Senate Armed Services increases open markups

The Senate’s Armed Services Committee’s markup of the Defense authorization bill will get a little more transparent this year, as three subcommittee will hold open markups of the annual Defense policy bill.

Last year, the Readiness subcommittee, led by Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill welcomes ninth grandson in a row Dem group launches M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators Senate Dems block crackdown on sanctuary cities MORE (D-Mo.), was the only subpanel to hold an open markup of the bill, which authorizes roughly $600 billion in defense spending.

Now the Airland, Personnel and Readiness subcommittees will all make the markup process open when the committee works on the Defense authorization bill in June. The committee announced the schedule Thursday.

The full committee markup, where many of the bill’s contentious policy issues are hashed out and voted on, will remain closed, the committee said.

The House Armed Services Committee is the only one of the four congressional defense panels with a fully open markup process for its annual budget bill, which occurs in a marathon session that typically runs well past midnight.

A committee spokeswoman said that the decision to open up the markup process is up to individual subcommittee chairmen.

Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Toomey to introduce bill broadening background checks for firearms Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary MORE (D-W.Va.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandAmerican women will decide who wins and loses in 2018 elections Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Calls mount from Dems to give platform to Trump accusers  MORE (D-N.Y.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Defense: VA chief won't resign | Dem wants probe into VA hacking claim | Trump official denies plan for 'bloody nose' N. Korea strike | General '100 percent' confident in US missile defense Trump official denies US planning 'bloody nose' strike on North Korea House Oversight Committee opens probe into sexual abuse of gymnasts MORE (D-N.H.) are all holding open markups this year.

The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes the Pentagon’s budget levels and sets Pentagon policy. It has been signed into law for 51 straight years.