved relations with the rest of the world.

“To be clear, we have very serious differences with the Iranian regime. The conduct of the recent elections is deeply concerning due to the lack of transparency, censorship concerns, and limited freedom of expression and assembly. Furthermore, Iran's active state sponsorship of terror continues to threaten Israel and to destabilize the region. Moving forward Iran must cease all support to terrorist groups.

“The path forward with Iran will see challenging and uncertain times.  That said, we must not ignore the positive voices in Iran.  These elections do not reflect a revolutionary change in the regime, but they do show that millions of Iranians support progress and that many of them want a brighter, more constructive future for their country. Iran’s leaders must give their people the freedom they so clearly desire. 

“Despite our many disagreements with the Iranian regime, the elections show that our disputes do not, by definition, extend to the Iranian people. I hope that the Iranian government will see the strong desire for reform, be responsive to the will of the Iranian people, and formulate policies that create a better future for Iranians, the region, and the world.” 

WASHINGTON—Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Juan Vargas (D-CA), and Adam Smith (D-WA), released the following statement today after sending a letter to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud of Somalia congratulating him on signing a new Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terror Financing Bill into law. Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Joyce Beatty (D-OH) also signed the letter. The full text of the letter is available here.

“This law ensures that money for food, education, and small business start-ups sent from relatives abroad can reach families in Somalia without falling into the hands of extremist groups like Al-Shabaab and Daesh,” Rep. Ellison said. “By signing the strong Anti-Money Laundering Law passed by the Somali Parliament, President Mohamud is taking a critical step to restore the remittances lifeline and make it easier to combat terror, and that is cause for celebration.”

“I’m happy to learn President Mohamud signed the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill into law today,” Rep. Vargas said. “Remittances are crucial to ensuring the safety and stability of millions of Somalis.”

“I applaud Somali President Mohamud for signing important anti-money laundering legislation into law. I continue to hear from and value the views of my constituents about the critical issue of remittances and understand that we need to ensure that residents of the 9th District and Somali-Americans everywhere are able to once again send money back to their families which pays for food, health care, and education,” Rep. Smith said. “I will continue to fight for policies that reflect the importance of fighting terrorism, increase cooperation with Somalia wherever possible, and provide for the flow of much-needed support to families in Somalia.” 

Ranking Member Smith Statement on President’s Plan to Close Guantanamo

Washington D.C. – Ranking Member Smith released the following statement on the President’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility:

February 23, 2016

“Today, the President announced his plan to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I have long called for an exit strategy from our use of Guantanamo for detention purposes, and I am encouraged by the President’s plan to responsibly close the facility. I look forward to reviewing the full details of the plan as they become available.

“The President has provided a practicable plan for closing the facility. Congress must now work with the Administration in good faith to effectuate closure. We must start by lifting the current bans on transferring detainees into the United States and on constructing or modifying facilities within the United States to house Guantanamo detainees, bans that have too long served as barriers to closing the detention center.

“The establishment of a detention facility at Guantanamo was misguided from the beginning, and its operation stands in stark contrast to our nation’s values. Today, Guantanamo continues to be an international eyesore that undercuts our national security, damages our credibility with our international partners, and is a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. The President’s plan offers a responsible way forward that would address security concerns,  pursue criminal prosecutions, and produce net savings on the order of $335 million over ten years and $1.7 billion over twenty years.  It is far past time to end this chapter in our country’s history and to close this facility.”