House panel rolls out timeline for defense policy bill markup

The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday released its schedule for taking up the fiscal 2016 defense policy bill.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) serves a blueprint for all Defense Department spending, as well as national security efforts at the Energy Department.

This year’s markup will be the first ever by the panel’s new chairman, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas).

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Thornberry, who has pushed for defense spending beyond the budget caps, will likely release his “chairman’s mark” of the policy roadmap on April 20, according to a committee aide.

That would be two days before the committee’s subpanels dig into their specific sections of the proposed legislation, with the heads of those subcommittees likely releasing their marks 24 hours in advance, the aide said.

The subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities, and the readiness subpanel will convene on April 22. 

The committee’s remaining four subpanels — tactical air and land forces; military personnel; seapower and projection forces; and strategic forces — will get to work on April 23.

The full Armed Services panel will come together on April 29 for its annual marathon markup of the NDAA, with the measure likely to reach the House floor the following week.

The Senate Armed Services Committee will likely release its version of the defense policy bill a few weeks later.

In February, President Obama unveiled a budget that asked for $561 in defense spending, about $38 billion over the caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Before adjourning for Easter recess, the full House approved a $3.8 trillion budget that included $523 billion in base defense spending, and $96 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funds.