Tonight, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after being elected to serve as the next Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee:  

“It is an honor to be selected by my colleagues to represent them as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee in the 112th Congress. I would like to applaud Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Congressman Silvestre Reyes for a hard fought race. They are both very intelligent and dedicated Members of Congress and I look forward to working with them in the days ahead as we work to address our nation’s most pressing national security challenges. 

 “As Ranking Member, I will continue to be a strong advocate for our military personnel and their families. I am committed to providing them with the benefits and support they deserve for their years of faithful service. 

“I am committed to providing our Armed Forces with the best equipment and resources available to carry out their current and future missions.  At the same time, it must be a priority to ensure that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner.? This also includes carefully examining our current policies and working to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.  

“In Afghanistan, we must make certain that there is a clear policy that brings about the security and stability of the country while working toward responsibly drawing down our military forces. It is my fundamental belief that we need to draw down our troops as soon as we responsibly can. Frequent, long, and repeated deployments have put a strain on our military, our budget, and have had a negative impact on our foreign policy.  

“Moving forward in the next Congress, the Democratic Caucus needs knowledgeable leadership to represent their national security interests and principles. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 112th Congress and providing the leadership our country needs to confront the great challenges it faces.”