The House Armed Services Committee is scheduled to begin consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) next week, bringing a new level of transparency to this once closed process. In addition to the new procedure recently introduced to amend the legislation, the committee will utilize a more transparent system to provide media, interested parties, and the general public with access to the legislation prior to it being considered by our Members.
Chairman McKeon is going above and beyond new House requirements to post all bill language online the day before consideration by a full committee or one of its subcommittees. In fact, he has instructed Armed Services Committee professional staff to post the descriptive section-by-section analysis and Directive Report Language in addition to bill language.
This new level of transparency is a major break from previous committee practice, which was to release a detailed summary only after the full committee approved the legislation. Specific bill and report language were traditionally not made available the general public until all details were published by the Government Printing Office.
This new effort by Chairman McKeon is meant to ensure that American taxpayers are investing and equipping a modernized military force in the most efficient and transparent way possible. These new transparency initiatives were recognized in the Army Times, calling them a “dramatic change in the process for writing the 2012 defense authorization bill.”
Below are specific dates and times when the Chairman will release information about each of the subcommittee and full committee marks and post details on the Armed Services Committee website:
- Military Personnel Subcommittee—Tuesday, May 3rd, at 10:15 a.m.
- Emerging Threats and Capabilities Committee—Tuesday, May 3rd, at 11:45 a.m.
- Strategic Forces Subcommittee—Tuesday, May 3rd, at 1:15 p.m.
- Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee—Tuesday, May 3rd, at 2:45 p.m.
- Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee—Tuesday, May 3rd, at 4:15 p.m.
- Readiness Subcommittee—Wednesday, May 4th, at 9:15 a.m.
- Full Committee—Monday, May 9th, at 12:00 p.m. (will include programmatic funding tables)
The first Markup for the FY 2012 NDAA will be on Wednesday, May 4, at 10:30am in Rayburn House Office Building and the complete schedule can be found on the Committee website.