Press Releases

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, Republican Congressman Chris Gibson, and Senator Mark Udall, who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced legislation to ensure that any individual detained on U.S. soil under the Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) has access to due process. The bills would repeal the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that requires mandatory military custody of any individual captured on U.S. soil and suspected of terrorism. Their bills aim to prevent the erosion of our civil liberties as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution while strengthening our national security.  

“As we confront threats from violent extremist groups around the world, it is vitally important that the President and our military have the tools and resources they needs to ensure national security. In doing so, we must also ensure that we do not undermine the civil liberties that we cherish so deeply in this country,” said House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Congressman Adam Smith. “Current law provides the President with the authority to indefinitely detain individuals apprehended in the United States – including citizens of the United States – without due process and with little independent review or oversight. While the President said he will not utilize this authority, future administrations might and it is a frightening amount of power to leave on the books and it is counter to the rights enshrined in the United States Constitution. We have an opportunity, through this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, to protect constitutional rights and roll back this authority.”

“This proposal upholds the due process protections granted under the Constitution and preserves the rights of Americans by guaranteeing that anyone arrested in the U.S. receive a charge and fair trial.  This legislation strengthens our national security while protecting the civil liberties that are the core of our cherished way of life,” said Gibson.

“Even as we work to strengthen our national security and use every tool available to keep Americans safe, we must never lose sight of our constitution. This legislation will ensure that Americans are not indefinitely detained by the military and that our nation does not undermine our most powerful weapon against those who mean us harm: our constitutional liberties,” Udall said. “President Obama has pledged not to do so, but this is only binding on his administration, but that won’t tie the hands of future administrations. The indefinite detention laws on the books now threaten to undo much of the progress the FBI and law enforcement have made to stop terrorists plotting in the United States and overseas, and it seems to make it more difficult to gather intelligence on stop domestic terror threats. The last thing we should be doing is preventing local, state and federal authorities from investigating and acting on threats to our safety.”   

Udall’s bill, the Due Process and Military Detention Amendments Act, and the Smith-Gibson companion bill in the House prohibit military commissions and indefinite detention for individuals in the United States and affirm that any trial proceedings have all the due process as provided for under the Constitution.  In addition, Udall hopes the bill will support the success of civilian law enforcement and federal courts in locking up suspected terrorists. More than 400 defendants charged with crimes related to international terrorism have been successfully convicted in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, and more than 300 individuals are currently incarcerated in federal prisons within the United States.

Udall and Smith have led the push to undo the military-detention provisions enacted through the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. The duo introduced similar legislation the previous session of Congress and wrote an op-ed for CNN Opinion about why the law undermines the U.S. Constitution.

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), made the following statement to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act:

“With women making up a growing share of the workforce and contributing to their family’s income at nearly the same level as men, pay inequality is unfair and hurts families and our economy.  The Equal Pay Act has helped reduce wage discrimination between men and women. While we celebrate the progress we’ve made in strengthening labor laws and establishing anti-discrimination policies to protect women in the workforce, we should also realize that the pay gap that exists between men and women is still unacceptable. The Equal Pay Act should be updated and strengthened, and Congress must be able to continue its work to end wage discrimination”

“Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in January.  This legislation would strengthen and enhance the Equal Pay Act by requiring employers provide a legal justification  for paying a man more than a woman for the same job.  The legislation would also allow employees to discuss salary information with co-workers and make it easier for women to file class-action lawsuits against employers they accuse of sex-based pay discrimination. I am an original cosponsor of this legislation and earlier this year signed a discharge petition to encourage House leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote.  

“When women are paid equally for equal work, we all benefit. On the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, I encourage all of my colleagues in Congress to support passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.“

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Today, Congressman Smith voted against the Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which included an amendment offered by Steve King (R-IA) that would prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) funds from going to the continued implementation of the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that protects DREAMers from deportation:
 

“I was extremely disappointed that Republicans passed an amendment today that targets hundreds of thousands of DREAMers who, through no fault of their own, were brought to this country as young children.  These children have lived in the United States for years as law-abiding individuals, however the amendment adopted by House Republicans today, draws no distinction between DREAMers and criminals posing security risks to our communities.  We need an enforcement policy that focuses our limited resources on enhancing public safety by targeting serious criminals, not DREAMers.”
 
In June 2012, Secretary Napolitano sent a memo to ICE prioritizing prosecutorial discretion so ICE could focus their resources on going after dangerous criminals rather than deporting law-abiding DREAMers.  This amendment would prohibit appropriated funds from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing this policy guidance.  By refusing to fund this policy guidance, House Republicans have placed a target on the backs of 800,000 DREAMers.

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Just days after Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA), the legislation has received broad support from several organizations and has been cosponsored by 8 members of Congress.  Below are statements of support for REVA.

