The Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up its draft of the annual defense authorization bill this week, but similar to past years, the public won’t be able to see much of the work.

Unlike the House Armed Services Committee, which holds a day-long public debate on the massive military policy measure, the Senate committee traditionally conducts their work in secret. Full committee debate on contentious issues like military sexual assault and defense spending priorities is done behind closed doors, despite criticism from open government groups.

Two of the subcommittees will hold their subject specific mark-ups this week: The personnel and readiness subcommittees both have public sessions planned Tuesday. It’s the sixth time in seven years that the personnel subcommittee has opened their mark up, but the first time since 2016 the readiness subcommittee’s work has been open.

House Armed Services officials are expected to begin their public work on the authorization bill next week.

Monday, July 19

Senate Armed Services — 5:30 p.m. — Russell 232A (closed to public)
Strategic Forces NDAA mark-up
The strategic forces panel will hold closed debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

Senate Armed Services — 6 p.m. — Russell 232A (closed to public)
Cybersecurity NDAA mark-up
The strategic forces panel will hold closed debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

Tuesday, July 20

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — Dirksen 106
Readiness NDAA mark-up
The readiness panel will hold open debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210
Education benefits
Department officials will testify on recent improvements to VA education benefits.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2118
DOD budget
Outside experts will offer their views on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — Dirksen G50
Nominations
The committee will consider a series of State Department nominations.

Senate Armed Services — 11 a.m. — Dirksen 106
Personnel NDAA mark-up
The personnel panel will hold open debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2118
Sexual Assault
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and members of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military will testify on the panel’s recent receommendations.

Senate Armed Services — 2:15 p.m. — Russell 232A (closed to public)
Airland NDAA mark-up
The airland panel will hold closed debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

Senate Armed Services — 3:30 p.m. — Russell 232A (closed to public)
Emerging Threats NDAA mark-up
The emerging threats panel will hold closed debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — 419 Dirksen
State Department
Outside experts will testify on efforts to modernize the State Department.

Senate Armed Services — 5 p.m. — Russell 232A (closed to public)
Seapower NDAA mark-up
The seapower panel will hold closed debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

Wednesday, July 21

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Israel-Palestine
Outside experts will testify on peacebuilding efforts between Israeli and Palestinian officials
.
Senate Armed Services — 10:30 a.m. — Dirksen 106 (closed to public)
NDAA mark-up
The full committee will hold closed debate on the annual defense authorization bill.

House Transportation — 11 a.m. — Rayburn 2167
Coast Guard budget
Service officials will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

Senate Foreign Relations — 11:15 a.m. — Dirksen G-50
Turkey
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland will testify on U.S. policy towards Turkey.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210
Electronic health records
Department officials will testify on recent delays to the VA electronic health record modernization program.

House Armed Services — 3 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Special operations budget
Gen. Richard Clarke, head of Special Operations Command, will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

Thursday, July 22

House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — Cannon 310
Terrorism
Department of Homeland Security officials will testify on the use of technology in terrorism.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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