As the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am committed to ensuring that our military personnel, veterans, and their families receive the support of our government in return for their years of faithful service. Working to ensure our service members and their families are well cared for will remain my top priority.
In addition to providing our military personnel with adequate pay and benefits, it is important we work to ensure that our military has the proper equipment, resources, and policies to meet the threats we face today and well into the future. However, in a time of mounting pressure on the Federal budget we must also ensure that every dollar spent on defense is done so in an effective and efficient manner. Simply spending more money does not make our country safer – spending more wisely and effectively does.
While we must ensure that our warfighters have the equipment and training they need to carry out their missions, we must do a better job of carefully examining our policies, requirements, and acquisition programs to improve efficiencies and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the Department of Defense.
To that end, I will continue to work to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as it is becoming woefully expensive to operate and the annual cost-per inmate greatly exceeds the cost of holding someone in a maximum security federal prison. It is of great importance that we work to restore civil liberties and due process for all persons. Our civilian law enforcement and justice systems have a proven track record of success when it comes to investigating and prosecuting suspected terrorists.
I am proud to serve as the Ranking Member of the Armed Service Committee and remain committed to supporting our local communities in Washington State and all members of the Armed Services who represent us bravely at home and abroad.
- Safeguarding Israel’s security: Requested sufficient procurement, research, and development funding to protect Israel from short, medium, and long-range missile attacks.
- Stability and Security in Somalia: Encouraged and supported the Department of Defense’s (DoD) bi-lateral security cooperation and counter-terrorism efforts to improve the security situation in Somalia and address terrorist threats from Al-Shabaab.
- Exploring Technology for Clean Water and Desalination: Knowing the DoD has made advances in desalination technology and that lack of clean water is a factor in destabilization around the world, Congressman Smith asked the DoD to provide further information on the recent advances in desalination technologies and how those advances have been shared with other Government agencies.
- Protecting Servicemembers: Noting the importance of fighting drug addiction, introduced legislative language directing the DoD to study how education, prevention, treatment, and outreach on opioid prescription drug abuse may improve individual readiness, health, and quality of life of military service members and their beneficiaries, as well as lower health care costs.
- Supporting People-to-People Ties with English language programs: Requested the Department of Defense to issue a brief on opportunities to explore expanded programming in the areas of teaching English abroad and at home.
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