NewsBytes June 21, 2019

In this issue:

Agent Orange Bill Sent to President
FRA Hosts Coast Guard Caucus Breakfast
Acting SecDef Resigns
Happy Birthday Navy Corpsmen

Agent Orange Bill Enrolled and Sent to President
NED Thomas Snee attended a bill enrolling ceremony for the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (H.R.299), hosted by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Enrollment occurs in the chamber where the measure originated and is carried out by enrolling clerks under the supervision of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and Secretary of the Senate. Enrolled bills are signed by the presiding officers of each chamber (or their designees) and are presented to the President by the House Clerk or Secretary of the Senate, depending on the chamber of origination. The President can either sign it into law or veto the bill. 

As a result of the Procopio v. Wilkie decision, the House and Senate passed the FRA-supported Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (H.R.299). This legislation will essentially codify the Procopio decision into law. The FRA is listed as a “friend of the court” by the petitioner Blue Water Navy Veteran, Mr. Procopio.

FRA Hosts 21st Annual Coast Guard Caucus Breakfast
The Fleet Reserve Association hosted the 21st annual Coast Guard Caucus Breakfast. It is an event meant to expand awareness of the Coast Guard’s missions, remarkable service to our nation and promote dialogue between members of Congress and key Coast Guard leaders. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz was the keynote speaker at the event. The Commandant said he did not want the Coast Guard to be held hostage again during budget battles on Capitol Hill and his primary focus is improving readiness.  He noted that the Coast Guard has personnel in the Persian Gulf, AFRICOM and in the South China Sea. He also mentioned their important work to intercept illegal drugs coming into the United States. The commandant engaged Representatives in attendance and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Jason Vanderhaven. There were several Coast Guard officers and senior enlisted leaders who discussed the needs of Coast Guard personnel.

The legislators who were in attendance included Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), John Garamendi (Calif.), Duncan Hunter (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Ted Yoho (Fla.), Ralph Abraham (La.), Neal Dunn (Fla.), Carol Miller (W.Va.), and Joe Courtney (Conn.).  

Acting SecDef Resigns
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, who was nominated by President Trump to be Secretary of Defense, abruptly resigned from the Department of Defense, siting an upcoming story in the news media about family domestic abuse. 

Mark T. Esper, the secretary of the Army, is set to become the new acting Defense secretary next week. But he would be legally required to temporarily step aside if President Trump decides to nominate him to remain in the post.

Happy Birthday Navy Corpsmen
A Navy Corpsman is an enlisted U.S. Navy medical specialist. Congress passed a bill authorizing establishment of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps, signed into law by President William McKinley on June 17, 1898. Corpsmen work in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Navy Corpsmen are frequently the only medical care-giver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families. 

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