NGAUS Members Respond to Shutdown

NGAUS Washington Report

(Oct. 8, 2013) NGAUS members take seriously the partial shutdown of the federal government. They responded to two Legislative Alerts with more than 9,000 responses.

An alert one week ago asked the Defense Department to exempt certain Guard employees from furloughs caused by the shutdown.  That has generated more than 6,600 responses.

A second alert asking members to support a bill that would send Guardsmen to weekend drill and provide them the accompanying paycheck has attracted nearly 2,600 responses since it was sent Friday.

Rich Arnold, the NGAUS public affairs specialist who monitors member responses, says most of the responses came within hours of the Legislative Alerts being distributed.

“Our members write to Congress right away instead of waiting around,” he said.

Retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the NGAUS president, said the numbers show that association members are following events and making their voices heard.

“This is the grassroots power at work,” he said. “Our members are not shy when it comes to making their opinions known to lawmakers.”

He noted that since the first alert was sent Tuesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ended the furloughs for many civilian workers, including the dual-status technicians in the Guard.

“People do listen,” Hargett said. “That’s why it is important that we increase our membership so that we speak with an even louder voice.”