Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement prior to Secretary-designate, retired General Lloyd Austin’s participation in an informal roundtable with a bipartisan group of members to discuss the importance of civilian control of the military.
 
“I am very glad that Secretary-designate Austin has agreed to sit down with members of the committee today to further explain his commitment to civilian control of the military. While we hoped to hold an open hearing with the Secretary-designate and he had agreed to do so, procedural issues have prevented a hearing. The House has not yet finalized the roster of members who will serve on our committee in the 117th Congress. As a result, we were unfortunately unable to complete the required procedural work that must precede any formal committee business in this new Congress.
 
“While today’s roundtable will be an informal event, it is still enormously important. The Secretary-designate chose to speak with members because it is important to him, and the entire Biden-Harris administration, to be transparent and accountable to the American people. Secretary-designate Austin understands that some members had reservations about his nomination given the need for a waiver, and his willingness to have an open dialogue with Congress is a testament to the kind of leader he is and will be once his historic confirmation is complete.
 
“This afternoon the House will vote on the waiver necessary to complete the Secretary-designate’s confirmation process. Once the House has acted, I am optimistic that the Senate will act swiftly to complete Secretary-designate Austin’s confirmation and provide the Pentagon with the strong, stable leadership required for these tumultuous times.”
 
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 335, legislation to provide Secretary-designate General Lloyd Austin III (ret.) the waiver required to complete his historic confirmation by a vote of 326 to 78.

“Today the House sent a clear message: Secretary-designate Austin is an extremely qualified leader who should be swiftly confirmed by the Senate and assume the role of Secretary of Defense. Our country faces a myriad of national security challenges, and President Biden deserves the cabinet of his choosing as his administration seeks to address these challenges.

“In his conversations with me and many other members of the House, Secretary-designate Austin has proven that he is a capable leader, who is committed to the civilian control of our military and is ready to lead the Department of Defense as soon as he is confirmed. I remain optimistic that the Senate will act expeditiously to complete Secretary-designate Austin’s historic confirmation.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to pass the impeachment resolution charging the outgoing President with a count of “Incitement of Insurrection” for his actions on January 6, 2021.

“The assault by pro-Trump extremists on January 6 was not just an attack on the United States Capitol but an attack on the United States and our democracy. After President Trump and his supporters spent months spreading lies and propaganda about the election, President Trump’s supporters attempted to stage a coup and overturn the results of our free and fair presidential election and end our democracy as we know it.

“Everyone involved in this attack must be held accountable, including the President. There is no question that President Trump incited this violence starting with his perpetual lies about the presidential election, encouraging his supporters the morning of the attack, and utterly failing to quell violence and respond sufficiently after the attack had begun. From the beginning, the lies about the presidential election stoked by President Trump and his co-conspirators, including many Republicans in Congress, are not about election fraud but a brazen attempt to hold onto power by any means necessary, even at the cost of lives and our democracy.

“With only seven days left in office, Trump has demonstrated he is unfit to remain in office a single day longer. Inciting an insurrection in an attempt to maintain power warrants the immediate impeachment of President Trump, also ensuring his disqualification from holding any public office in the future. All Americans who believe in the rule of law and our Constitution must hold President Trump accountable for his actions and I urge my Senate colleagues to convict and remove him.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to pass H.Res. 21 which calls upon Vice President Pence to mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th amendment to remove President Trump from office.

“Last week, President Trump instigated and encouraged a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which led to the deaths of five Americans and more than fifty police officers seriously injured. The President called for this seditious attack leading up to and on the morning of the January 6th rally encouraging rioters to fight and then refusing to call off the mob when it became violent.

“The President’s actions show his absolute ineptitude and inability to perform the most basic and fundamental duties of his office. With just a matter of days left in his term, President Trump has demonstrated he remains an unpredictable threat to peace and our democracy. We urge Vice President Pence and the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office. We must hold President Trump accountable for his actions, and that begins with his immediate removal from office.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement in the midst of the protest that has overrun the Capitol campus during the proceedings to certify the 2020 general election results. 

“The assault by pro-Trump extremists on the United States Capitol is a criminal act aimed at ending our democracy as we know it. The Capitol campus must be cleared of these extremists as soon and as safely as possible. 

“I have spoken with Department of the Defense leadership – specifically Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy – who are now working with the District of Columbia government, the Department of Justice, and Capitol police to restore order to the Capitol and allow Members of Congress to safely certify the election results, as is our constitutional obligation.

"President Trump and his enablers are directly responsible for the despicable acts at our nation's Capitol that we all have witnessed today. The President incited and encouraged this riot. He has lied repeatedly, as have his enablers in Congress and elsewhere about this election. They do not believe in democracy. They believe in retaining power by any means necessary. All Americans who believe in the rule of law and our Constitution must clearly and unambiguously hold these people accountable for their actions.  

“Order will be restored. Congress will do its job. This election will be certified, and Joe Biden will, as he was duly elected to do, take office as our next President on January 20th.”

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