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Senate to Maintain Practice of Marking up Policy Bill behind Closed Doors

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  • June 7, 2011
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The Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill next week in closed sessions, with one exception, continuing its past practice of keeping the measure under wraps until the markup is complete.

Last month, the House Armed Service Committee for the first time released the text of each section of the bill before marking it up in subcommittee or in the full committee, part of an effort by House Republicans to make the legislative process more open.

The Senate committee’s decision to stick to its past practice means that the entire bill text and report language will not be available until sometime after the full committee finishes its markup, expected to occur in the evening of June 16. If necessary, the committee would continue meeting on June 17 to finish its work.

Typically, the committee releases a detailed summary of the legislation after the markup is completed, with the full text and report language not available until the Government Printing Office publishes them.

Five of the panel’s subcommittees will mark up their portions of the annual policy bill on June 14; all of those will be held in closed sessions except for the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee. The Emerging Threats and Capabilities will mark up its portion in the morning of June 15, before the full committee takes up the measure that afternoon.

Last month, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) sent a memo to the committee reminding members that it will not consider any earmarks in the legislation.

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