Press Releases

Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on transgender military service:

"I am extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to allow the Trump administration to enforce its discriminatory ban on transgender military service without proper due process in the courts. Anyone who is qualified and willing should be allowed to serve their country openly, without their career being affected by an arbitrary, discriminatory directive from the President. We have fought against this bigoted policy at every step, and we will continue to do so."

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

“Today, we celebrate the life and enduring legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. His courage and passion has inspired generations of Americans to advocate for freedom and justice. 

“As we reflect on Dr. King’s vision of a nation where individuals are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, we recognize that the fight for full equality is not over. We must honor Dr. King’s life work by continuing to build towards his goal of equal rights and opportunities for all. On this day and every day, let us focus less on the things that drive us apart and instead on what brings us together and builds upon the foundation of Dr. King’s leadership.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement today in response to President Trump’s speech:

“The President's address to the nation failed to express even the slightest concern or support for the hundreds of thousands of Americans across our country who are living without paychecks because of this needless shutdown. It is wrong that the President and Congressional Republicans continue to hold workers and their families hostage. The President can and should re-open the government immediately. Democrats are always open to a fact-based discussion on the issues of border security and immigration reform, but the President’s remarks did nothing to advance that discussion."

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) issued the following statement following the release of the Defense Department’s report on climate change. Langevin amended the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, and Chairman Smith fought successfully for the amendment’s inclusion in the final conference report, expressing the sense of Congress that climate change is a national security issue and requiring the report on each service branch’s top ten military installations threatened by climate change:

“In 2017, House Democrats successfully required the Department of Defense to report on the impact that climate change will have on U.S. military installations. The Trump administration has now released that report and, unfortunately, it is inadequate. It demonstrates a continued unwillingness to seriously recognize and address the threat that climate change poses to our national security and military readiness,” said Chairman Smith. “While this climate report acknowledges that nearly all the military installations it studied are vulnerable to major climate change impacts, and provides numerous installation-level examples of those impacts, it fails to even minimally discuss a mitigation plan to address the vulnerabilities. The Department of Defense presented no specifics on what is required to ensure operational viability and mission resiliency, and failed to estimate the future costs associated with ensuring these installations remain viable. That information was required by law. The Department of Defense must develop concrete, executable plans to address the national security threats presented by climate change. As drafted, this report fails to do that.”

“I am deeply disappointed in the cursory report released by the Department of Defense regarding climate change as a matter of national security. While the Pentagon does rightly acknowledge that a changing climate will affect military readiness and installations, the report does not reflect the urgency of the challenge,” said Congressman Langevin. “Remarkably, the report comes after a year where the Department suffered nearly $10 billion in damage in just two extreme events at Tyndall Air Force Base and Camp Lejeune—two installations that were not even evaluated. Congress deliberately required a list of the top ten bases to specify the methodological rigor that is required to adequately evaluate risk and prioritize mitigation efforts. The report contains no such list. My amendment did not stipulate any geographic constraints on vulnerable installations - after all global warming is a global phenomenon. For no apparent reason, the report confines itself to U.S. bases. Extreme weather events, like the ones that the Department will be asking Congress for money to rebuild after, are not even included as a threat.”

“We need to know the risks to our military from climate change and the costs to mitigate them in order to protect the American people. This report brings us no closer to knowing them. It is unacceptable that the Department has ignored the clear instructions provided by law, and it is unacceptable that our service members and readiness will suffer as a result,” concluded Langevin. “I expect the Department to reissue a report that meets its statutory mandate and rigorously confronts the realities of our warming planet.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The House Democratic Conference today selected Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) to serve as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in the 116th Congress.

“This is an extremely challenging time for our country and the world. We are in dire need of oversight from Congress and principled, coherent thinking on U.S. national defense strategy. The Armed Services Committee has a long track record of working in a bipartisan manner to advance U.S. national security policy, and I look forward to working with Ranking Member Thornberry to make that happen.  

“As Chairman, I will work with my colleagues to promote transparency and Congressional oversight, enhance military readiness, combat inefficiency and waste at DOD, advance green technology in defense and address the threat climate change poses to our national security, fight for an inclusive military, and move towards a responsible approach to nuclear weapons.”