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Despite Cuts, Schumer Gets Marine Corps Band to Play at St. Patrick’s Day Parade

7:52 AM, Mar 15, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Forget the sequester. If you're Chuck Schumer, there are ways around it. Consider the recent example of a U.S. Marine Corps band cancelling its scheduled performance at a St. Patrick's Day parade due to the "sequester"--and Chuck Schumer's successful "push" for the band to come anyway.

"U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that after his push, the U.S. Marine Corps Band will perform at the upcoming Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17th," Schumer's office announces. "The band was originally scheduled to perform, however, the parade coordinator was recently told by the band that because of sequestration the U.S. Marine Corps Band was prohibited by the Department of Defense from traveling on “non-essential” trips. The band is sponsored by Friends of St. Patrick as well as the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the costs for food, travel and lodging are fully paid for by these organizations. Schumer today announced that the Department of Defense will allow the U.S. Marine Corps Band to travel to the Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade and continue with their scheduled performance."

His office further explains: 

The U.S. Marine Corps Band has performed at the Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade 11 times, beginning in 1991. The event’s sponsors, the Friends of St. Patrick and the local VFW, are very familiar with the logistics involved in arranging for the band to perform and they are paying all the expenses, including transportation, lodging, and food. The organizations have already spent $6,500 in preparing for the band’s trip.

Schumer’s office has been in contact with the parade’s organization, “Friends of St. Patrick,” and after learning that the U.S. Marine Corps Band would have to cancel its performance due to sequestration, Schumer’s office pushed the Department of Defense to reconsider.

Schumer today announced that, after his push, the Department of Defense is allowing the U.S. Marine Corps Band to perform at the upcoming Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Interestingly, White House tours have been cancelled, and outside persons or groups that have volunteered to sponsor the tours have all had their offers declined, it seems. But here's a case of a sequester cut being reinstated after an outside group volunteered to pay the costs.

“The Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade has a rich 63 year long tradition on Long Island that celebrates Irish American heritage and parade goers, like myself, enjoy the U.S. Marine Corps Band’s performance,” reads Schumer's statement in the press release. “Since the trip was already paid for by the parade’s organizers, I am pleased that the Department of Defense heeded my call and allowed the band to continue on with its performance at the Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This band has been bringing sweet music to the ears of Rocky Point and Miller Place for so long and everyone is looking forward to this Sunday’s performance.”

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