Press Releases

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement today following his No vote on the Budget Control Act of 2011:

“I voted against the budget deal that passed the House tonight because it is a flawed piece of legislation that misses the chance to set the country on a balanced path toward fixing our long-term fiscal and economic problems.

“Over the course of recent negotiations, we had a real opportunity to implement a budget plan that raised the debt ceiling as part of a broader deficit-reducing deal that included cuts, revenue and reform. This plan, cobbled together at the last minute, misses that chance.

“Not only does this plan not address revenue, it also sets caps in broad areas of spending without specifying what programs will actually be cut, allowing lawmakers to once again kick the can down the road without confronting the realities of our budget situation. A more complete debt-reduction plan would have comprehensively addressed revenue, implemented reforms to entitlements, and cut discretionary spending in a responsible and balanced way.

“By focusing overwhelmingly on discretionary cuts, many of the important programs that have historically supported our robust middle class, built our economy, and created opportunities for the next generation are made vulnerable. Priorities such as scientific research, education, infrastructure, national security, and many others may face over an additional $1 trillion in devastating cuts, which would do significant harm to our already struggling economy. To prevent the worst of these cuts from taking effect, revenue must be on the table.

“Though flawed, this proposal will offer us yet another opportunity to address our budget problems through the newly established select committee. In December, we will face another deadline and engage in another debate that will offer us the chance to address our fiscal problems more wisely. I hope we use this time to bring everything to the table and get America back on the path to economic prosperity.”
“I am pleased to see that this damaging, discriminatory policy has now come to an end and I applaud Secretary Panetta, all of our service chiefs and former Secretary Gates for following through on the President’s pledge to allow all Americans to serve and protect our nation.
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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement after President Obama certified the repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” with the full support of the Secretary of Defense and all four service chiefs:

“I am pleased to see that this damaging, discriminatory policy has now come to an end and I applaud Secretary Panetta, all of our service chiefs and former Secretary Gates for following through on the President’s pledge to allow all Americans to serve and protect our nation.

“Two of the United States Government’s primary responsibilities are to provide for a strong national defense and protect the rights of its people. Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” helps to achieve both of these goals. Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly and honestly in our military is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Driving thousands of loyal, qualified Americans out of our Armed Forces at a time when we need them the most undermines our military’s effectiveness.

“Nearly 14,000 service members have been discharged since the law was implemented in 1993, and thousands more have been denied the right to serve the country they love - solely due to their sexual orientation. This harmful practice has now come to an end. No longer will dedicated Americans need to hide who they are to serve the country they love.

“Again, I applaud the President for making the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” a priority and our military’s leadership for making it a reality.”
House Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the Administration’s decision to send condolence letters to family members of soldiers who commit suicide:

“The Administration’s decision to send letters of condolence to the family members of soldiers who commit suicide is a welcome change in policy.

“As the men and women of our Armed Services and their families know all too well, not all wounds reveal themselves in the form of a scar or a lost limb. The difficult things that some servicemembers witness or experience can affect them in a variety of ways, such as traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety. This shift in policy recognizes that fact and helps to begin the process of removing the stigma associated with the mental health issues that are being experienced by our troops.”

For more information, please visit the
website of the House Armed Services Committee Democrats.
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the arrest of two suspects on terrorism and firearms related charges late Wednesday in Seattle:

“The news of last night’s arrests in Seattle is a reminder that we must continue to be vigilant in keeping Americans safe from the threat of terrorism, even at home. Initial reports of the plot are sobering: Two radicalized Americans allegedly planned to murder members of our Armed Forces and men and women who were enlisting to serve their country. I commend the work of the federal, state, and local law enforcement who were able to disrupt this attack and prevent harm to members of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle. It is also important to note that the first line of defense in this case was a member of the community who stepped forward to cooperate with authorities and thwart the alleged terrorists.”

The United States Military relies heavily on fossil fuels to operate and execute its missions, creating a vulnerability that our enemies are keenly aware of. In fact, Osama Bin Laden once said, "[Oil] is the umbilical cord and lifeline of the crusader community… Focus your operations on oil, especially in Iraq and the Gulf area, since this will cause them to die off." While crudely stated, the comment reveals an undeniable threat to our national security.

To address this significant national security issue, on behalf of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith introduced the Department of Defense Energy Security Act of 2011.  The bill is designed to move the Department of Defense forward on energy security by reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

“Representative Giffords has been a leader on this issue and it is an honor to introduce this important piece of legislation on her behalf,” said Ranking Member Smith. “Since joining the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Giffords has understood that our military’s overreliance on fossil fuels represents one of our great vulnerabilities and she has worked tirelessly to address this shortfall. While she has been successful in including a number of proposals in the committee’s annual defense authorization bill in the past, this legislation represents a comprehensive approach. I applaud her for her hard work and dedication to this issue.”

“Our enemies are critically aware of our reliance on oil, and they are using it to their advantage,” the Congresswoman said at a press conference last year to introduce a similar piece of legislation. “Instead of fighting the enemy, thousands of service members are dedicated to securing supply lines so that fuel can reach forward operating bases and far-reaching outposts.” 

The Department of Defense Energy Security Act of 2011 (DODESA), developed by the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Sen. Mark Udall, builds on the DOD’s efforts and systemically addresses DOD energy security.

DODESA decreases the consumption of petroleum by: 

·         Creating a Joint Contingency Base Resource Security Pilot Project to coordinate technology development across the services.

·         Studying the integration of high-efficiency propulsion systems into tactical vehicles.

·         Designating a DOD executive agent for alternative fuel development.

·         Extending long-term contracting authority for the procurement of alternative fuels.

·         Increasing the procurement of electric, hybrid and high efficiency non-tactical vehicles.

DODESA reduces our reliance on the grid by:

·         Funding the Installation Energy Test Bed Initiative.

·         Enhancing energy-management and monitoring practices.

·         Creating a plan for development of renewable projects and defining renewable electricity standards.

·         Robustly funding the Energy Conservation Investment Program, which retrofits our oldest buildings with smart lighting, insulated windows and efficient climate control systems.

·         Adopting enhanced energy-efficiency standards for military buildings.

·         Studying the energy security of renewable development and the societal impacts associated with enhanced energy security on military installations.

In order to prevent any degradation in our military’s ability to defeat our enemies, DODESA includes exemptions for fuel use in major combat operations and permits the Secretary of Defense to waive any requirements that hamper their ability to accomplish their mission or maintain our national security.

For additional information on DODESA visit
Congresswoman Giffords website.