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Saturday, November 18, 2006

NGAUS Leg: What’s Happening In Congress? 11/17/06

What’s Happening In Congress?
This week both the Senate Democrats and the Senate GOP held elections to determine who would lead their party’s members through the 110th Congress. The Democrats chose their new leadership on Tuesday while the GOP’s election was one day later on Wednesday. The House Democrats and the House GOP also met to elect their leaders this week on Thursday and Friday. NGAUS will report those results in next weeks LEGIT.

New Senate Democratic Leadership:
Majority Leader: Harry Reid, Nev.
Majority Whip: Richard J. Durbin, Ill.
Caucus Vice Chairman and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Chairman: Charles E. Schumer, N.Y.
Democratic Policy Committee Chairman: Byron L. Dorgan, N.D.
Conference Secretary: Patty Murray, Wash.

New Senate GOP Leadership:
Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell, Ky.
Minority Whip: Trent Lott, Miss.
Conference Chairman: John Kyl, Ariz.
Conference Vice Chairman: John Cornyn, Texas
Policy Committee Chairwoman: Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Texas
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman: John Ensign, Nev.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
Wyoming Visits Washington

On Wednesday, November 15, 2006 a group of Wyoming National Guard members and state civic leaders visited the National Guard Association of the United States Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Attending this Civic Leader tour were: Major General Ed Wright, Adjutant General of Wyoming, numerous state National Guard senior officers and senior enlisted members, State Senators, Chamber of Commerce directors, bank presidents, and the director of the Wyoming Contractor’s Association. The group received a legislative update from both NGAUS and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), visited with their representatives in Congress, received briefings at National Guard Bureau, toured the Pentagon, and even visited the Tunisian Embassy.

The NGAUS staff enjoyed meeting with all of the Wyoming National Guard members and state civic leaders and look forward to the many more states that will be taking a trip to Washington in the near future.

What Can You Do?
Grassroots in the Guard

Politics can easily be explained as the process of determining who gets what, when, and how. Politicians work to determine the distribution of scarce yet highly demanded resources. One of the most important resources that a Congressional member has to offer is their time. It is increasingly difficult for a congressional office to balance between the schedule demands on their boss and the actual time in a day. Time in many offices is determined by the number of constituents interested in a particular issue and how many constituents a decision or action will affect.

Therefore one of the most important things you can do is to communicate on a regular basis with your Representatives, Senators and their staffs. We must do this not only to ensure they are informed of National Guard issues that affect their district, but also to educate them about the National Guard. They need to have a better understanding of the Guard and it's unique place in the framework of our national defense. This is something that only we can show them, and by doing so we will ensure that Congress takes the time to pay attention to and address the needs of the National Guard.

Published by the NGAUS Legislative Staff:
Brig Gen (ret) Richard M. Green, Director
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst
Emily Breitbach, Legislative Analyst


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