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Rep. Joe Courtney Statement on the Resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer

November 25, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, released the following statement on the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer:

"As Chairman of the House Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, I have worked closely with Secretary Spencer since he was appointed by President Trump. He made himself available and accessible to the subcommittee, and was always willing to hear me out about my concerns and questions about Navy issues.  His resignation, like former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ resignation a year ago, was an act of conscience that should give pause to all Americans to consider the point he was making. As his letter stated, it was about his deeply held belief to uphold ‘the principle of order and discipline’ that he saw as critical to the protecting the lives of sailors, Marines and Department civilians. Clearly what the Commander in Chief was asking him to do, in his mind, was in conflict with that belief. His decision was not political or self-serving, and stands as yet another example of national security leaders standing up to questionable direction under this Administration.

"I am deeply troubled by this episode, which raises serious concerns about the ability for our military leadership to manage their forces and hold those that serve our nation to the highest standards without outside interference or political meddling. Congress, our men and women in uniform, and the American people deserve more explanation about what has transpired here."