Mike Hudak, Leader, Sierra Club Grazing Team
"Wolves and Sage-grouse have a friend in Congressman Smith for his introduction of the Rural Economic Vitalization Act. Their lives would greatly benefit from its enactment."

Great Old Broads for Wilderness
“Public lands grazing often is in conflict with other uses and values of our public lands. The Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) is a common sense bill that provides a simple win-win-win solution for ranchers, the American taxpayers, and the environment. Especially in these fiscally challenging times, any federal action that can painlessly save dollars deserves Congresses support.”

Representative Raul Grijalva
"Grazing is an important use of our public lands, but it's a very impactful use. Excessive grazing impacts wildlife habitat, soil composition, local hydrology, and even heightens the impacts of climate change. Retiring some permits will help save taxpayer money and benefit federal conservation efforts. Right now, when we are looking for ways to save taxpayer money, REVA is a win-win. Ranchers that want to retire their permits should have that opportunity."

Wolf Conservation Center
“The Wolf Conservation Center extends enormous thanks to Rep Adam Smith for reintroducing the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) - a bill that benefits the livestock community, environmentalists, and taxpayers.  Thanks to Rep. Smith, we have hope that REVA will make our efforts to ensure our public lands are safe for our wildlife, a reality.”

National Wolfwatcher Coalition

"On behalf of our 300,000+ supporters, we extend our thanks to Rep. Smith for reintroducing the Rural Environmental Vitalization Act.  This legislation opens up a new opportunity for all stakeholders to come together and utilize an innovative, free-market tool to resolve natural resource conflicts. This is a win-win-win for ranchers, the environment, and taxpayers. Let’s pass this bill so that we can finally take some common sense steps to ensure healthy public lands."

George Nickas, Executive Director of Wilderness Watch
"Many thanks to Congressman Smith for introducing this forward-looking legislation.  It is one of the more important, positive pieces of public lands legislation introduced in many years.  Even some of our nation's designated Wildernesses are suffering serious harm due to inappropriate livestock grazing. This bill offers the best opportunity we currently have to address this problem.  We look forward to working with Congressman Smith and his staff toward its passage."

Andy Stahl, Executive Director of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE)
“This bill is a practical, cost-effective response to persistent environmental and economic problems on our nation’s rangelands.  Congressman Smith’s pragmatic leadership and commitment to resolving these issues is very welcome.”

The Cloud Foundation
“Allowing ranchers to voluntarily relinquish grazing permits opens the possibility for rangeland restoration which represents progress toward more environmentally and economically sound management of the Public Lands. Further, we fully support honest and balanced science-based decisions regarding the allocation of  resources between the remaining stakeholder groups, but particularly to wild horses and other wildlife which are native to this land. By opening these lands to broader based interests, small rural western communities stand to benefit from an enhanced economic picture, and taxpayers benefit from reduced tax burdens and restored public lands.”

The Wildlife Society. Arizona Chapter
“The Arizona Chapter of The Wildlife Society endorses H.R. 2201, the Rural Economic Vitalization Act to allow ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish and retire their grazing permits.  Our Chapter is a proponent of sound management practices on public land and realizes that ongoing drought and economics of ranching are having a deleterious effect on range conditions, wildlife populations, and American taxpayers.  By using the buyout option, impacts from overgrazing on our public lands can be resolved and these improved range conditions will allow our wildlife populations to increase and become more viable due to increased forage and availability of hiding cover.  This change in policy will be a welcome transformation of public land management for both consumptive and non-consumptive users of wildlife on public lands.”

Facebook Page
There was a Facebook page made in support of REVA.

On May 23, 2013, Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced the Rural Economic Vitalization Act, a bill that would address the wasteful, environmentally damaging, and economically inefficient federal grazing policy on our public lands.. By allowing ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish their permits, this legislation saves the American taxpayer money, gives public lands the chance to rebuild their natural habitats, and provides ranchers with more financial opportunities.  


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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, made the following statement in response to Ambassador Rice’s appointment as National Security Adviser:

“Susan Rice has the right combination of strategic vision and credentials to serve as a National Security Adviser. She is the clear choice to replace Tom Donilon. Ambassador Rice is a seasoned and skillful diplomat with a deep understanding of the national security challenges we face. Having served in senior positions at the United Nations, the State Department and the National Security Council, and as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Rice brings more than two decades of national security and foreign policy experience.

“From Iran and North Korea, to our challenges in the Middle East and across northern and western Africa, our country faces a wide of range national security challenges. Confronting those challenges requires strong leadership and experience. In the months and years ahead, Susan’s voice and strong record on these issues will be vital as we continue to confront security challenges around the world.

“It goes without saying that Tom Donilon has served with distinction, and he has been a tremendous asset to the President’s national security team. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

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