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DoD Testimony to Congressional Committees (Feb-Sep)


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DoD Testimony to Congressional Committees (Feb-Sep)


Alternate Definition

Written and oral statements provided to/before Congressional committees by senior ranking DoD officials on proposed legislation and bills that have been introduced to the House of Representatives or the Senate.

General Information

When a bill is introduced to the Congress, it is referred to a committee for further review and action. That committee may ask DoD for written and/or oral comments on the measure; these are known as hearings.


Hearings are conducted to gather additional information and views from senior DoD officials. Committees regularly receive testimony from the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Combatant Commanders (COCOMs), Service Chiefs, Services Secretaries, and other officials. Witnesses summarize submitted statements and respond to questions from Congressional Members.


The primary defense oversight committees that conduct hearings are the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), the Senate Appropriations Committee - Subcommittee on Defense (SAC-D), and the House Appropriations Committee - Subcommittee on Defense (HAC-D). Several other committees and subcommittees may also conduct hearings on matters pertaining to Defense. After testimony, witnesses may be required to respond in writing to additional questions for the record.


Following hearings on introduced bills, committees meet to “mark up” legislation. For defense bills, these markups are generally scheduled to take place during the March - June period. The purpose of these meetings is to decide whether the bill should be amended and referred to the full House and/or Senate for a vote. DoD will often discuss important issues with members or staff prior to the markup.  If the committee votes to report the bill, it will also submit a document - the “Committee Report” - which explains the bill’s purposes and provisions.