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.
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. The Committee's regular legislative product is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has been passed by Congress and signed into law each year since 1962.
The current Chair is Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and the Ranking Member is Republican Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.
^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.
^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.