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The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy (as pertaining to national security), benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and other matters related to defense policy. The Armed Services Committee was created as a result of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 following U.S. victory in the Second World War. It merged the responsibilities of the Committee on Naval Affairs (established in 1816) and the Committee on Military Affairs (also established in 1816). Considered one of the most powerful Senate committees, its broad mandate allowed it to report some of the most extensive and revolutionary legislation during the Cold War years, including the National Security Act of 1947.
According to the Senate Rules Committee, all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects are referred to the Armed Services Committee:
- Aeronautical and space activities pertaining to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations.
- Common defense.
- Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally.
- Maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone.
- Military research and development.
- National security aspects of nuclear energy.
- Naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska.
- Pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents.
- Selective service system.
- Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.
Members, 113th Congress
The committee is chaired by Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, and the Ranking Member is Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma.
In June 2009, Armed Services Committee senators Joe Lieberman
, Carl Levin
(chair), and John McCain
, listen to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus
deliver his opening remarks for the fiscal year 2010 budget request in June 2009.
- Carl Levin, Michigan, Chairman
- Jack Reed, Rhode Island
- Bill Nelson, Florida
- Claire McCaskill, Missouri
- Mark Udall, Colorado
- Kay Hagan, North Carolina
- Joe Manchin, West Virginia
- Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire
- Kirsten Gillibrand, New York
- Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut
- Joe Donnelly, Indiana
- Mazie Hirono, Hawaii
- Tim Kaine, Virginia
- Angus King, Maine
- James Inhofe, Oklahoma, Ranking Member
- John McCain, Arizona
- Jeff Sessions, Alabama
- Saxby Chambliss, Georgia
- Roger Wicker, Mississippi
- Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire
- Deb Fischer, Nebraska
- Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
- David Vitter, Louisiana
- Roy Blunt, Missouri
- Mike Lee, Utah
- Ted Cruz, Texas
Source: 2013 Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page S296
Committee on Military Affairs, 1816–1947
Committee on Armed Services, 1947–present
- ^ Rule XXV: Committees, Standing Rules of the United States Senate.
- ^ Angus King is an independent, but caucuses with the Democrats.