Press Releases

Today, four House Committee Chairs sent a letter to President Trump expressing concerns and raising questions about recent reports that the National Security Council (NSC) plans to assemble a secret panel to counter the scientific consensus on climate change and question its impacts on the national security of the United States.

The letter was sent by Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA), Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Natural Resources Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), and Science, Space, and Technology Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

“The decision to convene this NSC panel represents yet another action by your Administration in a line of many that run counter to the overwhelming scientific consensus on the causes and impacts of climate change,” wrote the four Committee Chairs. “Given the previous statements you have made that fly in the face of explicit scientific evidence and the findings of your own DoD and Director of National Intelligence, we have serious concerns about any effort to construct a secret committee to question the basic scientific fact of climate change.”

The letter also highlights concerns about the reported involvement of Dr. William Happer, who appears to be leading the efforts to undermine the consensus regarding the national security implications of climate change. 

“Dr. Happer does not have the qualifications to serve on a working group that should be composed of climate scientists, if it is to exist at all. Dr. Happer is an atomic physicist, not an expert on climate, and his statements on climate change have been repeatedly debunked by actual climate scientists,” the Committee Chairs continued.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.

“Today, Congress has begun to address the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities. Passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, represents the first step in enacting comprehensive gun safety reforms, by requiring a background check for all firearm sales.

"The evidence is clear: background checks work. Every day, background checks stop over 170 felons and some 50 domestic abusers from obtaining a gun from a federally-licensed dealer. However, in some states, those same prohibited purchasers can bypass these background checks by purchasing a firearm from an unlicensed dealer, or at a gun show. H.R. 8 closes the background check loophole, ensuring that under federal law, states that have not already addressed this dangerous loophole are required to do so. Washington state continues to be a leader in promoting gun safety and responsible regulation. With the passage of this legislation the House of Representatives has joined our state in taking a foundational step toward saving lives from gun violence. Congress must pass long-overdue federal gun legislation to prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in support of H.J.Res 46 to terminate President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border:

“The vote today to terminate President Trump’s unlawful national emergency declaration sends a clear message to the President and this Administration that the new House majority is serious about oversight and accountability. House Democrats are not going to stand by while the President abuses his power by declaring a national emergency to build his wall. This national emergency declaration is built on xenophobic lies and mischaracterizations about immigrants, and it is dangerous and wrong for the President to circumvent Congress by stealing funds from military readiness for his political agenda. I strongly support Congressman Castro’s resolution to terminate the national emergency. We will continue to fight this unlawful power grab.” 

WASHINGTON, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency:

“This appalling decision by the Trump administration is an egregious example of the President putting his political agenda ahead of the interest of the United States. The President has decided to take tens of billions of dollars from projects that support the military and their families across the country and around the world to build his wall without Congressional approval, projects which he says ‘didn’t sound too important to me.’ It is utterly disrespectful of U.S. national security and the needs of our men and women in uniform, and it further undermines his credibility in requesting the upcoming defense budget. All for a border wall that is the complete wrong approach to border security in the first place.

“As the President begins to steal money from military needs to build his wall, Congress must conduct oversight to identify exactly which projects supporting servicemembers and their families the President has chosen to value less than this political stunt. Remember, this is only a portion of an estimated $30 billion that the President ultimately wants to spend on the wall. He owns responsibility for this abject policy decision, much as he owns responsibility for this disgraceful government shutdown that impacted so many families and communities across the country.

“It is clear that there is no national emergency—only a manufactured crisis—and there has been no attempt to explain how the wall has anything to do with supporting U.S. military needs, as the law intends. From the beginning, President Trump’s obsession over a border wall has been based on misguided anti-immigrant fervor, not U.S. national security. The American people are utterly opposed to this gimmick, and President Trump should be ashamed of himself.”

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement after his vote in support of the conference report providing funding for seven appropriations bills through the end of the fiscal year:

“This conference report is far from perfect, but it must be passed for the sake of all that it supports: many dozens of government agencies and initiatives, hundreds of thousands of federal employees, and the American public that is served by those workers and agencies. There is an endless array of federal workers who perform incredibly important duties for all of us every day; if this bill doesn’t pass, they don’t get paid and those services aren’t provided.

“I am gravely concerned with the increase in immigrant detention funding in the legislation. With the Northwest Detention Center in the 9th Congressional District, we have seen the perils of our current detention system. We should be significantly decreasing the utilization of detention for immigrants and implement sorely lacking oversight and accountability for detention facilities. I will continue to work through the appropriations process and encourage legislation to better align our immigration and border security policies with our actual needs and the values of our country.

“We cannot let an imperfect bill stop us from providing for all of the critically important programs included in this package and supporting the women and men who work throughout government to deliver them. Over the previous 35-day shutdown, our office heard the stories of countless constituents about the impact of the shutdown on them and their families. Passing this legislation today will end the uncertainty and prevent another perilous shutdown.

“Today the President has now threatened to declare a national emergency following passage of this bill. There is no need for a wall, and no national emergency at the border. I am opposed to the President’s continued actions to put his political agenda and empty campaign promises ahead of the needs of the American people.”