This past week, the House was in recess, however the Senate was still in and on Thursday, March 15, the Senate Armed Services Committee held an important hearing on Navy Posture and the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Budget. The hearing focused primarily on equipment and procurement shortfalls that are within the FY13 Budget Request. Senators voiced concern on achieving the goal of a fleet of over 300 ships by 2020, in which the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, responded that the number should reach the 300 mark by 2019 as today the Navy has 37 ships under contract to help achieve this goal. In addition to ship building concerns, cost overruns with the USS Ford
carrier exceeding $1 billion and F-35 development exceeding $150 billion over budget were topics of discussion. Finally the looming threat of sequestration, which has typically arisen during past hearings, was discussed where Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, provided the grim scenario of seeing a fleet depleted to as low as 235 ships! AUSN is continuing to monitor the sequestration issue and its impact upon the Navy and veteran community.
In addition, AUSN held meetings this week with key staff of Member and Senate offices. Visits this week included staff from Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12), Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-IN-03), Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR). Amongst the subjects of discussion included the Legislative Objectives/Priorities of AUSN including Veteran Status for Reservists, Space Available Travel for Reservists, TRICARE enrollment fees in the FY13 Budget, USERRA, Transition Assistance Programs (TAP) and veteran burial issues.
New Priority Bills Introduced this Week
No new priority bills were introduced this week, however many bills had significant additions in cosponsors and were bumped up from non-priority to priority status due to recent legislative action on them. On the advocacy section of the website, you can click on Bills of Interest
to get daily revisions on Congressional action on bills. This is a new addition to AUSN’s website in order to inform our members of daily updates to priority legislation we are tracking for our Sailors and veteran community. If you do not see a particular bill being tracked on the website, there is a separate spreadsheet database that has non-priority bills being tracked that probably has it on there and is being tracked by your Legislative Director. Feel free to inquire about a certain bill and status as you see fit. We hope you utilize and share this legislative resource in the future.
A new Legislative Alert will go out on Monday, the eve of the Budget Resolution announcement by the House Budget Committee, regarding legislation to exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs from sequestration, a subject discussed in many hearings with legislation already introduced. Please continue to go to the Legislative Alerts section on the AUSN webpage and check your mailboxes next week
for the following alert which will be titled:
Legislative Alert #112-4: Sequestration Exemption Legislation
Next week, Congress will return to a busy schedule of hearings and legislative action including consideration of H.R 452, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act, as well as the submission of the Budget Resolution, the formal response of Congress to the President’s FY13 Budget Request that is mandated to be released no later than 6 weeks after the submission of the President’s request. This request is scheduled to be released by the House Budget Committee on Tuesday night, with possible floor consideration by Thursday. Although more a “statement” of approval/disapproval and Congressional suggestions/changes, this does pave the way for the upcoming appropriation bills. For more on how the budget, and appropriations, process works, visit the House Committee on Budget, Stages of the Congressional Budget
. In addition, on Thursday, March 22, AUSN will submit written testimony on AUSN’s Legislative Priorities to a Joint House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Hearing.
Legislative Intern Needed
AUSN is looking for an unpaid Legislative Intern to start as early as April and continue throughout the summer. Candidates should have, or be pursuing, a degree in Political Science/Government Affairs/Communications. Strong writing and personal skills a must as well as an interest and passion for the United States Navy and Navy Reserve.
In addition to administrative tasks, i.e. answering phones and helping to schedule appointments, interns will monitor and write After Action Reports on Congressional Hearings of interest such as House and Senate Armed Services, Appropriations and Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings. Interns will also have the opportunity to attend meetings with Congressional Staff along with the Legislative Director as well as other meetings off of Capitol Hill. The Legislative Director is also willing to oversee a research project of the intern’s interest if they are pursuing class credit for the internship.
Candidates can submit a cover letter, resume and 1-2 page writing sample to the Director of Legislation, Mr. Anthony A. Wallis at Anthony.Wallis@ausn.org
or fax it to 703-683-3647 by April 6. Schedules are flexible/negotiable and Metrorail travel reimbursement is available to interns as well as free parking at our headquarters off of King Street in Alexandria.
The Association of the United States Navy is continuously on and/or monitoring Capitol Hill advocating for your concerns and utilizing our strong relationships with Members of Congress, Staff and cooperating with other military associations to tell the Navy and our veterans’ story. This is also an ALL HANDS ON DECK effort and your grassroots advocacy will help make the changes that need to happen!
Anthony A. Wallis, Legislative Director
Phone (o): 703-548-5800, (m): 703-517-9310
Legislative Action Center, Contact Congress