Focus: Resolutions, council reports

To date, the National Legislative Commission staff has reviewed 189 resolutions in preparing for the national convention. Proposed resolutions are marked identifying those that, if passed at national convention, appear to mandate legislative policy (LP) or legislative intent (LI). Legislative Division staff will then use these resolutions as the basis to work to achieve success in the remainder of the 111th Congress. These resolutions will also be used in developing Legion legislative strategy for its legislative program to be conducted in the upcoming 112th Congress that begins in January, 2011. Many of the resolutions passed at the national convention will not be legislatively related.

The National Executive Committee, during the Spring Meetings in 1975, created the National Legislative Council to enhance and refine the grassroots lobbying capabilities of The American Legion. In close partnership between the council and the National Legislative Commission, the legislative mandates of The American Legion can clearly and accurately be transmitted to members of Congress.

To help keep council members advised of The American Legion's legislative agenda, each member annually receives: a copy of the listing of resolutions with legislative intent adopted by The American Legion; a copy of the National Commander's testimony before a joint session of the Veterans' Affairs committees; and, a complimentary subscription to The Dispatch, which contains the column "Dateline: Capitol Hill," authored by the National Legislative Commission chairman, that serves as a "newsletter" for council and commission members.

It is equally important that council members keep the National Legislative Division advised of the activities of the council in their respective departments. NEC Resolution No. 28, passed Oct. 19-20, 1994, reads in part, "Each National Vice Chairman of the Legislative Council shall submit an annual report on the Council member activities in his/her Department to the National Legislative Council Chairman not later than July 31 each year. These are then compiled into the Annual National Legislative Council Consolidated Activities Report for the Pre-Convention National Executive Committee meeting."

As of Aug. 13, 48 of the 50 reports have been submitted, and the compilation of the Consolidated Report is in progress. The only states outstanding are Delaware and Iowa.