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National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report Passes with Key Provisions

National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report Passes with Key Provisions

November 17, 2017

Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement on passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report:

“This week, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. This legislation establishes the policies of the Department of Defense that impact our service members, their families, and our local communities.

“During the conference process and debate, in my role as Ranking Member, I made sure that a number of important policy provisions remained in the legislation. In addition to supporting members of our Armed Forces and their families, the bill includes important provisions supporting investments in education, public health, workforce development, and prioritizes environmental cleanup. Additionally, the bill secured $190.9 million in funding for construction projects in Washington State that will help create both civilian and military jobs throughout our region. I fought back against efforts to include discriminatory language and ensured critical funding continues to support life-saving medical research. I will continue to advocate for a comprehensive policy that addresses our national security and economic challenges.”  

Congressman Smith fought for numerous provisions in the FY18 NDAA Conference Report, such as:


  • Establishes that it is policy of the United States Congress to acknowledge climate change and the impact it continues to have on our national security.
  • Authorizes $755.6 million for environmental cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site.


  • Provides record funding for Impact Aid schools by increasing funding by $50 million to support military connected school districts, including many in Washington State.  


  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to ensure legal permanent residents serving in the military are informed of the availability of naturalization through their military service.

Military Health:

  • Directs DOD to study safe opioid prescribing practices for those currently serving in the Armed Forces.
  • Blocked earlier attempts to discriminate against transgender service members that would have limited their ability to receive health care.
  • Successfully fought to maintain funding to conduct medical research on diseases that contribute to military readiness, such as breast cancer and traumatic brain injury. 

Diversity in the Military:

  • Recognizes the important contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities by increasing funding by $12 million to help educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Military Spouses:

  • Extends survivor benefits for military widows and widowers by permanently extending the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance.

Nuclear Proliferation:

  • Requires a report from the Secretary of Defense on how DOD is responding to and reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation.
  • Requires a plan to reduce risk of accidental war and encourages dialogue with Russia, China, and North Korea.

Washington State projects include:

  • $44.4 million for construction of a project to ensure the safety, accuracy, and efficient storage of munitions required to support ships homeported in Washington State.
  • $19.5 million for a new fire station at the Yakima Training Center to provide fire protection and emergency response for base facilities, fires on the training ranges, and local communities in the region.
  • $30.0 million for a new Army Reserve Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
  • $31.0 million for a new National Guard Readiness Center in Tumwater to replace an outdated facility constructed in 1939 and provide administrative, training, and storage areas for Washington National Guard units. 

Washington, D.C. - On the one-month anniversary of the October 14th terror attack on Mogadishu, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) joined Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), along with Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH), Karen Bass (D-CA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Denny Heck (D-WA) in introducing House Resolution 620 condemning the attack that killed more than 350 people, including three American citizens, and injured another 200—making it the single deadliest in Somalia’s history.

“It’s been a month since the terrible and cowardly attack on Mogadishu, and my heart still breaks for the people of Somalia and their families and friends here in the United States,” Congressman Ellison said. “The people of Somalia have shown incredible resilience— coming together not only as part of an inspiring effort to recover from this attack, but also to rebuild their nation in the spirit of peace and prosperity. I am proud to stand with my colleagues to express solidarity with the people of Somalia by strongly condemning the senseless violence, extending our condolences to all those affected by the attack, and reaffirming continued U.S. support for Somalia.”

“Just over one month ago, Mogadishu was the site of a horrific and cowardly bombing that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. In response, I have joined with my colleagues on a resolution condemning this tragedy, expressing sympathy for the victims and their families, and reaffirming our support for the nation of Somalia,” Congressman Smith said. “Together with our international partners, the United States must redouble our commitment to help the Somali people rebuild after this horrific tragedy. I continue to stand in solidarity with the Somali community in my district and around the world in support of efforts to ensure peace, security, and prosperity for the Somali people.”

The full text of the resolution reads as follows:

“Strongly condemning the terrorist attack in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 14, 2017, and expressing condolences and sympathies to the victims of the attack and their families.

