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Government Relations Col Swain. Civil Air Patrol Wing Commanders and Government Relations John Swain – CAP NHQ Government Relations.

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Presentation on theme: "Government Relations Col Swain. Civil Air Patrol Wing Commanders and Government Relations John Swain – CAP NHQ Government Relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Government Relations Col Swain

2 Civil Air Patrol Wing Commanders and Government Relations John Swain – CAP NHQ Government Relations

3 Civil Air Patrol 3 The Wing Commanders role in government relations is critical to the future of Civil Air Patrol It is what you do in communities and states everyday that ensures Congress supports our national program to its fullest Congressman Tip O’Neil observed – “All politics is local”

4 Civil Air Patrol Background CAP has a special relationship with Congress – Congress recognizes CAP’s extraordinary capabilities – Congress created CAP and maintains an interest in its viability The Congressional Squadron has, since 1967, increased CAP’s visibility in Congress Over the years, like the National Guard, CAP has developed a close relationship with state congressional delegations The focus of CAP is on local communities and states just like your Representatives and Senators 4

5 Civil Air Patrol Funding History – The Long Haul DateEvent 1940s to 1960s Very limited funding and CAP used member-owned/excess aircraft Viet-Nam war dries up the supply of military aircraft 1970s CAP begins to develop a legislative agenda and viable legislation Congressional Squadron Commander takes on task 1980 CAP Supply Bill enacted but did not provide funding or aircraft Other non-funding CAP bills follow over next five years 1985 First CAP appropriations buys aircraft and funds major operations One year later, CAP receives “extra” $7 million for counterdrug 1986 to present CAP has been consistently funded for O&M and procurement since then Annual appropriations are now the rule Funding for Civil Air Patrol 5

6 Civil Air Patrol Political Situation The rules of the game are changing: – No more earmarks – 2011 Budget Control Act means that “adds” must be offset – Many new Members intend to reduce government size and spending – Sequestration, with long-term reductions, went into effect yesterday – Continuing resolutions, which hurt CAP, are being used frequently AF continues to fund CAP below the baseline we operate at Some CAP wings have lost their connection with Congress All of these negatively impact CAP and its operations 6

7 Civil Air Patrol Wing Commander Responsibilities and Guidance Wing Commanders need to be proactive with their government relations program to be successful Appoint a well-qualified Government Relations Advisor Use your State Legislative Squadron to help your wing Maintain relationships with key state/congressional officials Learn who in your wing has access to high level officials Participate in CAP’s annual Legislative Day Increase public awareness of CAP in communities – Members notice what is going on in their districts/states 7

8 Civil Air Patrol Legislative Day We tell CAP’s story including the challenges and issues We talk about CAP and our wings as well as introduce our most competent cadets and senior members We reassure Congress that CAP is spending appropriated dollars both wisely and appropriately 8 In uniform on the Hill, with a couple of hundred volunteers, we are a powerful visual reminder to Congress and the Air Force that we are a professional organization of “national interest”

9 Civil Air Patrol Specific Legislative Day Responsibilities Every wing needs to participate fully in Legislative Day Ensure that the right members of your staff are involved Learn what committees your congressional representatives serve on Make sure that you are meeting with Members of Congress who impact CAP’s future (i.e., Defense Appropriations) Make Leg Day appointments early, in January if possible – Provide copies of your appointment to NHQ ASAP 9

10 Civil Air Patrol National Staff Perspective Call us for advice and guidance anytime National State Legislative Officer position was just advertised We are looking at new support and training opportunities – “Government relations in a box” to support commanders and GRAs – An online government relations webpage – One/two day training at the summer Command Council meeting CAP needs high-quality photos of its operations – Especially of missions like Hurricane Sandy for high-level briefings where a picture is truly worth a thousand words Your direct involvement can help ensure that we get the appropriations we need and the CGM our veterans deserve 10

11 Civil Air Patrol Current Situation – Appropriations Sequestration has started – Impacts being next month but CAP does not know the impact Continuing Resolution runs until March 27 – Calls for CAP to receive only $22.3M, 5.5M less than last year – The CR may be extended for a full year Sequestration and a continuing resolution combined could, in the worse case, be devastating for CAP During Leg Day several key Members of Congress expressed interest and pledged support 11

12 Civil Air Patrol Current Situation – Congressional Gold Medal Cosponsors – HR 755 – 41 or 14 percent of our goal – S 309 – 6 or 9 percent of our goal – Full results from Leg Day may not be known until March 8 Competitor bills – House – 9 – Senate – 3 – House rules call for only two bills per year Time is quickly running out – Please follow-up with anyone you asked to cosponsor – Wings need to follow-up, not NHQ (hearing from a constituent counts) 12

13 Civil Air Patrol Why Is This Important Most of CAP’s funding is through Congress Funding process has changed to our detriment President’s budget request is for less than is needed Continuing resolutions underfund CAP Sequestration and defense reductions will also impact us CAP’s future depends, in part, on you establishing a viable government relations program 13 Wing Commanders can have tremendous influence on the course of their wings and the future of CAP through their political relationships

14 Civil Air Patrol Colonel John Swain at 14

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