Press Releases

Smith Statement on the Defense Department Delaying Transgender Enlistment

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the decision to delay the date for transgender accessions to the military:

July 1, 2017

"This decision to delay transgender accession to the military is unjustified and morally wrong. The Defense Department has already studied the issue extensively and found that there are no substantial practical obstacles to allowing trans people to join the military and defend their country. To the contrary, many are already serving in the military and doing so with distinction. The only remaining obstacle is prejudice."

s. America must be prepared for a range of Russian hostile acts, including military provocation and cyberattacks. That’s why this bill is so critical—we need a comprehensive, organized response to these threats to our democracy,” said Speier.

“I support this bill because it embraces a clear and all-inclusive approach to countering the serious threats that Russia poses to our nation’s democracy. It’s time that America takes a strong stance against their provocations,” said Veasey.

“For the past year, Russia has attempted to influence, alter, and undermine American democracy—and addressing this head-on must be a national security priority. When our democracy is threatened, we must act—and not just with press statements, but with a real plan,” said Norcross. “That’s why I’m joining with colleagues to prevent a hot war, a cold war, a cyber war, and a nuclear war. This bill offers a comprehensive set of solutions that will help us strengthen our alliances and reduce the risk of another nuclear arms race.”

"The threat from Russia is real, clear, and immediate. Russia is an enemy that undermines our elections, degrades our alliance network, and abuses the human and civil rights of its own people and freedom-loving peoples around the world,” said Gallego. “While President Trump continues to cozy up to President Putin, his feckless handling of foreign policy is putting our national security at risk. Through the Fostering Unity Against Russian Aggression Act, Democrats in Congress are working to preserve America’s formidable leadership of the Western alliance in opposition to Putin.”  

“Russia has conducted an aggressive campaign to undermine not only our democracy, but democracies in Western Europe. I am proud to support Ranking Member Smith’s bill that addresses these attacks with an effective strategy--something the Administration has failed to do. Congress cannot stand idly by while President Trump fails to respond to a grave threat to our democracy,” said Moulton.

“Russia’s aggressive actions make clear the need for a comprehensive U.S. deterrence strategy. By passing this bill, Congress can forcefully reaffirm America’s commitment to the NATO alliance and jumpstart needed improvements to our own and our allies’ readiness to counter unconventional modes of aggression, including propaganda and cyberattacks,” said Shea-Porter.

“Since the start of the investigation into Russian meddling, an overwhelming number of our nation's intelligence officials have confirmed Russian interference in the 2016 election, with many now warning of similar cyberattacks and hacking during upcoming elections,” said Rosen. “I am proud to join my colleagues in support of this bill, which proposes a comprehensive strategy to deter Russian hostility because nothing could be more important to our way of life than the integrity of our democracy.”

“By meddling in our elections last year, Russia attacked our democracy. That aggression calls for a strong and sustained response. We must continue to strengthen our partnerships with European allies—and we need to proactively plan for the new and unconventional threats we are already facing. I am pleased to join Ranking Member Smith in supporting a bill that does all this and more,” said McEachin. 

“Military leaders have continually expressed that Russian aggression poses a grave threat to our national security and we cannot take these concerns lightly,” said Carbajal. “It is imperative that Congress pass this common-sense legislation and provide a comprehensive framework to combat methods the Russian government is employing to destabilize our democratic institutions, both in the United States and abroad.”

“Russia has repeatedly worked to weaken our democracy and sow disunity among the United States and its allies. In addition to maliciously interfering in our election and those in Germany and France, the Kremlin has deployed missiles in violation of arms control treaties and committed unprovoked acts of aggression in Eastern Europe. This bill calls for a comprehensive strategy to address Russia while working to deescalate conflict that would be catastrophic for all. Ranking Member Smith’s legislation is a significant step forward in ensuring we hold Russia accountable for its harmful and destabilizing activities around the world,” said Brown.

"Russia uses both military and non-military tools to achieve its geopolitical objectives, and uses those tools globally to diminish the United States. It is critical for the United States to have a strong and comprehensive strategy to counter Russian aggression, and this bill would ensure that the Administration develops and implements such a strategy," said Murphy.

“There can be no mistake, Russia’s blatant disregard for international agreements and treaties must be countered with strength on the international stage,” said O’Halleran. “I am proud to support legislation that strengthens our commitment to the collective defense of our allies. We must take action to end to this encroaching aggression and prevent future attempts to weaken our democracy, or the democratic process in countries around the world.”

“As I’ve been saying since day one, we need to send Putin a strong message that we’re not going to let him undermine democratic governments. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford have said that Russia continues to pose a serious threat to democracies. This bill is an effort of Congress to work with the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive strategy to confront the 21st century hybrid threat posed by Russia,” said Suozzi.

“Former Director Comey’s testimony today in the United States Senate further confirms the enormous threat posed by Russian interference with our election system in the 2016 cycle and its continued efforts around the world. This interference should deeply concern all Americans, and the need to take measures to protect our democratic system of government should span the political aisle.

“It is beyond disturbing for the President to attempt to stifle the FBI investigation into election meddling from any foreign power. It is especially alarming for this interference to take place in the midst of an investigation that is focused on actions taken by the President and his colleagues with respect to that foreign power. The Department of Justice, together with the FBI, is tasked with carrying out independent investigations, free from political interference. We must continue to carefully follow the facts, wherever they may lead us. President Trump may continue to refuse to uncover and acknowledge the truth, but the American public deserves answers.” 

“President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is a disastrous move that undermines the most significant global climate change agreement to date. Either the President does not understand or simply does not care about the devastating impact global climate change will bring about.  

“As the world’s second-largest polluter, emitting fifteen percent of global emissions, but with only about five percent of the world’s population, the United States has a moral obligation to reduce carbon emissions. The Administration’s action also shows a disturbing ignorance of our country’s role as an international leader and a complete disregard for the proven science and consequences of a changing climate.

“With sea-levels continuing to rise, global temperatures increasing, and record droughts and fires destroying communities, it is irresponsible to abandon the international community. Across the world, extreme weather events and climate change disproportionately impact people and communities of color and those living in poverty. The United States and the international community have supported advancements in global health, stability, and democracy to combat climate change while making strides in promoting policies focused on expanding environmental justice. I have been heartened to see that combined efforts have created new jobs, increased standards of living, and lifted millions out of poverty. Now is not the time for the United States to turn its back on progress and our international partners.

“The fight to prevent a changing climate does not stop today. In response to the Trump Administration’s failure to lead, we must support the actions of our local leaders as they implement policies that prioritize improvements to public health and investments in programs that mitigate the growing dangers of climate change. I am proud to represent a district that prioritizes a sustainable relationship with nature, and I take my commitment to protecting our environment seriously. I will continue to fight for policies that allow for future generations to lead prosperous and healthy lives.”

 

 

“Each Memorial Day we remember and honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen are deserving of our utmost respect. America’s freedom and liberty are possible thanks to their service to our country. As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am honored to advocate for our military personnel and their families. I will continue to fight to make sure all active duty military, national guard members, reservists, veterans and gold star spouses receive the support and services that they deserve.

“On Memorial Day, and throughout the year, we should show our continued gratitude to the servicemembers, veterans, and their families who help keep our country free and prosperous. We are forever grateful for their service and the critical role they have in building a more just and stable world.”