Press Releases

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Smith released the following statement in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to rescind Obama Administration memos, establishing that as long as strict enforcement and regulatory systems and policies remained in place, it would defer action in states like Washington which have legalized adult recreational marijuana use.

“The actions taken by Attorney General Sessions to rescind existing protections for citizens complying with lawfully enacted state laws regarding marijuana use across the country represents a flagrant disregard for the will of the majority of Americans. This about-face leaves a vacuum of any substantive federal marijuana policy, and threatens to create a ‘wild west’ of haphazard prosecutions. This shift in policy is completely unacceptable, and is an affront to the 10th Amendment.

“We must demand that Washington state residents who abide by state laws are protected from blanket federal enforcement. It is essential that Congress now provide certainty on this issue. We must move swiftly to codify the ban on dollars being spent by federal law enforcement to prosecute individuals legally participating in marijuana use or business in accordance with respective state laws. We have a responsibility to strengthen guidance to U.S. Attorneys on prosecution of marijuana cases and enact clear guidelines to financial institutions on providing banking services to legal marijuana businesses.”

 

“The Republicans’ final tax bill affirmed my opposition to this dangerous proposal. Today’s vote increased the deficit by a staggering $1.5 trillion, which overwhelmingly benefits the rich and corporations at a time when we are running historic deficits and wealth is concentrated at the top. This bill was so partisan and poorly constructed, and the process so lacking, that Senate parliamentary rules required provisions to be dropped at the last minute, which required the House to vote on the bill twice.

This measure endangers Medicare and other mandatory programs, leaving them susceptible to drastic cuts that will hurt ordinary Americans. It will throw our health care system into chaos and even harms our environment by opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge up for oil drilling. This bill set our government on an extremely irresponsible path and its negative effects will be felt by generations to come.”

 

“The Republicans just reneged on their responsibility to properly fund the federal government because they were too busy giving away a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut to corporations and the wealthy. By falling back on another short-term continuing resolution, almost a quarter of year past the due date for proper appropriations bills, they have clearly demonstrated that they are not willing to do their job. Their lack of action will directly and negatively affect the people who reside in the Ninth Congressional District and across the country. 

House Republicans cannot continue to punt their responsibilities. We must do the job that we have been elected to do; particularly enacting a comprehensive budget that fairly funds important priorities, such as education, job growth, protection of the environment, and our national security. We also need to bring up the legislation necessary to ensure DREAMers can remain at home in this country, and not live in fear of their families being pulled apart.  Inaction on these vital issues is unacceptable.”

“As Republicans in Congress continue to push their reckless tax cuts, they put at risk crucial agencies and programs, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), military pensions, and Medicare. In addition to massively benefiting the wealthy and corporations, as well as reducing revenue by more than a trillion dollars, the tax bill endangers important mandatory spending priorities on which middle class and working Americans rely.                                          

“In 2010, to help reign in deficit spending, Congress passed what is known as a PAYGO law, requiring that the legislation enacted during a session of Congress not increase the deficit under threat of automatic cuts. Because of its imbalance, the Republican tax bill risks triggering these automatic and across-the-board PAYGO cuts to critical mandatory spending programs. In a strikingly disingenuous statement, the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House have asserted that the PAYGO cuts to mandatory programs that will be triggered by their tax bill ‘will not happen’ for some unspecified and seemingly miraculous reason. Either Republicans have a way to skirt the law that they haven’t shared, or their tax bill is going to trigger the automatic cuts. Both scenarios are terrible for the middle class.

“Empty rhetoric is not enough, and Republicans’ irresponsible disregard for the consequences of their actions is dangerous. I continue to oppose the Republican tax bill and the damage it will inflict on the future of our economy and our country.”  

Smith Statement on President Trump's Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:

December 6, 2017

“Since its formation in 1948, the nation of Israel has been under near constant threat. I strongly support Israel, and have advocated for robust U.S. engagement to help ensure their security. It is critical that we continue to press for a comprehensive two-state agreement that creates durable states for both the Israeli and Palestinian people. Long-term peace is a goal that has long eluded all parties, however it is critical that we not lose sight.

“The President’s decision today to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will not help advance this goal, and will only serve to increase regional instability. Ultimately the U.S. gains nothing from this announcement, and this Administration has chosen to further isolate itself from our global allies. There is no reason that the President could not choose to sign an additional waiver preventing the U.S. Embassy’s move to Jerusalem, and the damage this does to any ongoing negotiations will be significant.”