Press Releases

Ranking Member Smith Statement on the Nomination of General Mattis for Secretary of Defense

Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about reports that Donald Trump is nominating General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense:

December 2, 2016

“General Mattis has served the United States tirelessly, with admirable distinction. However, the unusual circumstances of his nomination raise serious questions about fundamental principles of our Constitutional order. Civilian control of the military is not something to be casually cast aside. So while I like and respect General Mattis a great deal, the House of Representatives would have to perform a full review, including hearings by the Armed Services Committee, if it were to consider overriding the statutory prohibition on recent military officers serving as the Secretary of Defense.

‎"I want to reiterate how much I admire General Mattis. I worked with him personally in the many positions he has held during his service. We have a close personal relationship, and I consider him an outstanding individual and officer. ‎I will be having close conversations with him in the coming days about how to ensure we maintain civilian control of the military."

Ranking Member Smith Statement on Passage of the FY 2017 NDAA

Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement on passage of the FY 2017 NDAA conference report:

December 2, 2016

“This bill makes a valuable contribution to our country’s national security. While it does not contain everything we could have hoped for, the bill includes a number of positive improvements to U.S. defense policy. It wisely avoids earlier efforts to discriminate against LGBT individuals, erode the Endangered Species Act, undermine labor laws, and much besides. Instead, it focuses on efforts to advance the defense of the United States, and I believe it succeeds in doing so.”

Smith Statement on Department of Homeland Security Continued Use of Private Prisons

Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to maintain their use of private detention facilities:

December 1, 2016

“Today, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisory panel has recommended that U.S immigration authorities be directed to maintain their current use of private detention facilities. I am extremely disappointed by this announcement, as this policy will continue the status quo of systemic problems in our immigration detention system that we know must be fixed.

“Following the reported outcomes of the DHS two-month review, I have requested a meeting with DHS officials to be briefed on the rationale behind this alarming decision. I will continue to fight for polices that will comprehensively reform our flawed detention policy. It is unacceptable for our immigration detention system to be allowed to benefit private corporations at high cost to taxpayers, detainees, and their families.”

“President-elect Trump has continued to produce dangerous and unhinged rhetoric. His recent statement regarding the ‘millions of people who voted illegally’ is completely unacceptable given there is absolutely no evidence of voter fraud. Trump’s actions only serve to undermine the system of government that he is preparing to lead in 50 days.

“This is especially disturbing considering that around the nation there have been widespread voter intimidation tactics and voter suppression laws that kept hundreds of thousands of voters away from the polls in battleground states. These voter identification laws have kept away many of those who do not have access or the resources to obtain particular identification cards that are deemed satisfactory in certain states. President-elect Trump supports these laws that turn away the voices of individuals with low socioeconomic status.”

“I have stated that I will continue to hold President-elect Trump accountable for his actions that have been less than Presidential. I am committed to fighting this administration every step of the way.” 

Congressman Smith Statement Denouncing President-Elect Trump’s Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Senator Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General:

November 18, 2016

“With the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as the 84th Attorney General for the United States, President-elect Donald Trump has selected a documented racist to be a member of his cabinet.

“Senator Sessions has a long history of disturbing racism. In 1986, Senator Session’s racism kept him from being confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee for a federal judgeship under President Ronald Reagan. During the confirmation hearings, it became public that Senator Sessions had previously made statements sympathizing with the Ku Klux Klan and viewed both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as “un-American” and “trying to force civil right down the throats of people.”

“The next Attorney General will be tasked with essential role of chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the United States government. Regardless of who the Senate confirms as Attorney General, I will continue to vocally advocate for policies that create a more just criminal justice system, and fight to dismantle structural racism at all levels of our government.”