If a health care bill passes Congress, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith worries that people will pick apart what it doesn't do rather than what it does.
The lawmaker whose district includes Lacey and Tacoma said he’s worried that supporters could be voted out of office and the health care plan could be overturned in a new Congress.
“I’ve seen it happen before,” he said.
Smith was answering questions at a pair of town hall meetings Saturday.
In the morning he spoke to about 40 people at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma at an event sponsored by America In Solidarity. In the afternoon he was scheduled to speak at the Knutzen Family Theatre in Federal Way.
In Tacoma, Smith fielded questions about health care, foreign aid, think tanks, the military-industrial complex, government contractors, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and airstrikes in Pakistan, among other topics.
Kent Alcorn, 72, of Tacoma’s North End said he was satisfied with Smith’s answers to his questions on nuclear submarines. But John Nichols, 28, of Tacoma, who describes himself as an anti-war independent, felt Smith delivered too many “politician answers – nonanswers.”
Smith serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He chairs the subcommittee on air and land forces, which has jurisdiction over all Army and nearly all Air Force acquisition programs, according to his Web site.
The seven-term congressman was asked whether his knowledge of classified information makes him feel more or less safe in the world.
“Once you actually see what’s there, it’s a dangerous world to be sure, but it’s not as bad as people tell you,” Smith said.
Smith said that even though times seem contentious and difficult, the U.S. political system works “pretty darn well.”
“I’ve been to 50 countries,” he said. “We’re doing really well here.”