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 McCaskillOn Capitol Hill, few name names on sexual harassment Democrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  Gillibrand to donate money from Franken's PAC 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.

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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) ManchinDemocrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  Overnight Finance: House passes sweeping tax bill in huge victory for GOP | Senate confirms banking regulator | Mulvaney eyed for interim head of consumer agency Overnight Regulation: Senators unveil bipartisan gun background check bill | FCC rolls back media regs | Family leave credit added to tax bill | Senate confirms banking watchdog MORE (D-W.Va.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDem: Ex-lawmaker tried to pin me to elevator door and kiss me In Washington and Hollywood, principle is sad matter of timing Mika Brzezinski: Bill Clinton needs to apologize or stop talking MORE (D-N.Y.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenQuestions loom over Franken ethics probe State Dept. spokeswoman acknowledges 'morale issue' Democrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  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.