Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency:

“This appalling decision by the Trump administration is an egregious example of the President putting his political agenda ahead of the interest of the United States. The President has decided to take tens of billions of dollars from projects that support the military and their families across the country and around the world to build his wall without Congressional approval, projects which he says ‘didn’t sound too important to me.’ It is utterly disrespectful of U.S. national security and the needs of our men and women in uniform, and it further undermines his credibility in requesting the upcoming defense budget. All for a border wall that is the complete wrong approach to border security in the first place.

“As the President begins to steal money from military needs to build his wall, Congress must conduct oversight to identify exactly which projects supporting servicemembers and their families the President has chosen to value less than this political stunt. Remember, this is only a portion of an estimated $30 billion that the President ultimately wants to spend on the wall. He owns responsibility for this abject policy decision, much as he owns responsibility for this disgraceful government shutdown that impacted so many families and communities across the country.

“It is clear that there is no national emergency—only a manufactured crisis—and there has been no attempt to explain how the wall has anything to do with supporting U.S. military needs, as the law intends. From the beginning, President Trump’s obsession over a border wall has been based on misguided anti-immigrant fervor, not U.S. national security. The American people are utterly opposed to this gimmick, and President Trump should be ashamed of himself.”

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after his vote in support of the conference report providing funding for seven appropriations bills through the end of the fiscal year:

“This conference report is far from perfect, but it must be passed for the sake of all that it supports: many dozens of government agencies and initiatives, hundreds of thousands of federal employees, and the American public that is served by those workers and agencies. There is an endless array of federal workers who perform incredibly important duties for all of us every day; if this bill doesn’t pass, they don’t get paid and those services aren’t provided.

“I am gravely concerned with the increase in immigrant detention funding in the legislation. With the Northwest Detention Center in the 9th Congressional District, we have seen the perils of our current detention system. We should be significantly decreasing the utilization of detention for immigrants and implement sorely lacking oversight and accountability for detention facilities. I will continue to work through the appropriations process and encourage legislation to better align our immigration and border security policies with our actual needs and the values of our country.

“We cannot let an imperfect bill stop us from providing for all of the critically important programs included in this package and supporting the women and men who work throughout government to deliver them. Over the previous 35-day shutdown, our office heard the stories of countless constituents about the impact of the shutdown on them and their families. Passing this legislation today will end the uncertainty and prevent another perilous shutdown.

“Today the President has now threatened to declare a national emergency following passage of this bill. There is no need for a wall, and no national emergency at the border. I am opposed to the President’s continued actions to put his political agenda and empty campaign promises ahead of the needs of the American people.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to House passage of H.J.Res 37, which directs the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.   

“The civil war in Yemen has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with over half of the population facing severe food insecurity and 24 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance. Passage of this resolution in the House sends a clear message to this Administration that Congress does not support the United States’ de facto support for the Saudi-led coalition in this conflict. Congress must continue to exercise much-needed oversight of this Administration, and any American involvement can and must be debated transparently. The United States should be focused on working towards a peaceful resolution to this conflict and taking measures to alleviate the devastating humanitarian situation.”

“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.— 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.”