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Measure Aims To Lift Sequestration Travel Ban For Military Bands

Photo credit: USMC

Marine Band San Diego

Budget cuts due to sequestration have put a damper on military bands' ability to travel for performances at community events. But a California lawmaker has introduced a measure that would make it easier to let the beat go on.

Congressman Eric Swalwell was inspired to author the measure, according to the Military Times, when he was approached by a Marine Corps veteran concerned that the Marine Corps band had to decline an invitation to the 148th Scottish Gathering and Games in Northern California.

The Pentagon has put restrictions in place that prevent military bands from traveling great distances to perform for community events, even if they are later reimbursed. Swalwell's measure fixes a glitch that ensures the reimbursement funds go to the correct department's account.

Swalwell said in a statement:

“Visitors to the Scottish Games in Pleasanton and other events across the country should get to enjoy the patriotic music of military bands, especially if the event is willing to pick up the tab.

"But incomprehensible intransigence stood in the way and created a sour note. My amendment will let the music play again. Now more people will get to hear our great military bands and help energize community events across the county.”

The House of Representatives passed Swalwell's measure, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014, on June 14.

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