Armed Services panel sets markup

The House Armed Services Committee announced Thursday it will mark up a 2012 Pentagon authorization measure on May 11, with Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) saying it will mandate "fiscal responsibility."

The panel's subcommittees will mark up their portions of the authorization measure a week prior, the committee said in a statement.

“The National Defense Authorization Act will drive efficiency and transparency within the Department of Defense by mandating fiscal responsibility, accountability, and transparency," McKeon said in the statement. "We will take steps to incentivize competition at the Department of Defense and within the military services to give the American taxpayers the best return on their investments."

The Armed Services markup will be conducted under a new process designed to ensure the legislation adheres to House leaders' earmark ban.
“The old system of setting aside pots of money for members based on a seniority sliding scale to earmark to their districts or companies is a relic of a bygone age,” McKeon wrote in guidance sent to committee members on March 25.

McKeon and senior staffers will strictly enforce House leadership’s earmark ban, but aides have said the process will allow panel members to pitch “legislative proposals” for up-or-down votes by the full committee.
 Under the process, no proposal can move federal funds directly to a locality or a company. 
These proposals cannot call for monies to go to specific programs. They can, however, stipulate funding go into the Army’s research and development budget, according to the committee.
 What's more, all members’ proposals must identify an offset for the funds they seek to move, committee aides said.

All proposals will be voted on by the full committee and posted online. House members who are not part of the Armed Services Committee will not be able to amend the authorization bill until it reaches the House floor.