Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Washington’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver will be removed at the end of the 2014 school year:
 
“The news that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is ending the NCLB waiver for Washington State is disappointing.  NCLB is a broken policy that negatively impacts our schools’ ability to succeed, and it needs to be changed.  Yet, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass a long-term reauthorization, forcing state education systems to operate under a temporary year to year waiver process.  This creates uncertainty for our schools, and now in Washington State, a loss of our NCLB waiver and restrictions on federal funds to address student achievement. Providing a quality education to students is absolutely critical, and the U.S. Congress needs to immediately work to reauthorize our education law and end the deeply flawed requirements of NCLB.”
Seattle, WA - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) revoked the charter of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church (hosts of Troop 98) after they refused to dismiss openly gay scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath. This comes three weeks after the BSA ordered Mr. McGrath to be dismissed as scoutmaster because of his sexual orientation. Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement:

“I am very disappointed by the decision to revoke the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church’s charter and the BSA’s current policy to dismiss openly gay scoutmasters.  I commend their recent decision to allow LGBT scouts to participate openly, but remain very concerned that dismissing scout leaders for serving openly goes against BSA values of mutual respect and inclusion of others.”

Congressman Smith has sent letters to the Chief Seattle Council of BSA Rob McKenna and the President of BSA Robert Gates stressing his support for Mr. McGrath’s service as scoutmaster and his concern with the decision made by BSA.  The letter was cosigned by Rep. Derek Kilmer, Rep. Suzan DelBene, and Rep. Jim McDermott.
Congressman Smith released the following statement on the budget votes in the House today:

“Since the economic recession, many hardworking Americans have been pushed out of the economy because they can’t find a job or have one that doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet.  Only a small percentage of Americans are sharing in economic growth and income inequality has reached heights not seen since before the Great Depression.  Our nation needs a budget that is focused on expanding economic opportunity, investing in innovation and infrastructure, and creating jobs to strengthen the middle class.
 
“That is why I supported both the Van Hollen Budget and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) budget today.  These budgets recognize that extending emergency unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, and protecting programs like SNAP and Head Start provide essential support for hard-working Americans trying to find work in a recovering economy.  The budgets also provide critical relief from sequestration and bolsters investments in education, job training, and innovation that will help create jobs.  These policies set reasonable goals for decreasing our debt and deficit while maintaining investments in jobs and our economy right now.
 
“Unfortunately, the budget passed by House Republicans today not only fails to recognize the challenges facing our country, but also moves us in the wrong direction.  The Ryan budget radically dismantles Medicare by turning the system into a voucher program. It also cuts funding for programs like SNAP and
Head Start, while slashing investments in innovation, education, and worker training programs that have been essential in helping families get back to work in a slowly recovering economy.  And it makes these cuts without asking the wealthier to pay a penny more.  The policies in this budget would be devastating to seniors, the middle class, and the poor, while giving even more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans who have already benefitted massively over the last decade from the Bush tax cuts.
 
“As the budget debate continues, I will work with my colleagues to promote policies that promote economic opportunity, reduce income inequality, and create jobs. Unfortunately, the Republican budget passed today ignores the real challenges our country faces and slashes critical programs that invest in our future.”

Congressman Smith released the following statement in recognition of Equal Pay Day:

“Equal Pay Day serves as a reminder of the discrimination that women face in the workplace.   Over 50 years ago the Equal Pay Act became law, but women in the United States still face a significant pay gap.  Women make up half of the workforce, yet earn only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn.  This disparity exists for all levels of education and occupation.  
 
“This is not just a women’s issue.  With women’s wages continuing to make up a growing share of family incomes, pay inequality negatively impacts both children and spouses as well.
 
“As we recognize Equal Pay Day, it is critical that Congress continues to push for the Paycheck Fairness Act that would fight to end gender-based wage discrimination. Additionally, I commend the President on his recent executive actions promoting equal pay in the federal workforce by banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees for discussing compensation and directing the Secretary of Labor to collect data on compensation paid to federal employees.  When women are paid equally for equal work, it benefits us all.”

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) decision in McCutcheon v. FEC case:

“I am disappointed by the SCOTUS decision today that struck down limits in the federal law that restricted how much individuals could donate to campaigns, parties, or political action committees.  This ruling will put even more political influence in the hands of an extremely small percentage of wealthy people and limit opportunities for candidates that lack the support of wealthy donors from winning office.

“In order to maintain the democratic election process, we need a system where all citizens are empowered and able to participate.  A viable public financing system would help to ensure that all of our citizens, regardless of economic resources, have a powerful voice.  That is why I am a cosponsor of the Government By the People Act which would allow candidates to run competitive campaigns by relying on small dollar donors and reduce the influence of big money in politics.”