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Hearing of the Senate Airland Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee - Hearing to Mark Up the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Hearing

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senator MANCHIN. The subcommittee will come to order.

Today the Airland Subcommittee meets to mark up an original
bill, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.

I am pleased that the markup of the Airland Subcommittee will be held in open session, and I am confident that we can conduct our business in public without any disclosure of classified information or any adverse impact on the process. In this regard, I ask that any senator wishing to offer an amendment or raise an issue of a classified nature defer that to the full committee's consideration.

Please note also that while this morning's subcommittee meeting is an open session, the entire contents of the markup are subject to amendment throughout its consideration by the Armed Services Committee and are therefore embargoed until passage by the full committee and reported to the Senate.

Traditionally, the subcommittee has used the chairman's mark, the package of legislative provisions and report language that the majority and minority committee staffs have worked on together and that I have reviewed and approved. As a markup vehicle subject to amendment, without objection, we will use the chairman's
mark as the markup vehicle subject to an amendment.

In preparing for this markup, Senator Levin asked the subcommittee chairman to consider certain guidelines in evaluating and making recommendations for programs or activities to the fiscal year 2013 budget request. This markup package follows that
guidance.

This year, the portion of the Department's base and overseas contingency operations budget request falling under the Airland Subcommittee jurisdiction came to a total of $49 billion, including the $37.1 billion in procurement and $11.9 billion in research and development. As it stands right now, the chairman's mark recommends a net decrease to the base budget request of only $93.2 million. This equates to a less than one-tenth of 1 percent reduction to the Department's request. I believe members will find the
recommended reductions are minor but fully justified programmatically, sufficiently prudent, and do not create unacceptable strategic risk today or into the future.

Fiscal constraints under the Budget Control Act. Our interest in providing funding stability for Department programs and the Senate's continuing agreement regarding a moratorium on earmarking have significantly limited increasing the funds for programs this year. In this regard, I would highlight that a proposal before the subcommittee would fully support the Department's budget request for overseas contingency operations and would also support virtually all of the major weapons and equipment programs in the base, as requested.

Finally, the recommendation includes legislative proposals that would authorize the Department to manage programs to realize significant savings and would require the retention of an important intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to the ISR system. Before I turn to Senator Wicker, the ranking member, I want to compliment him on how well I think we have all worked together this year. I feel this has been truly a bipartisan effort through the hearings and continuing to this day. I know that your subcommittee staff, Bruce Hock and Tony Lazarski, as well as your military legislative assistant, Joe Lai, have all made a real contribution to the success of the subcommittee's effort, along with my staff, and Mara and Dan and Dave, and we want to thank everybody for all their hard work.


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