Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement on the situation in Iraq:

“It is important to remember that the conflict taking place in Iraq and Syria and other countries in the region is not new. It is not the result of a failed policy – it is the result of a longstanding sectarian conflict.  A political solution is necessary to bring peace and the Iraq government must engage in a process that includes more than bullets.  There is a desperate need for political outreach by the Maliki government to Sunnis. Military action without this outreach is doomed to fail.  Iraqi political leaders have to make the hard choices that they have avoided for years. Their future depends on it.
 
“As we consider our options to respond to the situation in Iraq, I encourage the Administration to maintain a sense of caution and fully consider the effects that a military strike may have. Certainly, should options be present to improve security in Iraq for the people of Iraq and to ensure our national security, the President should fully consider those options. But it is important to remember that military force alone cannot bring peace. For years, we maintained a  significant military presence in Iraq and there was widespread unrest and conflict.  U.S military action in a Muslim nation is not always a calming force.

“The United States should continue to support the Iraqis with military aid, training, and intelligence support, but that alone cannot remedy the situation. The Iraqis must stand and fight for the security of their country.  And the United States should provide support in any way that helps to bring peace.”
Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after he voted against passage of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations (T-HUD) bill:
 
“I opposed the T-HUD Appropriations bill because it lacked critical investments in our infrastructure and failed to provide funding for essential housing programs for low and middle income workers.  The legislation slashes funding transportation initiatives such as TIGER grant programs that encourage local communities to create innovative transit, port, and rail projects to meet the needs of their region.  Additionally, the bill would cut funding for states and localities to expand affordable housing and down payment assistance for qualified homebuyers, and does nothing restore the 40,000 Section 8 rental vouchers lost to sequestration.  Congress needs to pass legislation that expands economic opportunity and creates jobs, but unfortunately this legislation fails to provide the investments necessary to do so.”

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement recognizing LGBT Pride Month:
 
“This month, we commemorate LGBT Pride Month by celebrating the incredible contributions of the LGBT community as well as the progress our country has made towards equal rights.  It is also an important time to recognize that we still have a lot of challenges.  Without passing a national Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), many LGBT individuals can still be fired or denied a job opportunity simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Also, same-sex couples are often denied spousal Social Security benefits because states they live in do not recognize their marriages.  No one should be denied rights because of who they love, and in Congress I will continue to fight to ensure that all LGBT individuals receive equal rights.”
The U.S. Commerce Department designated the Puget Sound aerospace industry as one of 12 Manufacturing Communities in the country.  This designation will support manufacturing job growth and economic development in the Puget Sound region.  Earlier this year, Congressman Smith wrote a letter supporting this designation and after the news released the following statement:
 
“I am pleased the Puget Sound aerospace industry was named an Investing Manufacturing Community Partner.  Our region’s aerospace industry supports over 132,000 jobs and is a huge part of the Puget Sound economy.  This designation will provide the industry with more resources and preferred access to over a $1 billion dollars in federal grants, which will help strengthen the industry, create jobs, and spur economic growth.  I thank the Puget Sound Regional Council for coordinating this application and all the organizations in the state who helped make this happen.  This is great news for the Washington State economy.”

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement after the President announced his plan for U.S. military presence in Afghanistan post-2014:

“I have continued to say that we must end our involvement in the war in Afghanistan as soon as we responsibly can. Redeploying the vast majority of our troops, but maintaining an initial presence of 9,800 military personnel to continue training the Afghan forces and to support operations against Al Qaeda is a responsible path forward. As we move through 2015 and 2016, troop levels will continue to decrease and reflect a more normal embassy presence.

“We cannot and should not continue to maintain a large presence in Afghanistan forever, but we also cannot overlook our national security interest in the region. The announcement today demonstrates that the President understands this balance. The Afghan Government must now sign the Bilateral Security Agreement so the plan can take hold. Otherwise, our options moving forward will be vastly more difficult.

“I applaud the Administration for following through on its goal of responsibly reducing our active involvement in Afghanistan. There will be other decisions to be made in the future about our assistance to the Afghan government, but the American people have paid a significant price in this conflict and it is time that we allow the Afghan people to take responsibility for their own future.”