Washington D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement after the House passed the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act:

I am pleased to see that the House has passed this important piece of legislation. I would also like to thank my colleagues and staff for their dedication to completing the bill. I would like to thank Chairman McKeon and Chairman Levin, who are both retiring, for their service and dedication to our country and men and women in uniform. They have been great colleagues and great friends and I wish them the very best in their retirement. 

While this bill is not perfect, overall it provides our men and women in uniform with the tools and resources they need to maintain national security. It also provides the members of our Armed Services and their families with the benefits and support that they have earned through their service.

This year was not easy. Sequestration continues to force some very difficult decisions, and members in both chambers have struggled to find consensus. If sequestration remains the law of the land, than these decisions will only become more difficult. Moving forward, we have two choices: we can help the Department of Defense cope with the consequences of the congressionally mandated sequestration, or we can remove sequestration. I would prefer the latter, but Congress has demonstrated that removing sequestration will not be easy. If that remains the case, than we must help the Department of Defense deal with sequestration or our military readiness will be significantly degraded, and that is unacceptable.

Again, I would like to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their work on this bill, and I encourage the Senate to move quickly.