Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after he voted to pass H. Res. 774, the rule that will allow for the final passage of H.R. 5376 the Build Back Better Act, as well as H.R. 3684 the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, otherwise known as the bipartisan infrastructure deal or BIF.
 
“It is no secret that our infrastructure is crumbling across the country – from roads, railways, and bridges to public transit and ports – and our communities desperately need investment so that our economy can continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“I support both the Build Back Better Act and the infrastructure bill and agreed with Democratic Leadership and the President that these bills should move together, as we indicated early on in this process. Linking these bills was important to help ensure that Congress could fulfill as much of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda as possible. After months of difficult negotiations, extensive progress has been made and the Build Back Better Act is on a path to advancing.
 
“In just the last few weeks, we have seen legislative text and reached agreement on the vast majority of the Build Back Better Act. I commend the leadership of Chair Jayapal and the Congressional Progressive Caucus in helping us get to this point. Based on this substantive progress, and because of the assurances that our colleagues provided us about their firm support for the Build Back Better Act, today I felt comfortable sending the bipartisan infrastructure legislation to President Biden’s desk.  
 
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill doesn’t just make vitally needed investment in our transportation system. It provides historic funding for clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, reliable high-speed broadband, and our electric grid. I appreciate the leadership of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair DeFazio and wish this legislation incorporated more of his Committee’s perspectives, especially as it relates to climate. The bill falls short when it comes to sufficient action to address this existential threat, however, the Build Back Better Act addresses this shortcoming.
 
“Based on the progress that has been made in recent weeks, I voted to pass BIF today while we continue the difficult process of advancing the Build Back Better Act. I strongly believe that Speaker Pelosi and the President can, and will, close this deal.”
 
###
 
BACKGROUND MATERIALS
 
White House: BIF Factsheet
 
White House: Build Back Better Homepage
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration is awarding $275.3 million of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to Sound Transit, which serves riders in the Central Puget Sound in Washington.
 
“Public transportation plays a crucial role in American life, and Washingtonians across King County and the Puget Sound rely on our local transit system to be safe and reliable. As our communities continue to rebound from the pandemic, it is more important than ever that people can get where they need to go. The funding provided by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will protect employees from potential layoffs and help Sound Transit continue to expand its services. This funding could not come at a more important time as the region works to aggressively expand public transit and decarbonize the transportation sector – and this is only the beginning. The President’s bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act that we are advancing through Congress will provide even more investments in our public transit systems and a cleaner transportation future. I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan and to see the real impacts this law will have in the 9th District.”
 
###
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) voted to pass H.R. 2119, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act (FVPSA) of 2021, which would expand and reauthorize programs under the Family Violence and Prevention Services Act. These programs provide grant funding and technical assistance for critical prevention and protection services for survivors of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence. 
 
“Today I was proud to vote to pass the Family Violence and Services Improvement Act – legislation that I co-sponsored – to grant coalitions and community-based organizations across our country with funding to provide protection and prevention services to survivors of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence. This bill would fund critical services such as emergency shelters, crisis counseling, safety planning, legal assistance in seeking protection orders, assistance recovering from financial abuse, and housing assistance.
 
“The updates in this bill are critical to ensuring programs can provide better services for survivors who have been historically marginalized and underserved.  With an increased funding authorization, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is directed to award grants to organizations in underserved communities and to community-based organizations that provide culturally appropriate services to racial and ethnic minority groups.
 
“Family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence are tragic phenomenon experienced by millions of individuals and families across the country. I am a proud co-sponsor of this bill, which will help incredible organizations in King County and across the United States that work to provide life-saving services. Together, we can work to end this violence in our homes and our communities and to protect our children and families who need the most support.”
 
###

SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the passing of Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and National Security Advisor.
 
“Today we mourn the loss of a committed public servant in Colin Powell. Secretary Powell served multiple presidents both in and out of uniform as Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and National Security Advisor — and as the first Black person to serve in these three critical roles. But the central theme of Colin Powell’s impressive career and life was service ultimately to the United States. The son of Jamaican immigrants, a proud product of New York City public schools, and a Vietnam War veteran, Powell witnessed history even as he made it. Our thoughts today are with his loved ones and all who may walk the trails he blazed.”

###

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), along with 37 of his colleagues, sent Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh a letter regarding oversight of the internship economy. The letter urges the Department of Labor to create reporting requirements for unpaid internships so the Bureau of Labor Statistics can track this data and provide appropriate oversight.

“Internships are viewed as a necessity towards career advancement and without federal data on unpaid internships, the risk of upholding and exacerbating inequity increases,” the Members wrote.

In their letter, the Members also outlined four points that they say would go a long way in addressing some of the critical challenges currently facing young workers across the nation, including pay and workplace rights and protections.

“Internships are increasingly important in today’s economy, making it difficult to enter the workforce for those who cannot afford to work on an unpaid basis. Gaining experience simply isn’t enough, and getting ‘paid’ in experience is unacceptable,” said Representative Adam Smith (WA-09). “I have long advocated for intern pay in Congressional offices and successfully led efforts to increase funding for offices to pay interns. These paid internships help ensure that young workers from all backgrounds – not just those who can afford it – have the chance to learn and gain valuable experience while bringing diversity of ideas and background to their offices. If we are to increase accessibility to paid internships, it is critical we have accurate data to provide appropriate oversight of the internship economy. This is just one of many steps to help build a more equitable, sustainable economy.”

A full copy of the letter can be found here.

###