Press Releases

“Climate change is one of the greatest public policy challenges facing our country today.  I am proud to support the House Resolution introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others, called the Green New Deal. 

“This resolution makes clear not only the depth of the problem of climate change, but lays out the necessity of addressing income inequality as part of the solution to climate change.  The devastating effects on our planet from our dependence on fossil fuels has never been more obvious, and never before in our nation’s history has so much wealth been concentrated in the hands of so few people. We must respond to the climate crisis with policies that transform our economy and infrastructure by moving towards clean and renewable sources of energy, while making changes that create greater equality of opportunity and pay people the better wages they deserve for the work they do.

“What matters most now is that we enact strong, science-based legislation and policies that can put us on a path to meeting the goals in this resolution.  The urgency of the climate crisis necessitates that we cannot wait. I look forward to continuing to work with the constituents I represent, my colleagues in Congress, and our stakeholders throughout our country as we craft policies to create a strong, green economy that gives everyone a fair chance to earn a decent living, have access to affordable housing, education and health care, and to support their families.”

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.— With the Asian American community celebrating Lunar New Year on Tuesday, Representative Adam Smith released the following statement to recognize the holiday:  

“Lunar New Year celebrations highlight our country’s cultural vibrancy.  For the Asian American community, Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year, and a time to celebrate the important heritage of Asian Americans,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “We must do more to acknowledge this annual observance, including official recognition by all levels of government. As the representative of a diverse district with many vibrant Asian American communities, I join in celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian American families here in the 9th District and around the world. I offer my warmest wishes to all those celebrating the Year of the Pig. May the coming year be filled with happiness, health, and good fortune!”

Background:  Smith is an original cosponsor of a resolution recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year. Rep. Grace Meng introduced the resolution to recognize the cultural and historical significance of the 2019 Lunar New Year.  It also expresses the deepest respect for Asian Americans and all individuals throughout the world who celebrate the holiday.  In addition, the resolution details the history and customs of Lunar New Year, and wishes Asian Americans and all who observe the Lunar celebration a happy and prosperous new year.

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in advance of President Trump’s State of the Union address:

“At tonight’s State of the Union, where President Trump will have the opportunity to lay out his Administration’s vision and plans for the coming year, I worry the President will once again prioritize appeasing his base instead of putting the interests of the entire country first. On the heels of the longest shutdown in our country’s history, caused by the President’s arbitrary demand for billions to build his border wall, he should use this unique platform to talk about meaningful solutions to the true challenges facing Americans. Our national priorities must include affordable health care, fighting climate change, addressing the rising cost of housing for middle class Americans, rebuilding our infrastructure, and increasing access to education.

“His recent addresses to the nation during the shutdown were riddled with mischaracterizations and lies about immigrants and our border. I hope the President will refrain from his campaign-style rhetoric about immigrants that is rooted in intolerance and racism, and instead talk about meaningful reforms to our immigration system focused on what works while making the case that the United States values the lives and dignity of immigrants. Additionally, with the government funding deadline less than two weeks away, the President should reassure federal workers and the American people that he won’t shut down the government again over a wall that he has failed to convince Congress and the American people is needed.

“The President should also be honest about our economic situation. More must be done to ensure that our economy works for everyone, not just the wealthiest and most fortunate. Income inequality in America continues to grow as wages stagnate and wealth becomes more concentrated in the hands of fewer Americans. The recent Trump tax cuts have further ballooned our federal deficit, at the expense of working families and led to a trillion in stock buybacks with very little investment in our nation’s workers. We should be working to enact policies that create broad-based economic opportunity for every American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or the zip code where they were born, not providing wealthy shareholders with profit windfalls. 

“Democrats are ready to rebuild our economy and are prepared to meet the challenges of the future. The President needs to show he stands for more than empty promises and fear-mongering. Our country deserves leadership that brings us together and delivers real solutions for hard-working American families.”

Washington, DC House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) and House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Jim Cooper (D-TN) released the following statement about withdrawal from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty:

“The Trump administration is needlessly ignoring the concerns of our allies and partners on an issue that should unify NATO, not divide it,” said Smith. “By withdrawing from the INF Treaty instead of making an honest, good-faith effort to collectively punish Russia for its treaty violations and bring it back into compliance, we are playing into President Putin’s hands.

“The administration’s ideological aversion to arms control as a tool for advancing national security is endangering our safety, as well as that of our allies and partners. The risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding is already higher than at any point since the end of the Cold War, and this decision only makes it worse,” Smith continued. “President Trump withdrawing from this treaty reopens a field of competition with yet another class of nuclear weapons and, perhaps ironically, reverses one of President Reagan’s most important historical achievements in a way that benefits Moscow. We must not allow Russia to receive a free pass for violating the INF Treaty, which is exactly what the Trump administration is handing President Putin.”

“Of course the Russians have been cheating on the INF treaty for years; the question is how we punish them for cheating,” said Cooper. “The Trump approach is to reward them by withdrawing from the treaty ourselves. If a student cheats on a test, does the teacher suddenly decide the test doesn’t count? No, we should rally NATO, the main beneficiaries of this treaty, to condemn Russia. But our President has been too soft on Russia and too hard on NATO. He’s got it backwards.”

Washington, DC House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan regarding the Armed Services Committee’s hearing on the Department of Defense’s Support to the Southern Border this Tuesday, January 29, 2019. The full text of the letter is available here.

Chairman Smith released the following statement about the letter:

“The number one thing that the House Armed Services Committee wants from the Defense Department this Congress is transparency. We did not get full transparency during this week’s hearing about DOD support to the southern border. 

“I am deeply troubled that the witnesses did not disclose the upcoming increase in guard, reserve, and active duty personnel, even though we asked them multiple times during a two-and-a-half-hour hearing what would happen next on the border. They never mentioned it, despite the fact that the Secretary of Defense was revealing an increase in personnel that same day. This was at best an error in judgment, and at worst flat-out dishonesty.

“The Members of the Committee would have been extremely interested in discussing what the 3,500 troops going to the border in response to DHS’s latest request will be doing there. This is a violation of the executive branch’s obligation to be transparent with Congress, which oversees, authorizes, and funds its operations. It also raises questions about whether the Department thinks the policy of sending additional troops to the border is so unjustified that they cannot defend an increase in public.

“I have followed up on that hearing with a phone call to Secretary Shanahan, and he has provided more details on the increase. I appreciate his willingness to discuss it with me, but a phone call is not a substitute for transparency before Congress and public candor. Does their refusal to publicly discuss what they are doing indicate that this is a policy they believe they cannot defend in an open public hearing before the full Armed Services Committee, where all 57 members have the opportunity to ask questions?”