Press Releases

Congressman Smith released the following statement on the Senate passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):

“I am very happy to see the Senate pass EDNA.  Currently, it remains legal in 29 states to fire or refuse to hire based on sexual orientation, and 38 states based on gender identity.  This is wrong.  This legislation does not create special rights, as some claim.  ENDA simply adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the current list of federal employment protections that already ban discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability.

“The American public, several organizations, and many Members of Congress have widely embraced and endorsed ENDA's goal of nondiscrimination.  It is now House leadership’s turn to allow a vote on an all-inclusive ENDA that provides equality for all LGBT people.  As a cosponsor of ENDA, I’ll continue to work with my colleagues and my constituents in Washington State to push for LGBT equality in the workplace.”
Congressman Smith released the following statement after former U.S. Speaker and Washington State Congressman Tom Foley passed away:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of former U.S. Speaker of the House Tom Foley.  Tom was a tremendous leader in the Washington State Delegation that will not be forgotten.  In his 30 years of service in the House of Representatives and his 5+ years as Speaker, Tom’s kindness, fairness, and honesty allowed him to reach across the aisle and advance policies that benefitted Washington State and the country as a whole.  This is a sad day for Washington State.  Tom was a wonderful man and he will be deeply missed.”

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Congressman Smith released the following statement after voting for legislation that will end the shutdown and avoid default:

“I am glad to see that Congress has agreed to legislation that ends the shutdown and keeps our nation from defaulting on our obligations, but this all should have been avoided. Republicans didn’t have the votes, yet still used the threat of a shutdown and default to try and force policies on Democrats that we cannot support.  This approach to governance was doomed to fail from the beginning.  

“Congress now has a few months to work on a larger budget agreement.  Until Republicans give up their attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and cut deeply into entitlements while refusing to include revenue increases, we won’t get anywhere.  If we are to get on a path towards fiscal certainty, we must do it through the regular budgetary process.  I will continue to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to pass balanced legislation that cuts spending and raises revenues. I can only hope the Republicans have learned that shutting down our government and threatening to default on our nation's obligations to force through their policy agenda is the wrong approach.”

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after the first day of the Republican shutdown:           

“It is critical that Congress pass a bill that allows the United States Government to operate.  The consequences of a long-term government shutdown are dramatic and unacceptable.  Twice, the Senate has passed a clean funding measure to avoid this shutdown, but House Republican leadership refuses to give House Members an opportunity to vote on it. 

“The government is not shutting down because of a disagreement on federal spending levels.  Legislation agreed to by the Senate includes spending levels that Republicans demanded under sequestration.  We are shutting down because House Republicans are refusing to fund the government unless their hyper-partisan policy demands are agreed to.  This is akin to Democrats saying we refuse to fund the government unless gun safety measures are passed.  Holding the funding of our government hostage to force their partisan agenda is irresponsible and shameful.

“The debate we should be having is about our larger spending and budget issues.  We have a budget that is out of whack and a deficit that we need to get under control.  We need to return to regular order and pass thoughtful long-term appropriations bills that aim to reduce our deficit by raising revenues and cutting spending.  But the American public and, in turn, their representatives continue to demand balancing the budget in the short-term while opposing attempts to significantly raise taxes or cut spending.  As long as Congress and the American people demand 10 dollars worth of services for every 7 dollars of taxes, we will be unable to work on forward-thinking, fiscally responsible policies.

“I am not advocating that we balance the budget in 10 years.  The combination of deep spending cuts and higher taxes in the short-term could hurt our recovering economy.  We must be mindful of not cutting too much too quickly.  We need a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to begin to get the deficit under control.  I support rolling back many of the tax cuts passed in the last 12 years because I am determined to raise the revenue necessary to protect critical programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, transportation, and our national defense.  With that said, mandatory spending is nearly 60 percent of our budget, and savings must be found in this part of the budget even to achieve the modest goal of deficit reduction.

“I hope we can end the gamesmanship in the House, open the government, and pass a long-term budget that raises taxes and finds savings in all parts of spending.  Until the American people and members of Congress are honest about the choices we face, we cannot have a serious conversation about reducing the deficit and balancing the budget in the long-term.”

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after his vote House Republicans' refusal to bring up a vote on the Senate funding measure:

"For the second time, the Senate plans to consider and vote on funding measures that were passed by the House of Representatives.  They have twice rejected the legislation and sent back a clean bill to avoid a government shutdown. House Republican leadership should take the Senate’s lead and bring up the Senate-passed bill and allow the House of Representatives to take a yes or no vote on a clean bill to fund our government.

"This is no longer about spending cuts. We have accepted funding levels Republicans demanded.  House Republicans are simply more interested in playing politics and making unreasonable partisan demands that have nothing to do with the budget or securing our nation’s economy. This gamesmanship must end to avoid shutting down the government.”

 

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