A Democrat takeover of the House in November would not only shift the fortunes of the Trump administration, it would also make Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., one of the most powerful voices on defense policy in Washington.

Smith, an 11-term congressman in a solidly blue district, has been the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee minority since 2011.

If pollsters are right and Democrats manage to flip the chamber, Smith is in line to finally take the chairman gavel under the new majority — and realign defense priorities.

Smaller defense spending, a more limited role for the U.S. military in the world, and fewer nuclear weapons are central to the vision Smith has laid out for Armed Services.

“We are not in a fiscal position to have the size of defense budget that a lot of people envision when they start spinning out all of these nightmare scenarios about everything that we have to be prepared for,” Smith said this month when asked about his priorities if he holds the committee gavel.

That could mean a dramatic shift after two years of major Pentagon budget hikes championed by Republican leaders, including current Armed Services Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and the late Sen. John McCain, who headed the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The last two National Defense Authorization Acts passed by the committee — totaling $700 billion and $717 billion — represent the largest year-on-year increase for defense in 15 years.

Thornberry said “the threats to our country have rarely been so great” and that he looks forward to working with Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who has replaced McCain.

But Smith may be in the House committee driver’s seat in January.

Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the chamber to have a majority and Republicans are defending 66 seats in competitive races, according to the Cook Political Report. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball says Democrats are favored to flip the House but a range of outcomes remain possible, including the GOP retaining its majority.

Smith has taken a more skeptical view of the broad range of warnings about Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, terrorist groups, and the declining state of U.S. military readiness compared to Thornberry.

The $717 billion NDAA is “too high,” Smith said. The Pentagon and think tanks have come to the committee to scare “the hell out of us” with testimony, Smith said during a conference discussion this month.

“Every threat we ever hear about we’re not ready, we are hopelessly outgunned, outmanned, everything is falling apart, we are all going to die basically, all part of an effort to get us to spend a massive amount of money on any one of a thousand different things,” he said.

Democrats have a more realistic outlook over the course of the next decade of how much money is actually going to be available for defense, Smith said.

“Our country has priorities, we have got a debt, we have got a deficit, we have infrastructure problems, we’ve got health care, education. There is a whole lot that is necessary to make our country safe, secure and prosperous and you have to look at it within the entire picture,” he said. “How much of that pie can go to defense, and I think we are going to take a more realistic look at that and then try to figure out how to fund it.”

Nuclear weapons could be at the top of the list if House Democrats scale back on defense. Smith called it the No. 1 difference between the two parties.

“I think that the Republican party and the [Pentagon’s] Nuclear Posture Review contemplates a lot more nuclear weapons than I and most Democrats think we need,” he said. “We also think the idea of low-yield nuclear weapons are extremely problematic going forward and when we look at the larger budget picture that is not the best place to spend the money.”

The Pentagon’s nuclear review released this year called for a new smaller yield nuclear warhead that could be launched from submarines. Republicans backed development over loud Democrat objections.

But the overall U.S. nuclear arsenal is a major issue for Congress and the defense budget. Modernizing and maintaining the arsenal could cost $1.2 trillion over the next three decades, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The Pentagon is already moving along with plans for the new warhead and a variety of other projects, and that will likely require support from Congress.

“The nuclear enterprise delivers deterrence for us very, very powerfully. However, over the last 30-40 years we’ve allowed the nuclear infrastructure to deteriorate,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said this month. “We are now in a situation where every leg of the triad has major developments going on.”