For the Record, Pay No Attention to the Record

A congressman says he never supported a bill, but his name never really goes away.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), shown in his office in Washington, D.C., on May 29, 2014, has been assigned to the House committee looking into the terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and the aftermath.

Photographer: Mary F. Calvert/MCT/Getty Images

With five guys named Smith serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, maybe this sort of thing was to be expected: A colleague got a bit mixed up about Adam Smith of Washington and Adrian Smith of Nebraska.

Now Adam, a Democrat, would like to make sure no official document ever again confuses him with Adrian, a Republican.

From the Jan. 14 Congressional Record, here’s how he described what happened:

“Representative Diane Black signed me on to H.R. 217, which is a particularly strong anti-choice bill and a bill that I would never support,” he said. “She thought it was Adrian Smith she was signing on to the bill.”

Adam’s beef: “On the bill that is out there with the original cosponsors, my name does not simply disappear. A line is drawn through it, and it is said next to it, ‘withdrawn,’ as if, at some point, I did cosponsor the bill and then changed my mind.”

The bill would bar federal family-planning grants to entities that perform abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to a woman’s life.

Adam Smith said a strong letter will follow to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging a new practice be instituted for cases like this: “When it is clear that someone signs you on to a bill you had no intention of being on—your name should be removed. Period. End of story.”

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