Tester bill to modernize American Legion clears Senate

Senators unanimously approve Tester’s bill allowing dues to be paid electronically

(U.S. SENATE) – With unanimous approval, the U.S. Senate today cleared Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bill to modernize the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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.

Tester wrote the bill with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., after hearing input from Montana Legionnaires. 

The Senators say the change will make it easier for newer generations of veterans to become members of the American Legion and receive needed support from the service organization.

“Despite all the gridlock in Washington, it’s refreshing to see that everyone can agree on common sense, and I’m pleased we got this done on behalf of the American Legion,” Tester said.  “This simple change will make it easier for more veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to get support they need and share their support with fellow veterans if they decide to join the American Legion.  I hope the House of Representatives passes this bill as quickly as possible.”

“The American Legion has been advocating for veterans for almost a century and one of the most important ways we do that is by connecting our members to the resources and support available,” said Merv Gunderson, National Vice Commander and a member of The American Legion Department of Montana.  “As our nation’s largest veterans service organization, it is critical that we keep up with the times to help serve each new generation of veterans.  I appreciate the leadership of Senators Tester and Heller in introducing this important legislation because it shows their determination to help the American Legion fulfill our vital mission.”

The American Legion was chartered in 1919.  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.

A copy of the bill is online HERE.  The House of Representatives is considering similar legislation.