Whereas on October 14, 2017, a truck bomb filled with military grade and homemade explosives detonated at a busy intersection in the center of Mogadishu, Somalia, and took the lives of more than 350 people and injured more than 200 additional people;

Whereas at least three Americans, Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow, Mohamoud Elmi, and Abukar Dahie, were killed in the attack;

Whereas the Somali Government believes that Al-Shabaab was responsible for the attack, although no official claims of responsibility have yet been made;

Whereas Al-Shabaab has previously avoided claiming responsibility for Al Shabaab operations when it believes the operation may significantly damage its public image among Somalis;

Whereas the Department of State condemned ‘‘in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks that killed and injured hundreds in Mogadishu on October 14’’;

Whereas the Department of State stated that ‘‘the United States will continue to stand with the Somali government, its people, and our international allies to combat terrorism and support their efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity’’; 

Whereas according to the Department of State’s Country Report on Terrorism for 2016, Al-Shabaab is the most potent threat to regional stability in East Africa;

Whereas the United States continues to support counterterrorism efforts in coordination with the Government of Somalia, international partners, and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) mainly through capacity building programs, advise and assist missions, and intelligence support;

Whereas Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, declared three days of national mourning in response to the attack;

Whereas the vibrant, bustling district of Mogadishu where the attack occurred is characteristic of the city’s revitalization, and the solidarity and efforts by the city’s residents to rebuild already are a testament to their resilience; and 

Whereas Somalia has been a strong partner to the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—?

(1) strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 14, 2017;?

(2) expresses its heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies for the victims of the attack and their families;?

(3) honors the memories of Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow, Mohamoud Elmi, and Abukar Dahie, who were murdered in the horrific terrorist attack;

(4) recognizes the significant efforts to combat terrorism by the Government of Somalia, the countries contributing troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia, and United States forces in Somalia;

(5) reaffirms United States support for the Government of Somalia’s efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity and combat terrorism in Somalia; and

(6) renews the solidarity of the people and Government of the United States with the people and Government of Somalia.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) introduced H.R. 4415, a bill that would make it the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first. Smith released the following statement about the bill:

“The United States should not use nuclear arms in a first strike. They are instruments of deterrence, and they should be treated as such. A declaratory policy of not using nuclear weapons first will increase strategic stability, particularly in a crisis, reducing the risk of miscalculation that could lead to an unintended all-out nuclear war. Paired with our reliable, survivable, assured nuclear deterrent, which is second to none, we retain nuclear forces that would inflict devastating retaliation against any nuclear attack against the United States or its allies."

“We have prevented the use of nuclear weapons in war for 72 years. We must continue working to ensure they will not be employed by taking steps to increase strategic stability, stem the incentives for nuclear proliferation and reduce the likelihood that these weapons will be used irresponsibly in a conflict."

Congressman Smith Statement on Yemen Resolution

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Smith released the following statement today after voting to oppose H. Res. 599:

November 14, 2017

“Last night, the House of Representatives voted on H.Res. 599, which expressed concern over the ongoing conflict between the coalition of nations led by Saudi Arabia and the Houthis in Yemen. I voted against H.Res. 599. I believe the resolution did not go far enough to articulate Saudi Arabia’s role in creating and perpetuating the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Instead, the resolution placed a disproportionate level of blame on Iran. Iran remains a detriment to peace and stability in Yemen, however, Saudi Arabia should also be held accountable for their actions.

“It is critical that the United States not choose sides in this war. I fear that our historical relationship with Saudi Arabia has resulted in de facto support for the conflict. Understanding that this resolution was a compromise with Republicans in the House, the lack of any enforceable provision removing U.S. support was reason to vote against it. While I do believe that Saudi Arabia is an important ally in the Middle East, the fact is that the people of Yemen currently face a fractured civil infrastructure that has led to what could be the world’s largest Cholera outbreak in history – on top of blockaded ports that have stymied the flow of humanitarian supplies.

