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Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), expected to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in a few weeks, criticized President Trump's latest reported call for a massive $750 billion Pentagon budget in 2020, saying he will only support a "realistic" budget, and that the nation can be well defended for less money. He also said he would oppose any effort to have the military build the wall Mr Trump has said he wants on the southern border with Mexico. Smith said he does not expect the bipartisan Senate vote to prevent the Administration from supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen to impress the White House, though it was still a worthwhile step to take.
The remarks came during a wide-ranging 76-minute exchange with journalists who are part of the Defense Writers Group.
On the budget, Smith rejected the argument made by Defense Secretary Mattis that the nation can "afford" to spend what it takes for "survival":
“What do we mean by we can afford survival? Are the Russians really planning on launching an all-out war against us, or the Chinese? If they are, it would be news to everybody at this table,” Smith told the journalists December 12, 2018. “We've got to move past that sort of rhetoric and get down to an actual number. So, when I saw the $750 billion, to be perfectly honest with you, my reaction was they're just pulling a number out of the air. I want to see the justification for it.”  

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