Orville Otterness, a member of the American Legion from North Branch, was in Washington, D.C. recently lobbying for issues that affect American war veterans and the military.
Otterness, a member of the state Legion’s Legislative Committee, was part of a delegation of 38 Minnesotans in Washington.
The delegation met with nearly every Minnesota Representative and Senator, and urged an agenda of veterans programs that Congress will be dealing with in the future.
Included in the lobbying efforts were:
• Protecting the VA and DoD. Under current law, it’s possible both the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs could face major budget cuts at the end of this year. The Legion is lobbying to ensure adequate defense spending and protecting our veterans benefits.
•VA Loans. This has been one of the best federal programs and it pays for itself. Action is need by Congress, though, to allow the program to continue to offer adjustable rate mortgages.
•Flag Amendment. A new bill has been introduced that would not call for a Constitutional Amendment, but would give Congress the power to prevent physical desecration of the U.S. Flag.
The delegation spent four days in Washington and attended informational sessions on critical issues.
There are 93,000 members about 570 posts in the Minnesota American Legion.