Friday, December 17, 2010

Smith Wins Post as Ranking Member

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., is to be the next ranking (Democrat, Republican as Chair) member of the House Armed Services Committee.
The contest for the top Democratic job on the A-list committee came down to Smith and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., but the seven-term Washington Democrat ultimately won.
“I appreciate the support and vote of confidence from my colleagues on the Steering and Policy Committee,” Smith said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday night. “After a thorough and lengthy vetting process, which allowed all members of the Steering and Policy Committee to fully understand the positions, policies, and experience of all three candidates, it is an honor to receive the nomination to serve as ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee.”
House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, had also vied for the Armed Services job.
Smith now serves as the chairman of the Armed Services Air and Land Subcommittee, which oversees Army and Air Force programs and is arguably the most powerful of the panel’s seven subcommittees. He previously served as chairman of the Terrorism and Unconventional Threats Subcommittee.
Smith today (serving now as the Chair, Air and Land Forces Subcommittee) commented on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Bill:
“This legislation supports the men and women of our Armed Forces by ensuring that they have the resources they need. It places our policies and priorities exactly where they belong – on our troops and their families.
“The bill authorizes a 1.4 % pay raise for our troops, strengthens military health care and family support programs, and authorizes numerous other programs that will assist military families. It builds on the Committee’s efforts to support our military personnel and ensures that our military is properly resourced to meet the threats we face today, as well as those of the future.
“In addition to accomplishing these goals, this legislation contains vital provisions that will improve the Department of Defense acquisition system to ensure that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner.
“As the Chairman of the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, I am pleased to see this legislation authorizes funding for the procurement and research development programs to ensure that our soldiers and airmen have the equipment and resources they need to carry out their missions. This includes funding for programs such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, equipment for the National Guard and Reserve, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems, as well as other vital equipment and systems used by the Army and Air Force.
“This bill is vitally important to our national security and I am proud of the support that it provides to our troops and their efforts to keep us safe. I believe it strikes the right balance between fighting the conflicts of today, while preparing our forces for the conflicts of the future.”

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