Every year NGAMA travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation. This year with Sequestration forcing budget cuts, the meetings were especially critical for members of the National Guard. Senior members of NGAMA scheduled meetings from March 18-20, 2013.
The March 18th meetings started with meetings at the Pentagon. Then the NGAMA delegation met with the NGAUS Legislative staff to receive a briefing on current legislative issues. Following that briefing NGAMA met with Congressman John Tierney.
On March 19th the NGAMA delegation started with meetings with Congressman William Keating, Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas, Congressman James McGovern, Congressman Joseph Kennedy and the Chief of Staff of Senator Mo Cowan. Following these meetings the day concluded with a reception for Massachusetts Title X personnel assigned to the Washington, D.C area.
The last day, March 20th, the day’s schedule included meetings with Congressman Richard Neal, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Michael Capuano and the Legislative Staff of Congressman Edward Markey.
The discussions with the Congressmen ranged from the budget cuts and furloughs to funding for future missions of the MNG, military construction at Barnes ANG Base, Otis ANG Base and at Camp Edwards. Also discussed were The National Guard Homeland Security Institute, and the MNG Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.
Attending the trip were Maj Gen. Scott Rice, Col Charles Cody, Col Chris Faux, MAJ Brian Pillai, Major Sean Halbrook, Mr. Tim Cullen and NGAMA Executive Director Mr. Grace.
Through the NGAMA Congressional visits you have a strong voice on Capitol Hill. The face to face meetings provide an opportunity to explain the challenges facing the Massachusetts National Guard. Combined with your responses to the Legislative Alerts and the Write To Congress, NGAMA is well positioned to be fully engaged in the future.