“Something must change. I am a cosponsor of H.Con.Res. 81, a War Powers resolution introduced by Representative Ro Khanna that would help stop the United States from endorsing what is a nearly intractable conflict. Congress has a critical role to play, and any American involvement can and must be debated transparently. Ultimately, we must find a way to help bring about a peaceful conclusion to this conflict, and that invests heavily in humanitarian assistance for the Yemeni people – including rebuilding their nation after this debilitating period.” 

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA09) and Ted Yoho (R-FL03), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance, led 67 of their colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney calling for open dialogue on the proposed changes to the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development:

“Any redesign of U.S. foreign assistance programs must be done in a transparent manner and in consultation with the development community and with Congress.” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Public engagement during this critical juncture is necessary in order to improve the overall effectiveness of foreign assistance and bring further stability to the world.” 

“In these financially restrictive times, as the United States re-evaluates our foreign assistance programs Congress must remain involved and work with the Administration to create the most efficient and effective programs possible,” said Congressman Ted Yoho. “By doing so, we can lay out specific goals to transition countries from aid to trade as rapidly as possible for maximum effect.”

“Strong bipartisan Congressional support for foreign assistance programs is a key element of the United States’ global leadership. Over the last 15 years, Congress has worked with Republican and Democratic administrations to improve U.S. foreign assistance with powerful results, such as the Global Food Security Act and the Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act,” wrote the Members of Congress. “Given Congress’ role as the sole body in the authorizing and budgetary processes, we believe that any effort to enact reforms without a strong partnership between Congress and the Administration will not be sustainable.”

Read the full text of the letter here.

The letter was co-signed by Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI04), Thomas Garrett (R-VA05), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA07), Dwight Evans (D-PA02), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI01), James McGovern (D-MA02), Shea-Porter (D-NH01), Ted Lieu (D-CA33), Ami Bera (D-CA07), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA47), Frank Pallone (D-NJ06), Austin Scott (R-GA08), Mark Pocan (D-WI02), Keith Ellison (D-MN05), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR03), Gene Green (D-TX29), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH09), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL16), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA08), Tom Emmer (R-MN06), Bobby Rush (D-IL01), Dennis Ross (R-FL15), Karen Bass (D-CA37), Julia Brownley (D-CA26), Salud Carbajal (D-CA24), Steve Cohen (D-TN09), Jim Cooper (D-TN05), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX30), Derek Kilmer (D-WA06), Albio Sires (D-NJ08), Ted Poe (R-TX02), Michael McCaul (R-TX10), Anthony Brown (D-MD04), Steve Chabot (R-OH01), David Cicilline (D-RI01), Peter DeFazio (D-OR04), Debbie Dingell (D-MI12), Anna Eshoo (D-CA18), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ03), Denny Heck (D-WA10), John Katko (R-NY24), Ro Khanna (D-CA17), Jim Langevin (D-RI02), Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Sander Levin (D-MI09), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA19), Betty McCollum (D-MN04), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL07), Scott Perry (R-PA04), Jared Polis (D-CO02), David Price (D-NC04), Jacky Rosen (D-NV03), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA40), David Scott (D-GA13), Lee Zeldin (R-NY01), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR01), Susan Davis (D-CA53), Ted Deutch (D-FL22), Lois Frankel (D-FL21), John Yarmuth (D-KY03), Chris Stewart (R-UT02), Rick Larsen (D-WA02), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA20), Tim Walz (D-MN01), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL23), Joe Wilson (R-SC02), Adam Schiff (D-CA28).

The following organizations support the call for transparency and coordination:

InterAction, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, Alliance for Peacebuilding , CARE USA , Basic Education Coalition, RESULTS, Islamic Relief USA, Global Health Council, Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, Advocates for Youth, World Vision, Malaria No More, Fund for Global Health, Heartland Alliance, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria, PATH, Global Citizen, The Hunger Project, Elizabeth R Griffin Research Foundation, IntraHealth International, One Earth Future, Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) Roundtable, Lutheran World Relief, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, WaterAid, Global Communities, Catholic Relief Services, Refugees International, ONE Campaign.