Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement about the Administration’s space force proposal:
“The House Armed Services Committee has been working to increase the U.S. military’s focus on space for many years, including an effort to create a Space Corps in the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Given that space is an essential aspect of nearly everything we do, I hoped that President Trump and DoD would exercise careful consideration and develop a realistic path forward. However, the details of the Space Force proposal sent to Congress by the President are highly problematic.
“First, it seeks to create a top-heavy bureaucracy with two new four-star generals and a new Under Secretary of the Air Force to oversee a force of approximately 16,000 people. Second, it requests an almost unlimited seven-year personnel and funding transfer authority that seeks to waive a wide range of existing laws - all without a detailed plan or analysis of the potential end state or cost. Finally, a large part of the proposal is an attack on the rights of DoD civilian employees. It asks for broad authority to waive long-standing and effective elements of civil service rules, pay rates, merit-based hiring, and senior civilian management practices.
As a result, I will look at other potential legislative options regarding the Space Force, either in or separate from the annual National Defense Authorization Act.”