Press Releases

WASHINGTON – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA), Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan requesting he revise a report on climate change and its impacts on national security. The report, presented to Congress on January 10, failed to meet the basic requirements laid out in statute.

The text of the letter is attached and pasted below.

Climate Letter

Quotes from the co-signers:

 

“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.”

 

“The Defense Department’s initial report does not adhere to the requirements plainly spelled out in my amendment, and it does not reflect the magnitude of the threat that climate change poses to our military bases around the globe,” said Congressman Langevin. “The Pentagon must complete the necessary analysis to meet the parameters set forth in law. Our military service members, the installations they rely on, and the threat environments they deploy to are living with the reality of climate change. It is incumbent upon the Department and Congress to ensure we are properly preparing for a warming planet, and the report issued earlier this month falls well short of what is required to responsibly address the issue, protect our national security, and ensure military readiness.”

 

“It’s shameful that the Trump administration refuses to take the threat of climate change seriously,” said Congressman Garamendi. “As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Readiness, I am deeply concerned about the impact climate change will have on military readiness. The inadequate report that was provided to Congress failed to offer any solutions or strategies to address the impact climate change will have on our national security. That’s why I joined Armed Services Committee Chairman, Adam Smith, and Rep. Jim Langevin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, in sending a formal request to Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan to issue a comprehensive revised report to Congress. The administration is required by law to provide this information to Congress, and I will do everything in my power to ensure we receive this vital information in a timely manner.”

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced the bicameral No First Use Act, to establish in law that it is the policy of the United States not to use nuclear weapons first.   

Today the United States explicitly retains the option to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict, even in response to a non-nuclear attack. The No First Use Act would codify what most Americans already believe—that the United States should never initiate a nuclear war.

“Our current nuclear strategy is not just outdated—it is dangerous,” said the lawmakers in a joint statement. “By making clear that deterrence is the sole purpose of our arsenal, this bill would reduce the chances of a nuclear miscalculation and help us maintain our moral and diplomatic leadership in the world.”

The No First Use Act would strengthen U.S. national security by:

  • Reducing the risk of a nuclear miscalculation by an adversary during a crisis
  • Strengthening our deterrence and increasing strategic stability by clarifying our declaratory policy
  • Preserving the U.S. second-strike capability to retaliate against any nuclear attack on the U.S. or its allies

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement on the temporary end of President Trump’s shutdown and the President’s continued border wall demands:

“Finally, after 35 days, the President has agreed to do what he should have done in the first place: open the government. The impacts of the government shutdown on federal workers and communities across the country have been immense.

“This is a manufactured crisis, engineered by President Trump, that has harmed hundreds of thousands of Americans.  While not surprising, the tone-deaf remarks recently uttered by this President and senior members of his Administration, particularly Secretary Ross, show just how out of touch with reality they are about the difficult and dangerous position which the shutdown has put families. 

“We know the President manufactured this crisis because in his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request, submitted last February, Trump requested only $ 1.6 billion dollars for a border wall. In fact, the House and Senate gave the President the amount that he requested. However, that all changed when Democrats won the House in November. Now the President is arbitrarily demanding billions of dollars more for his wall and has been holding federal workers hostage over it.

“If the President believes there has been a change in our border security needs that warrants a wall, then he should articulate those reasons to Congress based on facts. Time and again, President Trump has lied and mischaracterized the actual situation to the American people, claiming a ‘crisis’ at the border and that the ‘worst of the worst’ are pouring into the United States. These claims are demonstrably false and made only to justify harmful policies meant to appease his base. If additional border security is so desperately needed, as Trump claims, then why is he proposing a border wall that experts, including Customs and Border Patrol officials, have determined is not an effective border security strategy?

“Even though President Trump has more recently demanded $5.7 billion dollars to fund 235 miles of border wall, it continues to be clear that he doesn’t actually have a solid plan for where it would be built. The Administration has provided no justification for why the arbitrary $5.7 billion is the amount needed now. Furthermore, and more fundamental to the problem, is that no substantial case has been made for why a wall is needed. 

“From the beginning, President Trump’s justification for a border wall was not rooted in a need for border security, but in the misguided notion that immigrants are somehow inherent threats to American society. This racist and xenophobic view has been the basis for Trump’s entire immigration agenda and could not be further from the truth.

“Our policy and legislative process does not work by holding the government hostage, and I hope the President has learned that doing so is unproductive and harmful. I continue to believe that spending billions on a border wall with no justification, especially in the wake of the Republican tax giveaway to the wealthy, is deeply irresponsible, especially as we have so many other worthy national priorities, including providing health care, improving education, and fixing crumbling infrastructure.

“I applaud the non-profit organizations, businesses, and community members who have stepped up to help alleviate the pains of the shutdown. My office and I will continue to do whatever we can to ensure workers are given the pay and benefits to which they are entitled and prevent unnecessary future shutdowns.”

 

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.”