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Sunday, December 03, 2006

NGAUS Legislative Update: 12/1/2006

What’s Happening In Congress?
The House and Senate members might cast the last votes of the 109th Congress and the Republicans' congressional majority next week. The plans are to adjourn by next Friday, December 9th.

The Senate returns Monday to formally receive the nomination of Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld. The Armed Services Committee is expected to begin hearings Tuesday and the Senate could vote on his nomination as early as the end of the week.

Adjournment for the year depends on "completing all necessary work, with the goal of being done next week." Neither the House nor the Senate appear to have the appetite to finish outstanding appropriations measures this year, and both chambers have tentatively agreed to punt them to the new Democratic majority next year.

A tentative 2007 Senate schedule for the 110th Congress, 1st Session has recently been released.
January 4 - Senate Reconvenes; Senators sworn in
January 5 - Senate not in session
January 15 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 19-23 - Senate not in session
February 19 - President’s Day (Lincoln's and Washington's Birthday. So there!)
April 2-9 - Senate not in session
April 8 - Easter
May 28-June 1 - Senate not in session
May 28 - Memorial Day (observed)
July 2-July 6 - Senate not in session
July 4 - Independence Day.
August 6-September 4 - Senate not in session
August Recess
September 3 - Labor Day
September 4 - Senate Reconvenes

Montgomery GI Bill Act.
In the 110th Congress Representative Vic Snyder (D-AR) is introducing a bill to end the disparity between the active duty and National Guard and Reserve Component benefits. When called to active duty the National Guard and Reserve Components are eligible to receive $860 a month if they serve a 2- year tour. But they must remain a Reserve Component member to use their benefit. Veterans can earn up to $1,075 a month after Active Duty and those veterans retain their benefit for a decade after leaving the military. NGAUS will be watching for this bill and will have tracking on the NGAUS homepage.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
We welcome Peter J. Duffy as our new Deputy Director and Joint Lobbyist. Pete is a retired Army JAG Colonel from New Hampshire who is leaving a law practice in Manchester, after thirty years as a civil litigator. He holds a JD from the University of California; a BA from Stanford University; and MA in strategic studies from the Army War College admitted to the Bar in California and New Hampshire. COL Duffy spent his active duty years in FRG as a defense counsel, legal assistance officer and counsel to the tri service Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board. He is the father of three grown daughters He and his wife Susan have been married for 28 years. He looks forward to aggressively continuing his advocacy on behalf of National Guard members in his new position. He joins the staff on January 2, 2007.

Save This Date.
The 10th NGAUS Congressional Action Contact Officer (CACO) Conference is scheduled for 5-6 March 2007 at the National Guard Memorial. We have reserved rooms at the Phoenix Park Hotel at a rate of $199.00 per night. Rooms are available for arrival on Sunday, 4th of March and departure on Wednesday, 7th of March 2007. Go to Phoenix Park Hotel and enter the Group Code 29489 to make your reservations.

The National Guard Association of the United States looks forward to hosting you once again as we work together in building a stronger National Guard.

Industry Day.
On December 6th, NGAUS will be hosting its annual Industry Day. This event is an excellent opportunity for industry to build stronger partnerships between NGAUS and the National Guard Bureau to enhance the modernization and readiness of the Army and Air National Guard. The Honorable Gene Taylor, Representative from Mississippi, will be the featured speaker, as well as the senior leaders of NGAUS and leadership of the National Guard Bureau. For those companies not familiar with “How to do business with the Guard” a mini workshop will be held on December 5th. For more information on these events and a preliminary agenda visit the Industry Section on the NGAUS website at: NGAUS.org.

Q&A with Secretary Thomas Hall.
This week The Military Coalition’s Guard and Reserve Committee held a roundtable with Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Thomas Hall. Attending with Secretary Hall were Major General James A. Kelley, Deputy

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (Readiness Training and Mobilization) and Sergeant Major Joseph A Staudt, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Representing the NGAUS Legislative team at this Q&A session were Richard Green and Emily Breitbach. The meeting allowed the Reserve Component Veterans’ Associations to interact directly with the Secretary and his staff relating to important legislative and policies is affecting the Reserve Component.
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