PLEASANTON -- A new federal law clears the way for a Marine Corps band to play again at the Scottish Highland Gathering and Games after a one-year absence.

In 2013, the Department of Defense barred travel for military bands playing at many community events, including the Scottish Games in Pleasanton, even if event sponsors paid the travel costs.

But now that travel restriction has been eased by an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act sponsored Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin. The bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 26.

"The provision represents a common sense solution to a needless, bureaucratic problem," Swalwell said in a written statement issued Monday.

He said the Scottish Games' sponsor, the Caledonian Club of San Francisco, had funded the San-Diego based Marine band's expenses to play in previous games, and was prepared to do so again in 2013 if allowed.

Swalwell said the band's appearance in Pleasanton this September will not cost taxpayers.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff