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Friday, March 30, 2007

LEGIT: 30 March 2007

What’s Happening In Congress?

Senate National Guard Caucus Breakfast
On March 27, the Senate National Guard Caucus held its annual breakfast to present issues facing the National Guard to the attention of caucus members and their staff. In addition to the leaders from the National Guard Bureau, TAGs from Vermont, Delaware and Virginia were also able to attend. Members of the caucus who were there include Senators Leahy (VT), Tester (MT), Casey (PA) and Brown (OH).

HASC Hearing on Guard Readiness
On March 28, the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness held a hearing concerning the readiness of the National Guard. As evidenced by Members’ questions, a growing concern for Congress is the state of the Air National Guard in the post-BRAC environment. Representative Solomon Ortiz (TX), chair of the subcommittee, stated that he is especially interested in addressing the 10 percent cut in flying hours that he believes will negatively impact Air National Guard readiness.

NGREA in FY07 Supplemental
Senators Leahy and Bond have once again added funds for Army Guard equipment to the Department of Defense budget, this time in the FY07 Supplemental. The Senators originally requested $5 billion be put in the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, and were able to work with their colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee to agree that $1 billion was needed this fiscal year for Army Guard equipment.

Congress will be in recess
House: April 2 to 13
Senate: April 2 to 9

During this time, your state could greatly benefit from a visit by your Representatives or Senators. This can be anything from attending an award ceremony or taking them for a ride-along in a vehicle or aircraft. Create opportunities for your Representatives, Senators and their staff to see your operations first hand. NGAUS can help you navigate the process of setting up these visits, both on the NGB/LL side and with the Representative or Senator’s office. You can also contact Lt. Ashley Mitias with NGB/LL at (703) 607-2770 or ashley.mitias@ngb.ang.af.mil for more information. The clock is running for the 110th Congress, take advantage of this program as much as possible.

This will also be a good time to talk with your Representatives and Senators about the Guard Empowerment Act and why it is important to you. Education is the key to victory.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
Update on “Write To Congress” Stats

Current numbers for messages sent this year are:
585 messages were sent this week.
3410 messages have been sent this year.
994 messages on Guard Empowerment.
2253 messages were sent on TRICARE fee increases.

Top 5 States:
1. Tennessee - 328 messages
2. Missouri - 180 messages
3. Oklahoma - 165 messages
4. Mississippi - 158 messages
5. California - 155 messages

Our Goal for 2007: 54,000 messages

We are 50,590 messages away from meeting our goal! Keep writing your Senators and Representatives. Also, make sure to share the “Write to Congress” tool with your friends and family.

Rich Green, Director
Pete Duffy, Deputy Director
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Emily Breitbach, Air Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst

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

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