Senate panel to mark up defense policy bill this month

By Tony Bertuca / June 5, 2023 at 4:34 PM

The Senate Armed Services Committee intends to debate its version of the fiscal year 2024 defense authorization bill this month, with subcommittee meetings starting June 20.

The committee released the following schedule:

Tuesday, June 20:

4:30 PM – Subcommittee on Cybersecurity – (CLOSED)

5:00 PM – Subcommittee on Airland – (CLOSED)

5:30 PM – Subcommittee on Strategic Forces – (CLOSED)

Wednesday, June 21:

9:30 AM – Subcommittee on Seapower (CLOSED)

10:00 AM – Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support – (CLOSED)

10:30 AM – Subcommittee on Personnel – (OPEN)

11:00 AM – Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities – TBA

The full committee, meanwhile, will meet in closed session to consider the bill starting June 21 and will meet again Thursday and Friday if necessary.

Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) said the importance of the massive must-pass military policy bill has never been more urgent.

“Each year, the National Defense Authorization Act provides our forces with the resources, training, equipment, and capabilities they need to keep Americans safe,” he said.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the committee’s ranking member, said he looks forward to working alongside Reed to craft the bill.

“As we continue our work on the National Defense Authorization Act, it is vital that we retain a laser focus on the growing threats to the United States that have created the most dangerous security environment since World War II,” he said.

Though the bill is primarily a policy measure and not spending legislation, it does authorize the annual national defense topline. Congress recently passed debt and spending legislation that caps the FY-24 total defense budget at $886 billion -- the amount President Biden has requested.

Senate Republicans, however, are working to build an “emergency defense supplemental” that would include defense spending that is not subject to the cap.