HASC Ranking Member Opposes Defense Authorization

The ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee released a statement Wednesday saying he would not vote for the this year’s defense authorization, which keeps the base budget at sequester-level funding and bolsters overseas contingency operations funds. It’s a rare public move against the measure, which is normally passed with wide bipartisan support. “I understand that finding a compromise to remove the caps has been elusive, but that does not justify the use of gimmicks to protect one part of the budget, and shortchange other portions that are vitally important to the future of our country,” said Rep. Adam. Smith (D-Wash.) in the May 13 statement. He noted the White House “has made clear” it would veto bills that follow this approach and said, “Congress is wasting time with this dead-end approach.” Smith said he hopes the House, Senate, and the White House can reach a compromise in the coming months that removes BCA caps and allows for a “responsible” approach to “budgeting.”