WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) of the House Armed Services Committee made the following statement on the mark-up and passage of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act out of Committee:
“This Committee is maintaining its bipartisan tradition. We worked through a lot of issues today, a lot of controversial issues and I think we did it well. We did it the way legislation is supposed to be done. We had good debates, disagreed, we voted, and we passed a very significant piece of legislation. I am going to vote for this piece of legislation, but the fiscal cliff issue is no small matter.
Regarding the comparisons to 2008, this is different. We have the Budget Control Act from 2011, we have the budget caps coming. If we continue down the route that this bill goes down, which has the OCO running out about halfway through the year, we are counting on a supplemental. If this is the environment versus the environment before, it is a much, much more risky proposition.
I’m not going to leap up and say where we should cut $18 billion out of the base either. I have a few ideas, though I don’t know if I have $18 billion worth of ideas. But at some point we are going to have to live within our means—the means that we’ve decided to provide. I would love to see the Budget Control Act go away tomorrow, but if it doesn’t we are going to have some very difficult decisions. We have artfully put those off, but I think every member needs to prepare for how to approach that reckoning when it comes. That continues to be my concern about the underlying bill.
But there are a lot of good things in here, a lot of good work was done, and I plan to support the bill. I thank the Chairman and every single member of this Committee for their outstanding work.”