For those of you who don't know, military bands are again in jeopardy of being cut yet again by clueless politicians looking for a good sound bite. You can help! In May, Representative Betty McCullom introduced an amendment to the House version of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would significantly and immediately reduce spending on military music programs from $320 million to $200 million. This went back and forth in the House and was eventually passed in early July. The Senate is currently working on their version of the NDAA. When it is passed by the Senate, the two bills will go into conference with input from the office of the Secretary of Defense to be reconciled. If this amendment makes it through, it will have an negative impact on all music in the military. Since the numbers provided to Rep. McCullom were possibly not the most accurate and her amendment is vague, it is feared that the cuts in reality could well exceed 37.5%. They will take effect almost immediately - October 1 of this year. The DOD budget projection for FY2012 is $553 billion, so cutting $120 million is not really saving anything in the big picture. We all know the value of the military bands in troop morale and in public relations. The American Bandmasters Association (ABA), the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and MENC are advocating that this amendment not become part of the 2012 NDAA. The MENC link provides further information: NEWS ITEM/ACTION ALERT: U.S. Military Bands Face Potentially Devastating Budget Cut - MENC Advocacy Groundswell If you are interested in contacting your Representative and Senator: U.S. Senate: Senators Home https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml It doesn't take many letters and phone calls to make a difference in the passage of legislation, so I do encourage you to contact your local politicians. I though that you may like to know what is going on with our friends in congress.