Senate defense committee delays NDAA markup
Uncertainty over White House budget delivery sparks hesitancy
- By Lauren C. Williams
- Apr 30, 2021
NOTE: This article first appeared on FCW.com.
The must-pass defense policy bill has hit a significant delay in the Senate, because the White House budget is still in progress.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman for the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that the committee would delay marking up the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act due to "the uncertainty of the timing of the president's budget submission."
"The committee has made a difficult decision to delay the markup of the NDAA until July," Reed said April 29 during a hearing on worldwide intelligence threats.
Last year, the SASC completed its markup of the bill in early June. That July delay will make space for nomination hearings of presidential appointees, he said.
There are currently 23 defense nominations or intentions to nominate for Senate-confirmed positions, including combatant commanders. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley are also scheduled to testify in June.
"That leaves May to focus on hearings for civilian nominations," Reed said. "Getting these nominees confirmed as quickly as possible will require many hearings, including possible full committee hearings on Wednesday and so I ask everyone to be as patient and cooperative as possible while we perform this very necessary oversight duty."
The announcement comes after Reed's counterpart, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) expressed concerns about the Biden administration's reticence to provide a budget and the potential for continuing resolutions in the new fiscal year.
"If we don't get the budget by a certain timeframe, we can't markup the appropriations bills and the defense bill," Smith said April 22. "There is [no] time to get through the legislative process if we don't get this thing before May 10 and that's all I can say."
Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.
Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at email@example.com, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.
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