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 McCaskillThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Republicans see some daylight in midterm polling Trump urges anti-abortion advocates to rally in November Calif. gov candidates battle for second place 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) ManchinOvernight Finance: House sends Dodd-Frank rollbacks to Trump | What's in the bill | Trump says there is 'no deal' to help ZTE | Panel approves bill to toughen foreign investment reviews House votes to ease regulation of banks, sending bill to Trump Senators demand answers on Trump’s ZTE deal MORE (D-W.Va.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenators near deal on sexual harassment policy change Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump hits federally funded clinics with new abortion restrictions Dem senators ask drug companies to list prices in ads MORE (D-N.Y.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenJudd Gregg: 'Medicare for all' means rationing for everyone The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade 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.