Press Releases

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.”
 

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) sent a letter, cosigned by Democratic Members of the Washington State delegation, urging Secretary Kerry to take action in Nestora Salgado’s case:

"Today, Congressman Adam Smith sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to continue efforts to release Nestora Salgado from prison in Mexico.  Ms. Salgado is a resident of Renton, WA who was arrested for her leadership in a community police group  in her home of Olinalá in the state of Guerrero, which has a long tradition of legally-recognized community self-defense groups.  Federal courts in Mexico have acknowledged that Nestora was acting lawfully, and a federal judge issued her immediate release, yet Guerrero state courts refuse to release her.  
 
This letter was also signed by Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as Representatives Suzan DelBene, Jim McDermott, Rick Larsen, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, and Juan Vargas.  
 
“We urge you to employ the resources of the State Department to continue efforts to secure Ms. Salgado’s release,” the Members wrote.  “The authorities in the State of Guerrero have not demonstrated a concern for her well-being, nor have they carried out the due process of law afforded to Ms. Salgado.”
 
The Members also expressed concern about conditions of Nestora’s imprisonment, as she suffers from neuropathy in her hands and feet, yet has been denied access to medication and adequate exercise, and is kept in isolation.  These concerns are shared by representatives of the Mexican federal government. 
 
“We remain troubled by the detainment conditions to which she is subjected,” the Members continued.   It is for these reasons that we seek your assistance to achieve a diplomatic conclusion to this long fought battle so that Ms. Salgado may return to the safety of her family in Washington State.”
 
This is the second letter that Congressman Smith has sent to Secretary Kerry urging him to ensure that Nestora is afforded due process and bringing attention to her deplorable prison conditions. He also joined Nestora’s family and legal representation at Seattle University in a press conference to bring attention to her case and advocate for her release.  This letter comes one year after Ms. Salgado was unjustly imprisoned.  

Full Text of Letter

Smith Recognizes Labor Day

September 1, 2014

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) today issued the following statement in recognition of Labor Day:

"On Labor Day, we remember and recognize the struggle undergone by American workers for fair compensation and to secure the right to organize and negotiate collectively.  As the son of a ramp serviceman at SeaTac Airport, I recognize the importance of labor unions and their ability to bargain collectively not only for workers' rights, but also for building a strong middle class.

“I believe it is more important than ever that we help rebuild a strong middle class by raising the minimum wage, supporting livable wage jobs, and fighting for education and workforce training programs. I have been a strong supporter of raising the minimum wage in my hometown of SeaTac and have re-introduced the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act to help displaced workers get job training services so they can be re-integrated back into the economy.

“Our nation must invest in its workers and prepare them to compete in our rapidly changing global market, and I will continue to support legislation and initiatives that do so.”