Press Releases

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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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after his vote opposing the House Republicans' Continuing Resolution:

"The House could have avoided a shutdown by passing the Senate's clean bill that would continue to fund the government at levels the Republicans demanded in sequestration, but House Republicans continue to play politics and make unreasonable partisan demands.  

"A government shutdown has very real consequences — 2 million civilian federal employees would not be paid, Social Security and disability checks could be delayed, and housing loans for low income families could stop.  House Republicans seem to be more concerned with forcing their political agenda through Congress than preventing the harm a government shutdown would cause.  

"House Republicans need to focus on keeping our government operating and increasing our debt limit.  Their attempts to hold up these basic functions of government for political reasons is irresponsible and needs to end."

 

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the government and avoid a shutdown:

“With the Senate’s passage of a clean bill that would continue to fund the government, the House Republicans’ refusal to pass this measure would jeopardize our economy.

"The funding bill passed by the Senate includes funding at the level House Republicans demanded in sequestration.  Now, in their effort to move the goalpost further to the right, they are rejecting this measure due entirely to unnecessary and unreasonable partisan demands that have nothing to do with the budget.

"House Republicans must join Democrats to pass a funding bill and raise the debt ceiling to keep our government operating and our economy in recovery.  Republican efforts to hold up these basic functions of government are irresponsible and must stop immediately. The consequences are too great.”

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 59, a measure that threatens a government shutdown and does nothing to eliminate sequestration:

“We should be focused on removing the damaging cuts of sequestration and addressing the budget in a balanced and responsible way.  Sequestration’s indiscriminate cuts continue to threaten national security and military readiness, jobs, and the economy.  Unfortunately, rather than using the Continuing Resolution as an opportunity to address sequestration and our budget, House Republicans continued to play politics and used the threat of a government shutdown to push their agenda.  

“As this bill moves through the legislative process, I hope the Senate can work on a balanced approach that removes sequestration and gives some long-term certainty for our economy.  I remain committed to working with my colleagues and constituents to resolve these devastating cuts and find long-term solutions to our fiscal issues.”

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