The Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up its draft of the annual defense authorization bill this week, but most of the work will take place behind closed doors and out of sight of the public.

Unlike the House Armed Services Committee — which held its markup of the measure during a daylong, public session last month — the Senate panel traditionally debates defense policy and budget issues in closed sessions.

This year, two subcommittees will hold legislative discussions in open hearings on Wednesday. The personnel panel has held public sessions to discuss their decisions for the last few years, while the seapower committee will break tradition by holding a public hearing this time.

The committee’s final draft is expected to be released by Friday. It will detail differences with the House version of the bill and set the outline for chamber negotiations for the rest of the summer. A final compromise is expected sometime this fall.

The defense authorization bill has passed through Congress for more than 60 years and is considered must-pass legislation by lawmakers because of the numerous pay and policy provisions it includes each year.

Tuesday, June 11

Senate Homeland Security — 3:30 p.m. — 342 Dirksen
Coast Guard Sexual Assault
Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan will testify on sexual assault and harassment prevention efforts in the service.

House Veterans' Affairs — 4:30 p.m. — 360 Cannon
VA Beneficiary Travel
Department officials will testify on problems with the beneficiary travel system.

Wednesday, June 12

House Appropriations — 9 a.m. — 2359 Rayburn
Foreign Operations
The full committee will mark up the annual State Department appropriations plan.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Western Hemisphere Competition
State Department officials will testify on great power competition issues in the Western Hemisphere.

House Transportation — 10 a.m. — 2167 Rayburn
Coast Guard Recapitalization
Service officials will testify on recapitalization plans for the Coast Guard.

Senate Armed Services — 10:15 a.m. — 216 Hart
NDAA Personnel Issues
The subcommittee on personnel will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill in a public session.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10:15 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Veterans Disability Ratings
Department officials will testify on problems with the disability ratings system.

House Oversight — 10:30 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn
V-22 Osprey Program
Military officials will testify on the V-22 Osprey program.

Senate Armed Services — 10:45 a.m. — 216 Hart
NDAA Seapower Issues
The subcommittee on seapower will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill in a public session.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — 360 Cannon
Pending Legislation
The subcommittee on economic opportunity will consider several pending bills.

Thursday, June 13

House Appropriations Committee — 9 a.m. — 2359 Rayburn
Defense Appropriations
The full committee will mark up the annual Defense Department appropriations plan.

House Veterans' Affairs — 9:30 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Veteran Spinal Cord Injuries
Department officials and outside advocates will discuss challenges facing veterans with spinal cord injuries.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
The committee will consider several pending nominations.

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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