Monday, August 7, 2006

NGAUS Legislative Update; August 4, 2006

Congressional Recess

Don’t forget that both chambers of Congress are out of session during the month of August. The House adjourned last Friday. The Senate hopes to leave town on Friday, August 4, 2006. Both will return to work on September 4. Members of Congress are out shopping for votes. Make sure you ask for them to pay via their support for Guard issues. Check our legislative alerts on the NGAUS website www.NGAUS.org. They’ll provide you the talking points and information you need. Make your voice…and your vote…work for the Guard!

Senate Action on Approps

On Wednesday, the Senate began debate on its version of the Defense Appropriations bill. The measure would provide funding to support U.S. military operations at home and world-wide. During the debate, Senator Stevens, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, proposed an amendment that would add $13.1 billion for Army and Marine Corps equipment recapitalization. This amendment was accepted via voice vote. On Thursday, the co-chairs of the Guard Caucus, Senators Bond and Leahy, offered an amendment that would “fence” $2.4 billion of the $13.1B recap money specifically for the Army Guard and Reserve. The amendment was accepted by voice vote and will be part of the Defense Appropriations bill. Once the Senate completes action of the defense bill, the legislation will have to be reconciled with the House version of the appropriations measure.

SASC Hold Iraq Hearing

The Secretary of Defense appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on Thursday to discuss operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Originally, Secretary Rumsfeld had been unable to rearrange his schedule for the SASC hearing, but later agreed to appear before the panel. Joining the Secretary were GEN Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and GEN John P. Abizaid, Commander of U.S. Central Command. Senators grilled the top civilian leadership and the top military leadership on the conduct of the operations in Iraq. In addition, the witnesses fielded questions regarding the readiness and equipping of Army forces. Transcripts of the hearing will be posted on the NGAUS website once they become available.

NGA Opposes Call Up Language

The leadership of the National Governors Association (NGA) penned a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee opposing language included within the Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 5122). The language, included in the House version of the bill, provides authority to the President to call up members of the Guard. The governors assert that the language does not provide for the consent of the governors when calling up Guard personnel to address “serious natural or manmade disasters, accidents or catastrophes that occur in the United States, its territories and possessions, the District of Columbia and the Common wealth of Puerto Rico.” Currently, House and Senate Authorizers are in conference to reconcile differences in the two bills before it can be signed into law. A copy of the letter can be found at www.NGA.org.

Parliamentarians Needed!

As the NGAUS Legislative Staff prepares for the General Conference in New Mexico, the call is going out for volunteers to serve as parliamentarians for the resolutions sessions. Each resolution subcommittee (Army and Air) needs an experienced individual parliamentarian for the respective resolutions committees. One parliamentarian will serve the Joint committee as well. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Bernie Phelps at (202) 408-5884.

NGAUS Task Forces

NGAUS has established Task Forces as a mechanism to provide advice and expertise to the NGAUS legislative staff in development of legislative priorities based on the resolutions that are passed each year at the annual conference. NGAUS has eleven Task Forces and they are listed below:

Joint Task Forces
Personnel/Benefits
Medical Task Force

Army Task Forces
Fire Support Task Force
Combat Vehicle Task Force
Combat Support/Combat
Service Support Task Force
Army Aviation Task Force
C4I Task Force
Engineer Task Force

Air Task Forces
Airlift/Tanker/Rescue
C4I Task Force

The Task Forces are comprised of Chairs and Vice Chairs and are expected to meet two times a year. NGAUS is seeking interested volunteers to serve on the Task Forces. If you are interested, contact the NGAUS legislative staff or contact the Task Force Chairs listed on our website.
“We Serve”

Providing NGAUS members with effective and knowledgeable representation on Capitol Hill.

Published by the NGAUS Legislative Staff:
Brig Gen (ret) Richard M. Green, Legislative Director
Scott Hommel, Deputy Director
Michele Traficante, Joint Programs
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Andy Vanlandingham, Air Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst
Emily Breitbach, Legislative Analyst

For more information on NGAUS, check out our website: www.NGAUS.org.

This post moved here from DoD Daily News-2.

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