Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement today after President Biden signed executive orders to address the climate crisis at home and abroad while creating good-paying union jobs, building sustainable infrastructure, and building an equitable future with clean energy.

“President Biden is delivering on his promise to prioritize addressing the existential threat climate change poses to Americans and across the world. The Executive Orders will build on key actions the President took on day one including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and rolling back harmful standards implemented by the Trump administration in order to better protect our air, water, public lands, and communities.

“The President’s Executive Order to leverage the federal government’s purchasing power to purchase zero-emission vehicles and carbon pollution-free electricity is enormously important to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create good-paying clean energy jobs here in the U.S., and spur wider adoption of electric vehicles. In addition, the Biden Administration put a pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters and directs the Secretary of the Interior to identify steps that can be taken to double renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030.

“Today’s Executive Actions reaffirm the central role that equity and justice must play in addressing climate change. Adverse impacts of the climate crisis disproportionately affect Black, Brown, and disadvantaged communities. The order creates a government-wide Justice40 Initiative that will aim to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of relevant investments to disadvantaged communities. The order makes environmental justice a priority across the federal government, establishing a new Interagency Council and Advisory Council on the issue and directing federal agencies to develop programs and policies that address the disproportionate environmental and health impacts on disadvantaged communities.

“While there is still much work to be done, including Congressional action to provide robust investments in a clean energy economy, the steps being taken by the Biden-Harris administration clearly demonstrate their commitment to treating the climate crisis with the scale and intersectional approach we need. I look forward to building on these executive actions and working with my colleagues to better address the climate crisis.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), today issued the following joint statement after the Biden administration announced a principal agreement with Russia to extend the New START Treaty.
“We commend the Biden administration on reaching agreement with Russia to extend the New START Treaty. Despite Russia's wide ranging malign activities, ensuring limits on and insight into Russia's nuclear arsenal is unquestionably in the national security interest of the United States,” the members said. “We can deter Russian aggression and secure our interests through arms control at the same time. As our military leaders have long stated, New START provides stability and predictability to the Department of Defense in its highest priority: Deterring the use of nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies. This is an important first step toward a more sane nuclear policy.”

Transgender Service Members Once Again Able to Serve Proudly 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President Joseph R. Biden signed an executive order to reverse the unconstitutional, discriminatory ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

“In just the first week of the Biden administration, the President has delivered on a number of promises that will help create a more perfect union that reflects our values. Today, by reversing the harmful, discriminatory policy of the previous administration, President Biden has ensured that thousands of transgender service members will be able to serve as their authentic selves. The Biden administration’s commitment to these brave service members – and their fair treatment under the law – underscores the immense value of each and every man and woman who serves or will serve our country in uniform, regardless of their sex assigned at birth. I want to thank these brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsman, Marines, and Guardians for their continued service and commend President Biden for his recognition of their importance to our all-volunteer force.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 335, legislation to provide Secretary-designate General Lloyd Austin III (ret.) the waiver required to complete his historic confirmation by a vote of 326 to 78.

“Today the House sent a clear message: Secretary-designate Austin is an extremely qualified leader who should be swiftly confirmed by the Senate and assume the role of Secretary of Defense. Our country faces a myriad of national security challenges, and President Biden deserves the cabinet of his choosing as his administration seeks to address these challenges.

“In his conversations with me and many other members of the House, Secretary-designate Austin has proven that he is a capable leader, who is committed to the civilian control of our military and is ready to lead the Department of Defense as soon as he is confirmed. I remain optimistic that the Senate will act expeditiously to complete Secretary-designate Austin’s historic confirmation.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement prior to Secretary-designate, retired General Lloyd Austin’s participation in an informal roundtable with a bipartisan group of members to discuss the importance of civilian control of the military.
“I am very glad that Secretary-designate Austin has agreed to sit down with members of the committee today to further explain his commitment to civilian control of the military. While we hoped to hold an open hearing with the Secretary-designate and he had agreed to do so, procedural issues have prevented a hearing. The House has not yet finalized the roster of members who will serve on our committee in the 117th Congress. As a result, we were unfortunately unable to complete the required procedural work that must precede any formal committee business in this new Congress.
“While today’s roundtable will be an informal event, it is still enormously important. The Secretary-designate chose to speak with members because it is important to him, and the entire Biden-Harris administration, to be transparent and accountable to the American people. Secretary-designate Austin understands that some members had reservations about his nomination given the need for a waiver, and his willingness to have an open dialogue with Congress is a testament to the kind of leader he is and will be once his historic confirmation is complete.
“This afternoon the House will vote on the waiver necessary to complete the Secretary-designate’s confirmation process. Once the House has acted, I am optimistic that the Senate will act swiftly to complete Secretary-designate Austin’s confirmation and provide the Pentagon with the strong, stable leadership required for these tumultuous times.”