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Monday, March 26, 2007

LEGISLATIVE ALERT #07-02: 3/26/2007

The Issue: NATIONAL GUARD EMPOWERMENT ACT OF 2007.

Immediate Action Required: Contact your members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor and support the National Guard Empowerment Act of 2007
.

Department of Defense (DOD) processes leading to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) were clear examples that National Guard leaders were not “at the table” during critical strategic planning and budgetary formulation.

Empowerment legislation was introduced in the 109th Congress during the FY07 budget cycle, but ultimately the issue was referred to the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves (CNGR) with a report back date of 1 March 2007. The results of the CNGR report clearly indicate that a problem does exist and that major changes are needed to ensure National Guard readiness.

Thanks to strong support in Congress, two key pieces of legislation have again been introduced in the 110th Congress; Senator “Kit” Bond (R-MO) reintroduced an expanded version of the original legislation to the 110th Congress; S. 430 – National Guard Empowerment Act of 2007 - designed to make the National Guard a stronger and more responsible defense agency, which will improve the nation’s defense and improve the military’s ability to support civilian authorities during domestic emergencies. Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) introduced an identical bill in the House; H.R.718.

Empowering National Guard leaders is the critical first step to ensuring readiness and quality-of-life for our personnel and their families.

S.430 currently has 32 co-sponsors:
Sen. Baucus, Max [MT], Sen. Brown, Sherrod [OH], Sen. Byrd, Robert C. [WV], Sen. Cantwell, Maria [WA], Sen. Coburn, Tom [OK], Sen. Collins, Susan M. [ME], Sen. Dodd, Christopher J. [CT], Sen. Durbin, Richard [IL], Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [CA], Sen. Grassley, Chuck [IA], Sen. Gregg, Judd [NH], Sen. Hagel, Chuck [NE], Sen. Harkin, Tom [IA], Sen. Johnson, Tim [SD], Sen. Kerry, John F. [MA], Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [MN], Sen. Landrieu, Mary L. [LA], Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [VT], Sen. Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR], Sen. Lott, Trent [MS], Sen. Menendez, Robert [NJ], Sen. Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD], Sen. Murray, Patty [WA], Sen. Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE], Sen. Rockefeller, John D., IV [WV], Sen. Salazar, Ken [CO], Sen. Smith, Gordon H. [OR], Sen. Snowe, Olympia J. [ME], Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [MI], Sen. Sununu, John E. [NH], Sen. Tester, Jon [MT], Sen. Wyden, Ron [OR].

H.R.718 currently has 46 co-sponsors:
Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5], Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1], Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1], Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU], Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5], Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1], Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7], Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14], Rep Cubin, Barbara [WY], Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4], Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10], Rep Dicks, Norman D. [WA-6], Rep Etheridge, Bob [NC-2], Rep Goode, Virgil H., Jr. [VA-5], Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6], Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17], Rep Hayes, Robin [NC-8], Rep Hurst, Stephanie [SD], Rep Hill, Baron P. [IN-9], Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17], Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12], Rep Hooley, Darlene [OR-5], Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9], Rep Kind, Ron [WI-3], Rep LaHood, Ray [IL-18] - 2/5/2007 - Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 3/8/2007, Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1], Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4], Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2], Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7], Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3], Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5], Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8], Rep Perlmutter, Ed [CO-7], Rep Rehberg, Dennis R. [MT], Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4], Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13], Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4], Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1], Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3], Rep Taylor, Gene [MS-4], Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12], Rep Visclosky, Peter J. [IN-1], Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1], Rep Welch, Peter [VT], Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2].

If your members of Congress are on this list, take time to thank them for their support. If not, contact them using the “Write to Congress” feature found on our web site www.ngaus.org and urge them to become a co-sponsor. The future of the National Guard and possibly your unit depends on this important legislation being adopted.

TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTION:
By using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS Web site at NGAUS, you can IMMEDIATELY e-mail your elected representatives. A sample letter is included in our “Write to Congress” feature. You can e-mail the pre-written message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to "Write to Congress" as well. For more in-depth information and background visit our web site at www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Pete Duffy, NGAUS Deputy Legislative Director at 202-454-5307 or via email: Pete Duffy
.

One of the things I find is that my Senators do not bother with a lot of 3-party e-mails. To ensure your Senators and Congressperson receive your e-mails, copy/paste the prepared letter at NGAUS to your personal e-mail. This may be helpful at the end of day. Thank you, and have a great day.

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