It’s that time again: National defense authorization act season. (Just loosen your tie and take a deep breath, nervous defense wonk, Intercepts is mildly confident your program is going to survive. Probably.)
Following long-held custom, the House Armed Services Committee kicks things off this week with a series of subcommittee mark ups as the panel begins building its 2014 Pentagon policy bill.
The subcommittees should give defense wonks a look at their initial bills as soon as today (Tuesday), before each issue-specific subpanel makes changes on Wednesday or Thursday. As we reported May 6 in our defense authorization preview, armed drones, base closures and what to do about sequestration will be top-shelf issues.
Though not specifically the purview of Defense News readers, add to the top-issue list the sexual assault epidemic that’s plaguing the military. Full subcommittee-by-subcommittee schedule, after the jump.
HASC’s Strategic Forces subcommittee will get the mark up fun started Wednesday morning (10:30 a.m. EST), with the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee getting to work next (12 p.m.). The Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee is slated to go off third on Wednesday (1:30 p.m.), and the Personnel subcommittee is scheduled to get to work just before defense-sector works spill into the bars and restaurants of Crystal City, Rosslyn and Pentagon City for happy hour (3:30 p.m.).
On Thursday, the Tactical Air and Land Forces subpanel leads off (9 a.m.), and the Readiness subcommittee wraps up the legislating fun (10:30 a.m.).
Check back to Intercepts and DefenseNews.com for our coverage of the legislative sausage-making.
The full committee will mark up and vote on the final version of the complete 2014 national defense authorization act on June 5.
The Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up its version of the bill, behind closed doors, in mid-June. A conference committee eventually will have to iron out any differences in policy prescriptions and budget authorization level differences.
There are new policy wrinkles and other developments, like sequestration and what to do about the CIA’s armed drone program. But, the process has changed little over the years. Same as it ever was.