Committee chairman won’t back Dem move to increase defense spending

By Tony Bertuca / June 22, 2022 at 9:55 AM

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) says he will not support a fellow Democrat’s amendment to increase national defense spending by $37 billion above President Biden’s request when the committee convenes today to debate the fiscal year 2023 defense authorization bill.

Though the amendment, offered by Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), has the backing of Republicans and is likely to pass with bipartisan support, Smith said he believes the Defense Department does not need the budget increase.

"President Biden’s budget request will meet our country’s defense challenges, and the department does not need more than it asked for,” Smith said in a statement. “I have always believed that the department needs more discipline, not more money, and I look forward to making that argument once again during a robust debate."

Smith said he has “enormous respect” for Golden and his colleagues who support the budget increase.

“I simply disagree with them on this issue,” he said.

Smith has also publicly predicted that the defense budget will grow beyond what Biden has requested.

Golden, in a statement, cited historic inflation as a key concern for DOD’s topline.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the committee’s ranking Republican who has been pushing a defense budget increase for months, has said he intends to support Golden’s amendment.