WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement in response to assertions about a limited version of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), also known as a “skinny bill.”

“As our conferees continue to work through the differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY20 NDAA, there is one major sticking point: How to address the President’s use of Department of Defense funds for a border wall. However, this sticking point is no different than those in years past. Inevitably we have policy disagreements as we draft our bill each year, but for the last fifty-eight consecutive years the Congress has successfully negotiated and reconciled these differences for the better of our nation.

“Some have suggested that we will be forced to abandon our negotiations this year and instead pass a ‘skinny bill.’ Any bill that does not restrict wall funding would be challenging to bring to the House floor. It is equivalent to failure – not just for the men and women in uniform who are counting on us to pass the NDAA, but also to the national defense of our country.

“Authorizing our country’s national defense enterprise is difficult work and as one of Congress’ most serious responsibilities, it should not be taken lightly. Rather than give up, we will continue to push forward and work with our colleagues across the aisle and in both chambers, as well as the White House. I am confident we can reconcile our differences and put the country first.”