Congress approves Tester’s bipartisan bill to modernize American Legion

Senator’s measure allows dues to be paid electronically

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bill to modernize the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Auxiliary is a signature away from becoming law after today’s unanimous approval by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Tester’s bill allows the American Legion, whose charter is approved by Congress, to accept debit and credit card payments online. Currently, veterans can only pay membership dues by cash or check.

“The American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans service organization and it’s critical that it keeps pace with the times so that every generation of veterans gains from the Legion’s resources and support,” said Dave McLean, former Montana Commander of the American Legion. “On behalf of Montana veterans, I appreciate Senator Tester’s work to push this important bill through Congress so that the Legion can fulfill its vital mission.”

Tester wrote the bill with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., after gathering input from Montana veterans. He said that the change will make it easier for newer generations of veterans to benefit from membership in the service organization.

“As we recently saw with Congress’ unanimous approval of my veterans’ jobs bill, supporting veterans rises above the partisan fray,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “My bill makes it easier for more veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to turn to the American Legion for critical support and resources. I expect the President to sign it as soon as possible because it’s the right thing to do.”

In 2010, the National Convention of the American Legion adopted an amendment to allow for dues to be paid online with debit and credit cards, but all changes to the Legion’s charter must be approved by Congress and signed into law by the President of the United States.

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 in the wake of World War I. Nearly one hundred years later, it is the nation’s largest veterans service organization.

A copy of Tester’s bill to modernize the Legion is online HERE. Tester expects the President to sign his bill this week.