U.S. Senate Committee On Armed Services
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U.S. Senate Committee On Armed Services

Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and former Chairman John Warner (R-VA) listen to Admiral Mike Mullen's confirmation hearing before the Armed Services Committee to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in July 2007. The Armed Services Committee is the prime scene of discussion regarding U.S. military in the Senate.
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.
Hearing regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates greets Ranking member, John McCain. December 2, 2010.
Hearing on sexual assault in the military, June 4, 2013

The Committee on Armed Services (sometimes abbreviated SASC for Senate Armed Services Committee on its Web site) 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. The committee tends to take a more bipartisan approach than other committees, as many of its members formerly served in the military or have major defense interests located in the states they come from.[1]


According to the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects are referred to the Armed Services Committee:[2]

  1. Aeronautical and space activities pertaining to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations.
  2. Common defense.
  3. Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally.
  4. Maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone.
  5. Military research and development.
  6. National security aspects of nuclear energy.
  7. Naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska.
  8. Pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents.
  9. Selective service system.
  10. Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.

Members, 116th Congress

Majority Minority

Members, 115th Congress

Majority Minority

Source: [4]


Subcommittee Name Chair Ranking Member
Airland   Tom Cotton (R-AR)   Angus King (I-ME)
Cybersecurity   Mike Rounds (R-SD)   Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Emerging Threats and Capabilities   Joni Ernst (R-IA)   Gary Peters (D-MI)
Personnel   Thom Tillis (R-NC)   Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Readiness and Management Support   Dan Sullivan (R-AK)   Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Seapower   David Perdue (R-GA)   Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Strategic Forces   Deb Fischer (R-NE)   Martin Heinrich (D-NM)


Committee on Military Affairs, 1816-1947

Committee on Naval Affairs, 1816-1947

Chair Party State Years
Charles Tait Republican Georgia 1816-1818
Nathan Sanford Republican New York 1818-1819
James Pleasants Republican Virginia 1819-1823
James Lloyd Adams-Clay Federalist Massachusetts 1823-1825
Robert Y. Hayne Jacksonian South Carolina 1825-1832
George M. Dallas Jacksonian Pennsylvania 1832-1833
Samuel Southard Anti-Jackson New Jersey 1833-1836
William Rives Jacksonian/Democratic Virginia 1836-1839
Reuel Williams Democratic Maine 1839-1841
Willie P. Mangum Whig North Carolina 1841-1842
Richard Bayard Whig Delaware 1842-1845
John Fairfield Democratic Maine 1845-1847
David Yulee Democratic Florida 1847-1851
William Gwin Democratic California 1851-1855
Stephen Mallory Democratic Florida 1855-1861
John R. Thomson Democratic New Jersey 1861
John Hale Republican New Hampshire 1861-1864
James Grimes Republican Iowa 1864-1870
Aaron Cragin Republican New Hampshire 1870-1877
Aaron A. Sargent Republican California 1877-1879
John R. McPherson Democratic New Jersey 1879-1881
James Donald Cameron Republican Pennsylvania 1881-1893
John R. McPherson Democratic New Jersey 1893-1895
James Donald Cameron Republican Pennsylvania 1895-1897
Eugene Hale Republican Maine 1897-1909
George C. Perkins Republican California 1909-1913
Benjamin Tillman Democratic South Carolina 1913-1918
Claude A. Swanson Democratic Virginia 1918-1919
Carroll S. Page Republican Vermont 1919-1923
Frederick Hale Republican Maine 1923-1933
Park Trammell Democratic Florida 1933-1937
David I. Walsh Democratic Massachusetts 1937-1947

Committee on Armed Services, 1947-present

Historical committee rosters

Members, 111th Congress

Majority Minority

Source: 2010 Congressional Record, Vol. 156, Page S6226


Members, 112th Congress

Majority Minority

Source: 2011 Congressional Record, Vol. 157, Page S557


Members, 113th Congress

Majority Minority

Source: 2013 Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page S296


See also


  1. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer. "With Chairmanship, McCain Seizes Chance to Reshape Pentagon Agenda", The New York Times (June 9, 2015). Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Rule XXV: Committees, Standing Rules of the United States Senate.
  3. ^ a b Angus King is an independent, but caucuses with the Democrats.
  4. ^ "U.S. Senate: Committee on Armed Services". Senate.gov. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Died August 8, 1913.
  6. ^ At the beginning of the 107th Congress in January 2001 the Senate was evenly divided. With a Democratic president and vice president still serving until January 20, the Democratic vice president was available to break a tie, and the Democrats thus controlled the Senate for 17 days, from January 3 to January 20. On January 3 the Senate adopted S. Res. 7 designating Democratic senators as committee chairmen to serve during this period and Republican chairmen to serve effective at noon on January 20, 2001.
  7. ^ On June 6, 2001, the Democrats took control of the Senate after Senator James Jeffords (VT) changed from the Republican Party to Independent and announced that he would caucus with the Democrats.
  8. ^ Died August 25, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Sens. Lieberman and King were elected as Independents, but caucused with Democrats on the committee.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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