American Legion to Congress: ‘Keep Government Open’

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 1, 2021) – The head of the nation’s largest veterans organization has a blunt message for Congress. “Our troops are doing their job, now lawmakers need to do theirs,” American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard said today about another potential government shutdown that could occur if Congress doesn’t reach a budget agreement by a Dec. 3 deadline.

“The American Legion is no fan of continuing resolutions, but keeping the government open must be a priority,” Dillard said. “We recall the shutdown of 2019, in which the Coast Guard continued to defend our shores while their pay was delayed. The American Legion stepped up and provided more than $1 million in grants to Coast Guard families in need. Two years later, Congress still has not passed legislation to guarantee that this essential branch be funded. Moreover, the Department of Defense and our national security are also endangered by prolonged shutdowns. Millions of Americans rely on Social Security to survive. I could go on and on about essential government services and programs. The bottom line is that Congress needs to put the American people ahead of partisan politics.”

The American Legion is dedicated to the motto of “Veterans Strengthening America.” Chartered by Congress in 1919, The American Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring wholesome community programs, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security and continued devotion to servicemembers and veterans.  Nearly 1.8 million members in about 12,000 posts across the nation and regions overseas serve their communities with a devotion to mutual helpfulness.