Press Releases

Congressman Smith released the following statement after voting against the farm bill due to Supplemental and Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cuts:

“Although I was encouraged by the bipartisan work that went into finalizing the farm bill, I voted against this bill because the cuts it would make to SNAP would reduce essential nutrition support for 850,000 households across the country.  The farm bill would cut $8.6 billion from the program over the next 10 years, with a disproportionate amount of cuts to Washington State.
 
“While in the 9th District, I have visited with multiple nutrition assistance organizations and community leaders, and seen firsthand how thousands of our state’s children, veterans, seniors, disabled, and hard-working families rely on SNAP every day.  This program is as important now as it has ever been.  With our economy continuing to recover and many Americans still searching for employment, I could not support legislation that takes essential nutrition support away from people who desperately need it.”
 

Congressman Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after President Obama gave the 2014 State of the Union:

"Tonight, the President laid out some great ideas about how to reduce income inequality, grow the economy, and ensure every American has equal economic opportunities. 

"We need to raise the minimum wage.  Over the last few decades, cost of living has continued to rise while the minimum wage has been stagnant.  As a result, working full-time at minimum wage is no longer enough to keep families out of poverty.  My father, who worked as a baggage handler for United Airlines decades ago, made more money than someone doing the same job today.

"We need to ensure that hard-working Americans earn enough to support their families and make ends meet.  I have supported federal and local initiatives to increase the minimum wage, and was pleased to see the President institute an executive order that will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for those working on new federal contracts.  Now it's Congress' turn.

"We also need to support Americans with policies that get everyone who needs a job back to work.  After the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, many Americans have been squeezed out of the economy because they can't find a job or have one that doesn't provide enough to pay the bills. 

"We need supports like unemployment insurance, job training, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Head Start, and other programs that enable hard-working Americans to provide for their families while still struggling to recover from the economic downturn. 

 "As we focus on these critical issues, there is reason for optimism.  The economy continues its recovery and has created 8 million jobs in less than 4 years. As this growth continues, however, we need to ensure that all Americans are sharing in this prosperity. Additionally, Congress has come together in bipartisan fashion to pass an appropriations bill that I am hopeful will spur further bipartisanship and stability in our government.

"I look forward to working with the President, his administration, and all my colleagues to advance the goals the President laid out tonight of reducing income inequality, promoting equal economic opportunities, and growing the economy."

Congressman Smith released the following statement in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

"As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., we remember Dr. King's dream to provide every American with equal rights and opportunities.  Although many barriers stood in his way, he spent his life working to achieve this goal and inspired millions more to do so as well.  Dr. King's efforts continue to make our nation better today.  

"We still have a lot of work to do to achieve Dr. King's goal.  Income inequality continues to increase and millions of people still have unequal access to a good education and employment opportunities.  On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we honor his legacy by recognizing that we all must do our part to improve our communities and continue the fight for equality."


Congressman Smith released the following statement after the House passed the Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act:

“After the sequester’s painful and mindless cuts to important federal programs, this bill begins to repair some of the damage by providing critical funding for early childhood education and Head Start, and sequester relief for the Department of Defense and other vitally important housing, transportation, and technology programs.  

“This bill is by no means perfect.  It fails to restore unemployment insurance and leaves critical areas such as the National Institutes of Health underfunded, and I will keep working to address the multiple areas where this bill falls short.  However, it was imperative that we took this step forward to provide our government with much needed stability.  By helping to avert a potential government shutdown, I am hopeful this legislation will create more opportunities for Congress to advance policies that expand economic opportunity for all Americans.

“This bill is only the beginning of a long process to get back on track. We need forward-thinking policies that are focused on job creation, growing the economy, and reducing income inequality.  I look forward to continuing to work with all of my colleagues to advance these priorities. “
 


Today, Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced H.R. 3825, the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2014 (FIRA), a bill that will support improvements to infrastructure and transportation in the national freight mobility network.    
 
“Our nation’s freight transportation system plays a significant role in our ability to grow the economy and compete globally,” said Congressman Smith.  “With our nation’s freight expected to double by 2040, it is critical to start making investments in freight and transportation infrastructure now to keep America competitive internationally for years to come.”
 
FIRA would establish the National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Improvement Program through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that would provide competitive grants to states and designated entities to improve the efficiency and capacity of freight networks.  These entities would work in collaboration with their communities to identify projects of national or regional significance and apply for the grants.  The Secretary of Transportation would award funds based on the project’s ability to improve freight infrastructure, cost effectiveness, and its economic impact.  
 
“Our multimodal freight transportation system is a national asset that we have failed to appreciate and support. Nowhere is this need more pressing than in the freight system that provides for our nation’s commerce,” said Port of Tacoma Commissioner Don Meyer. “Without strategic corridor investments to expand capacity and increase efficiency, U.S. productivity and global competitiveness will suffer, costs will increase and investment will lag. We applaud Congressman Smith’s efforts to make this vision of strategic freight mobility a reality.”
 
The legislation would fund these competitive grants through a user fee on the shipment of freight cargo within the United States.   The fee would be 1 percent of the total cost of transport and all the fees collected would go directly to the National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Fund, a dedicated source of funding for freight mobility improvement projects.
 
“More and more our government and business leaders are agreeing that freight infrastructure is key to economic growth and merits public support,” said Leslie Blakey, Executive Director of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors. “Currently absent from the menu of transportation investment mechanisms is a freight-specific grant program and a dedicated funding source. Congressman Smith’s proposal is truly creative and we applaud his vision.”    
 
The bill has been cosponsored by Representative Albio Sires, Representative Steve Cohen, and Representative Janice Hahn and has now been sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for further consideration.