The Pentagon has rescinded a year-old policy limiting reports to Congress to as few as 10 pages, after a top House lawmaker complained that the "arbitrary" rule was leading to incomplete assessments.
Pentagon spokesman George Little announced the reversal Thursday, reading from a memo that notified agencies of the change.
"The explicit intent was to ensure more concise reports to Congress. Nevertheless, this part of the previous guidance appears to have been misinterpreted," Little said, reading from the memo. "It has generated concern about the seriousness with which policy takes in congressional reporting responsibilities. Therefore, this page limit portion of the preceding guidance is rescinded effective immediately."
The memo said reports should be "concise," but "as long as necessary" to answer questions.
The change comes after Republican Rep. Buck McKeon and other members of the House Armed Services Committee made a ruckus over the page limit.
McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, on Wednesday cited the most recent military report on China, which totaled just 15 pages of written content on China's military.
McKeon said he learned of the report-length policy after asking a Pentagon briefer why the China study was so short, considering last year's report was 80 pages. The briefer told him it was the new policy.
Speaking to reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday, McKeon called the shortened reports "outrageous" and said he'd sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
McKeon apparently threatened to block the Pentagon from shuffling money around to cover budget shortfalls in most cases unless the policy was changed.
The policy did allow for wiggle room. But McKeon pointed to problems with recent reports.
In an email to Fox News, McKeon's office said three sections of the 2012 China report that are required by law were missing and that it failed to mention major developments over the past year, such as the test flight of China's stealth jet, the J-22, and the maiden voyage of its first major aircraft carrier.
Fox News' Justin Fishel contributed to this report.