The House Armed Services Committee will commence a “pretty intense” schedule of hearings in preparation for drafting the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill after the Obama administration delivers its new budget request next week, Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) told reporters Monday.
The committee’s goal will be to complete work on the annual policy bill before appropriators start marking up annual spending measures, Thornberry said.
“We’re going to be working pretty steadily over the next few weeks,” Thornberry said.
The hearings will cover all aspects of DOD policy, including benefits for military personnel, which became a point of contention during House-Senate negotiations over last year’s policy bill, reported CQ Roll Call.
“What we have to do . . . is look at the whole package of pay and benefits and try to get the best balance,” Thornberry said of the military’s “very complex package of different pay and benefit authorities.”
The committee is expected to mark up the new defense authorization bill on a similar timeline as last year, although the chairman did not disclose the markup schedule. On Friday, Politico reported the panel would mark up the measure on April 27, citing multiple sources. The committee is expected to provide more details shortly.