Senators announce defense policy bill schedule

By Tony Bertuca / May 26, 2020 at 11:57 AM

The Senate Armed Services Committee will begin considering the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill in closed session at the subcommittee-level June 8 and plans to approve its final version either June 10 or, if needed, June 11.

"While we continue to address the coronavirus, we still have a sworn duty to address the threats facing our nation," Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said in a statement. "For the past 59 years -- in spite of any and all obstacles -- the Armed Services Committee has enacted a bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act. This year will be no different; the NDAA will be a priority. The pandemic just makes it all the more important that we care for our service members and their families, maintain peak readiness and continue modernizing and preparing for the future -- just as the National Defense Strategy urges."

Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) said he looks forward to working with Inhofe to craft a "comprehensive, effective NDAA."

The subcommittees on readiness and strategic forces will convene to mark up the bill on June 8. They will be followed on June 9 by the subcommittees on personnel, emerging threats and capabilities, airland, seapower and cybersecurity. The committee plans to report its final version to the full Senate either June 10 or June 11. Except for the personnel subcommittee, all sessions will be closed to the public.

The House Armed Services Committee, which has open-session consideration of its version of the bill, has yet to announce its schedule.