Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the bicameral Hold the LYNE—or Low-Yield Nuclear Explosive—Act. The legislation would prohibit the research, develop, production, and deployment of a low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. So-called low-yield nuclear weapons have the potential to lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons and increase the risk of entering the U.S. into nuclear war.

Upon introduction, Ranking Member Smith said:

“We should not fund President Trump’s request for new low-yield nuclear weapons. His proposal dangerously lowers the threshold to nuclear use and siphons money away from genuine military readiness needs. We already have a nuclear deterrent that is more than adequate to achieve our national security goals. Funding new, low-yield weapons would only draw us further into an unnecessary nuclear arms race and increase the risks of miscalculation.”

Upon introduction, Rep. Lieu said:

“There’s no such thing as a low-yield nuclear war. Use of any nuclear weapon, regardless of its killing power, could be catastrophically destabilizing. It opens the door for severe miscalculation and could drag the U.S. and our allies into a devastating nuclear conflict. That’s why Reps. Smith, Garamendi and Blumenauer, and Sen. Markey in the Senate, introduced the Hold the LYNE Act, to ensure we won’t lower our standards for launching a nuclear weapon.”

Upon introduction, Rep. Garamendi said:

“I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this critical piece of legislation. My previous efforts to prohibit the authorization and funding to develop a low-yield nuclear warhead for the Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile were narrowly defeated. These unnecessary warheads will increase the risk of nuclear war and further fuel a dangerous arms race. Furthermore, we’re already on track to spend over $1.2 trillion over the next thirty years to modernize and maintain our current nuclear arsenal, and that figure does not take into account these new weapons. Both I and my colleagues remain concerned about the direction our nuclear forces are headed, which is why we have joined efforts in introducing this important bill.”

Upon introduction, Rep. Blumenauer said:

“Despite their misleading name, so-called ‘low-yield’ nuclear weapons are highly destabilizing and increase the likelihood of nuclear war. We should abandon our focus on outdated Cold War tactics and focus on the strategic challenges we face today, including accounting for the irresponsible spending on weapons we can’t afford to build and the world can’t afford for us to use.”

Upon introduction, Sen. Markey said:

“Developing a ‘low-yield’ nuclear warhead for America’s ballistic missile submarine fleet is the height of fiscal and political folly. There is no military requirement for this weapon. Its indistinguishability from any other submarine-launched nuclear weapon risks a miscalculation. Its development is just a further example of how the Trump administration is surrendering decades of American leadership that have helped move the world away from the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. A nuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon, and the Trump administration’s attempts to market a new one are ill-advised and dangerous.”

The LYNE Act has been endorsed by: Arms Control Association, Global Zero, Union of Concerned Scientists, Ploughshares, Win Without War, Peace Action, Council for a Livable World, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Beyond the Bomb, Tri-Valley CARES, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Women’s Action for New Directions, Lawyers Committee for Nuclear Policy, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Beyond Nuclear, Rocky Flats Right to Know, The Peace Farm, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Middle East and Disarmament Committees), Nuclear Watch South, Our Developing World, Southwest Research and Information Center, and Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.

Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about the Trump administration’s certification regarding the Saudi-led coalition’s activities in Yemen:

“The idea that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking sufficient action to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure in Yemen is simply wrong. The big picture is this: Last month, a Saudi-coalition airstrike killed dozens of people, including children on a school bus. Saudi Arabia continues its blockade on Yemen, restricting the shipment of food and other goods vital to alleviating the humanitarian crisis. The humanitarian impact of the Saudi-led coalition’s actions is undeniable, and the United States should not be choosing sides in this civil war.”

Washington D.C.Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement on the inclusion of a provision in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch Appropriations Minibus conference report that would allocate $20,000 in funding for each Member’s office to pay interns:

“I am pleased that we are taking a meaningful first step toward providing paid internship opportunities in the United States House of Representatives. While long over-due, I applaud House Appropriators for recognizing the hardships that unpaid internships pose for many who seek to contribute and learn on Capitol Hill. 

“We must now build on and go further than the Minibus appropriations conference report’s allocation to each House office. This measure only allocates funds for the coming fiscal year, and the funding amount it provides will force offices to choose between paying interns on a less than full-time basis, paying them below the minimum wage in the District of Columbia, or offering a paid internship for only part of the year. Congress has a responsibility to provide equality of opportunity for all to intern on Capitol Hill – and that means funding a full-time, year-round internship position in each Member’s Capitol Hill or district congressional office at a livable wage.

“The House Intern Pay Act, which I introduced earlier this month, would authorize funding for a consistent, full-time internship program in each Member’s office at a rate of $15 per hour. I look forward to working with a growing group of my colleagues to bring the House Intern Pay Act to the floor for a vote to ensure that we provide a permanent and dedicated funding stream to pay interns so that all students have the ability to intern on Capitol Hill.”

 

Washington D.C.House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) and House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Cooper (D-TN) sent a letter to the acting chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), warning against President Trump’s plan to impose extensive, abrupt cuts to nuclear safety staff and gut nuclear safety oversight.

The following are excerpts from the letter:

“We write to express our strong concern about your abrupt plans for major reforms …announced August 15, 2018, with limited notice and input, to reorganize the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, particularly the ill-advised plan to cut your agency’s headquarters staff level by one third. Hamstringing your agency and targeting your technical staff that represent the core and strength of your agency would likely jeopardize the mission and capability of the Board to fulfill its important mission of ensuring nuclear safety across the nuclear enterprise.

“We have seen problems in maintaining nuclear criticality safety experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and there have been several safety violations in recent years.  In addition, the DNFSB provides critical oversight and recommendations related to the Environmental Management Program that funds and manages nuclear clean-up activities at sites across the nuclear complex, including Hanford which continues to face safety culture and worker contamination challenges, as well as expensive and complex construction projects.  In addition, the 2014 incident, caused by rupture of a radioactive drum that had been incorrectly packaged at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, resulted in a significant contamination release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and shut down repository operations for nearly three years. 

“Now is not the time to increase nuclear safety risk by making cuts to the experts whose primary mission is to provide independent nuclear safety oversight.  Coupled with changes in the Department of Energy’s recently proposed 140.1 order, your proposed change to cut DNFSB personnel would undermine the critical oversight on which an enduring, effective and safe nuclear enterprise depend.  

“We have yet to see any written analysis to explain the proposed cut to the Board’s staff by a third, and repeated requests by our committee staff for a detailed briefing on these proposed changes have gone unanswered. We strongly urge you and the Board to reconsider this change. In the meantime, we expect a more detailed explanation for this sweeping change that would have enduring implications and potential significant risk for ensuring nuclear safety.”

The full letter can be read HERE.

Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement in remembrance of the anniversary of September 11, 2001:

"Today, we pause to remember the sacrifice and heroism of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. They and their deeds will never be forgotten. We must continue to fight to uphold the freedoms and values that they held dear."