Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement on the temporary end of President Trump’s shutdown and the President’s continued border wall demands:

“Finally, after 35 days, the President has agreed to do what he should have done in the first place: open the government. The impacts of the government shutdown on federal workers and communities across the country have been immense.

“This is a manufactured crisis, engineered by President Trump, that has harmed hundreds of thousands of Americans.  While not surprising, the tone-deaf remarks recently uttered by this President and senior members of his Administration, particularly Secretary Ross, show just how out of touch with reality they are about the difficult and dangerous position which the shutdown has put families. 

“We know the President manufactured this crisis because in his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request, submitted last February, Trump requested only $ 1.6 billion dollars for a border wall. In fact, the House and Senate gave the President the amount that he requested. However, that all changed when Democrats won the House in November. Now the President is arbitrarily demanding billions of dollars more for his wall and has been holding federal workers hostage over it.

“If the President believes there has been a change in our border security needs that warrants a wall, then he should articulate those reasons to Congress based on facts. Time and again, President Trump has lied and mischaracterized the actual situation to the American people, claiming a ‘crisis’ at the border and that the ‘worst of the worst’ are pouring into the United States. These claims are demonstrably false and made only to justify harmful policies meant to appease his base. If additional border security is so desperately needed, as Trump claims, then why is he proposing a border wall that experts, including Customs and Border Patrol officials, have determined is not an effective border security strategy?

“Even though President Trump has more recently demanded $5.7 billion dollars to fund 235 miles of border wall, it continues to be clear that he doesn’t actually have a solid plan for where it would be built. The Administration has provided no justification for why the arbitrary $5.7 billion is the amount needed now. Furthermore, and more fundamental to the problem, is that no substantial case has been made for why a wall is needed. 

“From the beginning, President Trump’s justification for a border wall was not rooted in a need for border security, but in the misguided notion that immigrants are somehow inherent threats to American society. This racist and xenophobic view has been the basis for Trump’s entire immigration agenda and could not be further from the truth.

“Our policy and legislative process does not work by holding the government hostage, and I hope the President has learned that doing so is unproductive and harmful. I continue to believe that spending billions on a border wall with no justification, especially in the wake of the Republican tax giveaway to the wealthy, is deeply irresponsible, especially as we have so many other worthy national priorities, including providing health care, improving education, and fixing crumbling infrastructure.

“I applaud the non-profit organizations, businesses, and community members who have stepped up to help alleviate the pains of the shutdown. My office and I will continue to do whatever we can to ensure workers are given the pay and benefits to which they are entitled and prevent unnecessary future shutdowns.”


Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on transgender military service:

"I am extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to allow the Trump administration to enforce its discriminatory ban on transgender military service without proper due process in the courts. Anyone who is qualified and willing should be allowed to serve their country openly, without their career being affected by an arbitrary, discriminatory directive from the President. We have fought against this bigoted policy at every step, and we will continue to do so."

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

“Today, we celebrate the life and enduring legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. His courage and passion has inspired generations of Americans to advocate for freedom and justice. 

“As we reflect on Dr. King’s vision of a nation where individuals are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, we recognize that the fight for full equality is not over. We must honor Dr. King’s life work by continuing to build towards his goal of equal rights and opportunities for all. On this day and every day, let us focus less on the things that drive us apart and instead on what brings us together and builds upon the foundation of Dr. King’s leadership.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement today in response to President Trump’s speech:

“The President's address to the nation failed to express even the slightest concern or support for the hundreds of thousands of Americans across our country who are living without paychecks because of this needless shutdown. It is wrong that the President and Congressional Republicans continue to hold workers and their families hostage. The President can and should re-open the government immediately. Democrats are always open to a fact-based discussion on the issues of border security and immigration reform, but the President’s remarks did nothing to advance that discussion."

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement following the release of the Defense Department’s report on climate change. Langevin amended the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, and Chairman Smith fought successfully for the amendment’s inclusion in the final conference report, expressing the sense of Congress that climate change is a national security issue and requiring the report on each service branch’s top ten military installations threatened by climate change:

“In 2017, House Democrats successfully required the Department of Defense to report on the impact that climate change will have on U.S. military installations. The Trump administration has now released that report and, unfortunately, it is inadequate. It demonstrates a continued unwillingness to seriously recognize and address the threat that climate change poses to our national security and military readiness,” said Chairman Smith. “While this climate report acknowledges that nearly all the military installations it studied are vulnerable to major climate change impacts, and provides numerous installation-level examples of those impacts, it fails to even minimally discuss a mitigation plan to address the vulnerabilities. The Department of Defense presented no specifics on what is required to ensure operational viability and mission resiliency, and failed to estimate the future costs associated with ensuring these installations remain viable. That information was required by law. The Department of Defense must develop concrete, executable plans to address the national security threats presented by climate change. As drafted, this report fails to do that.”

“I am deeply disappointed in the cursory report released by the Department of Defense regarding climate change as a matter of national security. While the Pentagon does rightly acknowledge that a changing climate will affect military readiness and installations, the report does not reflect the urgency of the challenge,” said Congressman Langevin. “Remarkably, the report comes after a year where the Department suffered nearly $10 billion in damage in just two extreme events at Tyndall Air Force Base and Camp Lejeune—two installations that were not even evaluated. Congress deliberately required a list of the top ten bases to specify the methodological rigor that is required to adequately evaluate risk and prioritize mitigation efforts. The report contains no such list. My amendment did not stipulate any geographic constraints on vulnerable installations - after all global warming is a global phenomenon. For no apparent reason, the report confines itself to U.S. bases. Extreme weather events, like the ones that the Department will be asking Congress for money to rebuild after, are not even included as a threat.”

“We need to know the risks to our military from climate change and the costs to mitigate them in order to protect the American people. This report brings us no closer to knowing them. It is unacceptable that the Department has ignored the clear instructions provided by law, and it is unacceptable that our service members and readiness will suffer as a result,” concluded Langevin. “I expect the Department to reissue a report that meets its statutory mandate and rigorously confronts the realities of our warming planet.”