Washington, Dec 24, 2013
Congressman Smith released the following statement on unemployment insurance:
“Despite consecutive months of job growth, our economy is still recovering from one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. Through no fault of their own, millions of hardworking Americans continue to struggle to find employment. Yet, even with rates of long-term unemployed Americans near historic highs, federal unemployment insurance is set to expire three days after Christmas for 24,400 Washingtonians and for 40,000 more in the first half of 2014 if Congress does not act. That is unacceptable.
“Unemployment insurance benefits provide essential support for individuals and families while they are searching for work. Congress should extend unemployment benefits for hardworking Americans, not stand idly by as they expire.”
“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 refuse
s to give House Members an opportunity to vote on it.
“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.”
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.
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.
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement on the Supreme Court cases reviewing Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act this week:
“No couple should be denied the right to marry and build a life together based on love, commitment, and mutual support. That is why I am a strong supporter of repealing the so-called “Defense Of Marriage Act.” I will continue to fight for the equal treatment and protection of all LGBT people and their families. This February, I introduced the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act, and I will work with my colleagues to pass this bill that would allow equal standing for same-sex spouses of our servicemembers.
“The progress that has been made toward full marriage equality over the past decade is remarkable, but we have not reached our goal just yet. Marriage equality would be a critical step in recognizing the worth and dignity of our LGBT community. We must also be aware of and protect bullied teens, aggressively prosecute bias-based crimes, and fight against all prejudice whether it be based on a person’s sexual identity or expression of gender, or ethnicity, religion, sex, age or ability. I am committed to moving forward and making sure equality is a reality for all Americans.”
Just one day after House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith’s reintroduction of the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act (MSET), the legislation has received support from several organizations and 43 Members of Congress. Additionally, today Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act. Below are statements of support for MSET.
Ranking Member Adam Smith Reintroduces the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act
Smith Bill Builds on Recent Strides by Department of Defense
Washington, Feb 14 –
Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith reintroduced H.R. 683, the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2013, legislation that is designed to ensure equal benefits for all military spouses and equal standing for all military families.
“Despite the Department of Defense making strides towards equality in the military, there is more that must be done to ensure that the rights of all servicemembers and their spouses are protected, regardless of who they are married to,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith. “This bill would make sure that servicemembers and veterans with same-sex spouses receive the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. All spouses of those serving in our Armed Services make tremendous sacrifices for our country, and no one should be prevented from receiving hard-earned benefits simply because they are the same sex as their partner.”
Secretary Panetta’s recent efforts to extend some benefits to the same-sex partners of servicemembers is a significant step forward, but the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs remain very limited in what benefits they provide to same-sex spouses. Some benefits that could not be provided through Secretary Panetta’s regulatory changes include medical and dental care, dependent-rate housing allowances, survivor benefits, cost of living allowances, and protection under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
The Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2013 fixes this discriminatory practice by changing the definition of “spouse” in the relevant sections in the United States code to read: “an individual shall be considered a ‘spouse’ if the marriage of the individual is valid in the State in which the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place in which the marriage was entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State.”
This change will require the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize any marriage that has been recognized by a state or the District of Columbia and provide the same benefits to the spouses of all service members.
Excerpt: “Their primary concern is family and community,” says Rep. Adam Smith who represents Washington’s newly drawn 9th district, which is home to a large population of immigrants, referring to the young immigration-rights activists he’s spoken with “Their primary concern is that current immigration laws are ripping families apart.”
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) issued the following statement on the President’s support of immigration reform and a bipartisan framework in Congress:
“Addressing our immigration system in a comprehensive way is incredibly important and long overdue. The announcement of a framework Monday morning by the bipartisan group of Senators and President Obama’s vocal support of similar principles today are critical steps forward. While there are still many details to be figured out and significant work to be done, I’m encouraged by this initial action and look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to make immigration reform a reality this Congress.”
“[Ambassador Susan Rice] has been an outstanding Ambassador to the U.N. on countless issues, from leading efforts to secure the toughest sanctions against Iran and North Korea to date, to building international support to end Muahamar Qadafi’s brutal reign in Libya and strongly condemning Russia’s unwillingness to denounce Assad’s regime in Syria.”
Read the whole article here.
“The United States needs to use trade rules to assure that Asia’s buyers can “buy American.” If we can do this, growing tallies of exports to Asia will make the economic arithmetic add up for America, leading to a stronger economy and a more prosperous middle class here at home.”
Read more here.