Nearly 50 Groups Thank Members of Senate Armed Services Committee for Openness on NDAA but Urge More Transparency


May 10, 2012

Dear Ranking Member John McCain and Senators Kelly Ayotte, Scott Brown, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Claire McCaskill, Rob Portman, Jeanne Shaheen, and David Vitter:

Thank you for supporting more openness in the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) when you voted last year against closing the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the public.

We, too, are concerned that the Pentagon budget bill—a bill that last year authorized more than $662 billion in spending—is drafted mostly behind closed doors and debated by the committee in secret.

The public has a right to know how Congress is conducting the people’s business, particularly when so many taxpayer dollars and important wide-ranging policies are at stake. Moreover, as you know, the NDAA has become one of the few bills passed annually by Congress and thus has become a magnet for a host of other proposals, some of which traditionally would be considered by other committees—and some have been very controversial. And yet the SASC does not disclose the draft bill and amendments in advance of voting on the bill, and instead it closes debate and negotiations to the public

-- Full Letter --