Legislative Proposals

Submitting Legislative Proposals for the National Defense Authorization Act

On March 25, Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon released guidance by which members of the committee could amend the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 when the full committee marks up the legislation in May.

The guidance upholds Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon’s commitment to ban all earmarks within legislation before the committee in the 112th Congress while also creating a fully transparent process which allows members to amend the President’s budget request for the Department of Defense.

The carefully crafted process released by Chairman McKeon will allow the U.S. Congress to uphold its Constitutional duties while also banning earmarks and forcing every legislative proposal offered by a member to stand on national security merits in order to be adopted.

Chairman McKeon’s new process breaks from past committee practice in several important ways, including:

  • Total Earmark Ban.  All earmarks—as defined by House and Republican Conference rules—are banned.  No member will be allowed to direct money with or to an entity or locality.  Additionally, budgetary legislative proposals must be awarded on merit-based selection procedures or through a competitive award process.
  • Complete Transparency.  The process for members to offer legislative proposals to the National Defense Authorization Act will be completely transparent.  Budgetary legislative proposals must be offered as an amendment during the Armed Services Committee’s consideration of the National Defense Authorization. All legislative proposals considered by the committee will be part of the public record and all adopted proposals will be posted on the Armed Services Committee website. 
  • Full Debate before Adoption.  Because budgetary legislative proposals must be offered as an amendment, each proposal will be subject to debate and ultimately either approved or rejected by members of the Armed Services Committee based on the merits of military and national security utility.
For more information about the process members may use to amend the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, please read Chairman McKeon's guidance and memo to members included below.