WASHINGTON — The House Armed Services Committee is holding its annual defense authorization bill debate today, marking up the first full draft of the massive military budget and policy measure that will dictate thousands of policy changes for the armed forces next year.

The legislative marathon began at 10 a.m. and is expected to last well into the evening. Unlike their counterparts in the Senate, the House committee’s work is all done in public.

During the daylong work, the 62 lawmakers on committee will consider more than 400 amendments, some with lengthy, heated debate. But last year, more than 200 non-controversial amendments were also adopted by the committee with far less attention despite wide-ranging impact.

Military Times and Defense News is keeping a running tally of those issues below, in an effort to help highlight the wide range of policy items being discussed by elected officials:


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.

Joe Gould is the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He served previously as Congress reporter.

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