The U.S. Marine Corps Band will be able to play at the Scottish Games in Pleasanton this year, thanks to freshman Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin).
Swalwell successfully pushed through his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment fixes a bureaucratic snag that blocked military bands from playing at community events. Now it is permissible if the organization funds the band's expenses.
It's not a done deal yet, according to Allison Bormel from Swalwell's office.
"The National Defense Authorization Act still has to pass the Senate and be signed into law by the President in order for Rep. Swalwell's amendment to take effect," Bormel said in an email. "However, Rep. Swalwell did send a letter to Secretary Hagel at the Department of Defense (DOD) noting that the amendment passed the House of Representatives and in light of this, requested that DOD allow the bands to play at the Scottish Games this year."
The congressman is awaiting a response from the DOD.
The Scottish Highland Gathering & Games draw roughly 35,000 people and are held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Swalwell's district on Labor Day weekend.
The Caledonian Club, which runs the games, had been told that this year the Marine Corps Band would not be able to perform even though the organization promised to fund the band's expenses, as it has in previous years.