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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.”  

Breaking Defense: Adam Smith: Doubts $750B Budget, Praises Army, Downplays Yemen War Powers Bill

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/12/adam-smith-doubts-750b-budget-praises-army-downplays-yemen-war-powers-bill/

Washington Examiner: Adam Smith lays out his defense budget strategy: ‘We can do it for less money’

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/adam-smith-lays-out-his-defense-budget-strategy-we-can-do-it-for-less-money

Adam Smith: Bipartisan support to block Trump using military to build wall

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/adam-smith-bipartisan-support-to-block-trump-using-military-to-build-wall

Space News: Incoming HASC Chairman to oppose creating a separate military branch for space

https://spacenews.com/incoming-hasc-chairman-to-oppose-creating-a-separate-military-branch-for-space/

Task and Purpose: Key Democrat To Trump: No, The Military Isn’t Going To Build Your Border Wall

https://taskandpurpose.com/democrat-says-military-not-build-border-wall/

The Hill: Top Armed Services Dem: Transgender troops ban will likely be left to courts

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/420996-top-armed-services-dem-transgender-troops-ban-will-likely-be-left-to-courts

Defense One: From Small Wars to Great Power, Trump’s Africa Reset Could Change USMilitary’s Role

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2018/12/small-wars-great-power-trumps-africa-reset-could-change-us-militarys-role/153485/

The Biggest Difference Between Inhofe and Smith? How Much Danger the U.S. Faces

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2018/12/smith-inhofe/153630/?oref=defense_one_breaking_nl

Defense Daily: Smith: Readiness Funding Will Not Be Cut in FY ’20 Defense Budget

http://www.defensedaily.com/smith-readiness-funding-will-not-cut-fy-20-defense-budget/

McClatchy Newspapers: Military panel’s top Dem: War Powers Resolution won’t move White House on Yemen

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article222995600.html

Stars and Stripes: By using military to build wall, Trump breaks 'single, biggest campaign promise,' Democrat says

https://www.stripes.com/news/by-using-military-to-build-wall-trump-breaks-single-biggest-campaign-promise-democrat-says-1.560329

Aviation week: Key House Democrat Seeks Realistic Budget Top Line

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/key-house-democrat-seeks-realistic-budget-top-line

Military Times: Military ‘equality’ issues — including transgender troops — atop Democrats’ 2019 defense agenda

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/12/12/military-equality-issues-including-transgender-troops-atop-democrats-2019-defense-agenda/

American Military News: Incoming House Armed Services Chair: Bipartisan support to block Trump using military to build border wall

https://americanmilitarynews.com/2018/12/incoming-house-armed-services-chair-bipartisan-support-to-block-trump-using-military-to-build-border-wall/

The Daily World: Rep. Adam Smith says War Powers Resolution won’t move White House on Yemen

https://www.thedailyworld.com/news/rep-adam-smith-says-war-powers-resolution-wont-move-white-house-on-yemen/

News Max: Dem Rep. Adam Smith Hits Pentagon Argument for Bigger Budget

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/adam-smith-pentagon-budget/2018/12/12/id/894168/

KFGO: U.S. lawmaker hit backs at Pentagon argument for bigger budget

https://kfgo.com/news/articles/2018/dec/12/us-lawmaker-hit-backs-at-pentagon-argument-for-bigger-budget/

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