Washington D.C.Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the President’s Fiscal Year 2012 defense budget proposal:

“The Defense budget must provide the necessary tools and resources for keeping our nation safe, and it must provide our service members and their families with the benefits and support they deserve.  As Congress receives the President’s budget today, we must remember these fundamental requirements and proceed to ensure that they are met.

 “In the days ahead, the House Armed Services Committee will review the President’s budget proposal in detail. Throughout this process, I will work to ensure that the budget strengthens national security – which includes safeguarding our country’s financial status.  As we strive to confront unsustainable deficit spending, we should be mindful that simply spending more money on defense does not make us safer – spending the taxpayers’ money effectively and wisely does.

“Let me be perfectly clear: our country faces many national security challenges, and we must make certain that we have the proper resources and policies in place to meet current and future threats. This is my number one priority. However, reducing spending where appropriate and providing for our national defense are not mutually exclusive goals and I will seek to strike that balance.

“I look forward to reviewing the Defense budget and to working with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee as we write the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act to ensure that our nation is safe and our service members and their families are supported and cared for as they deserve.”