Senate Armed Services Committee

From the start of his Senate career, Senator Carl Levin has been a member of the Armed Services Committee. With the start of the 112th Congress, Senator Levin continues to serve as the chairman of the committee, a position he has held since January 2007.

The Armed Services Committee is the primary vehicle through which the Senate exercises its constitutional and statutory duties to oversee national defense. The committee’s responsibilities encompass “comprehensive study and review of matters relating to the common defense policy of the United States.” The committee crafts the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes spending on weapons systems and pay and benefits for troops and sets policy on a multitude of issues relevant to defense, from research and development of new weapons to personnel policies. It is also responsible for general oversight of the Department of Defense, including the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy (which includes the Marine Corps) and the Department of the Air Force.

Senator Levin's work on the committee reflects his longstanding commitment to and concentrated focus on the readiness, morale and welfare of our military personnel and their families; the modernization of our armed forces; cost-effective defense procurement and management practices; and efforts to reduce the threats to our nation and the world from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the threats posed by terrorism.

As chairman, Senator Levin has emphasized the committee’s role as an oversight and investigative body. He established an investigative team on the committee staff, which has probed issues such as the treatment of detainees in U.S. military custody and the use of private security contractors in Afghanistan. The committee’s oversight role also has focused on the need for the Department of Defense to make wise use of taxpayer dollars and to do a better job of keeping weapons programs on time and on budget.

For more information on Senator Levin's work on national security, visit the national security issues page.