Watch politics in action LIVE

Posted by Patrick Ochs on May 7, 2014 

Want to watch the House Armed Services Committee markup the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act? You're in luck. C-Span is streaming the all-day affair HERE

For more on today's markup, click HERE for the article that ran in today's Sun Herald.

Below are the opening remarks of Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, chairman of the committee:

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us today as the Committee on Armed Services prepares to mark up H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.  First, let me express my appreciation to Ranking Member Smith for his commitment to the bipartisan spirit that has seen this bill passed for 52 consecutive years.  I’d also like to thank our members for their professionalism and for demonstrating once again that support for our troops is one of the highest of priorities in this Congress.

"The Mark under consideration today authorizes $521 billion in spending for national defense and an additional $79 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, consistent with the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Agreement and the House-passed budget.  It fulfills our Constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense while also maintaining our stewardship of the taxpayer dollar.

"The Mark supports and protects our warfighters and their families. It enforces responsibility and accountability for an enduring mission in Afghanistan, begins the process of reforming Department of Defense institutions and processes, and assures that America’s Armed Forces maintain the vital global presence that allows them to face current threats and prepare for new ones. The Mark also reflects difficult choices in its aim to balance the force with constrained resources. 

"This will be a long day, but it is also a bittersweet day. This is my last NDAA markup as Chairman, and as Member of Congress. I am incredibly proud of the bipartisan, transparent, and inclusive process our committee undertakes each year. The issues we address are complex and merit thoughtful consideration and debate. While we may not agree on everything, we all agree on why we’re here—we believe in a strong national defense, and we care about our men and women in uniform who sacrifice to provide that defense. 

"Serving as Chairman has been the great honor of my career. I am humbled by the many soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines whom I have met over the years.  I am thankful for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and appreciative of the staff here today.  Thank you all for your service and your hard work.

"With that said, let’s get to work."

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