Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) released the following statement after Committee Democrats elected new subcommittee chairs Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) at a meeting today to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Congressman Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) as Chairman of the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee: 


  “I am pleased to announce that House Armed Services Committee Democrats have elected Congressman Adam Smith to chair the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez to chair the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.  I am confident that Congressman Smith and Congresswoman Sanchez will continue to serve our committee and our country well as they take on these new leadership responsibilities. I look forward to working with them in their new roles as the House Armed Services Committee begins work on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011.


 “I want to express my gratitude to Congressman Neil Abercrombie for serving Hawaii and our country for more than 19 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.  On the House Armed Services Committee, Neil’s hallmark has been making sure our troops have the equipment they need to protect our country and stay safe.  His leadership helped prompt the Pentagon to speed up the delivery of life-saving body armor and MRAP vehicles to our forces on the frontlines.  I have been honored to serve with Neil, and I will greatly miss his wise counsel, his good humor, and his loyal friendship.  I know Congressman Abercrombie will continue to be a forceful and effective advocate on behalf of Hawaii’s needs and interests.”



Subcommittee chairmen were selected by the Caucus of the Committee pursuant to the Rules of the House Armed Services Committee and the Democratic Caucus.  The full slate of subcommittee chairmen for the Committee will be submitted to the House Democratic Leadership for their consideration, and the new subcommittee chairmen will assume their posts immediately, pending no vote of disapproval by the House Democratic Caucus.