Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement after Buck McKeon announced he will not seek reelection:
As Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the men and women of our Armed Forces. Day in and day out, Buck has forcefully advocated for a strong and thoughtful national defense.
Buck set a tone on this committee that the rest of Congress should seek to emulate. As political tension continued to rise in Congress, Buck stayed committed to bipartisanship. We formed a strong working relationship that allowed us to pass the National Defense Authorization Act year after year. Given all the tense national security issues we have faced over the years, it would have been easy to devolve into partisan fights. Buck never let that happen – he never let our disagreements get in the way of providing for our troops. Buck understood the importance of continuing to make progress. While we disagreed, and disagreed on many things, we disagreed in a respectful way that allowed this committee to continue to move forward and achieve its important goals.
Additionally, early on Buck saw the threat posed to our national security by sequestration. He made sure that everyone – both Republicans and Democrats alike – understood that sequestration was a policy that could not stand. It is fitting that, during the week of his retirement, we pass an appropriations bill that is free of sequestration.
As a friend, colleague, and partner on this committee, Buck will be deeply missed. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors and sincerely hope that the next Chairman follows in the footsteps of Howard “Buck” McKeon.