September 28, 2010
James E. Koutz (IN), Chairman
Twenty-six (26) members of the National Legislative Commission, two (2) members of the Liaison Committee, and fifty-six (56) members of the National Legislative Council, as well as other guests including national officers of The American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion, met in Salons J & K at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, VA on September 21, 2010. This meeting was convened on the eve of the National Commander’s scheduled presentation of legislative priorities to Congress.
The briefing session was focused on VA funding for fiscal years (FY) 2011 and 2012. National Commander Jimmie Foster (AK) made remarks outlining the importance of visiting with lawmakers and leaving the Legislative Drop Sheets with lawmakers and their staffs. Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission Chairman Michael Helm (NE) gave remarks on VA&R legislative mandates for the coming year. Economic Division Deputy Director Mark Walker (DC) also gave brief remarks.
In addition, Legislative Commission Chairman James Koutz gave a brief review of major issues. National Legislative Council Chairman Michael Harris (VA) gave an update on the Council. Legislative Director Tim Tetz (NV) discussed the status of the FY 2011 budget and the possibility of delays in finalizing the FY 2011 appropriations measures.
The next day, September 22, National Commander Foster delivered a presentation to a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees that summarized his written testimony. Copies of his written statement were mailed to all members of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees, as well as all members of Congress.
Many issues in The American Legion's legislative portfolio on Capitol Hill are currently under consideration. Rather than attempting to provide an interim report to this committee on these issues, a complete account of recent congressional activities will be provided when the National Legislative Commission presents its report to you on October 13-14, 2010.