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.”