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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Legislative Alert: Aug. 11, 2006

Things to Do! NGAUS Alerts
Check our two new legislative alerts on the NGAUS website http://www.ngaus.org. The National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act of 2006 and #06-14 and #06-13 Voicing Strong Opposition to Section 511 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. (Section 511 language pulls command and control of the Guard from the Governors during, certain emergency operations).

Now is the time to take action. Your Member of Congress is at home in your district looking for votes. Make a point to call or visit their local offices and urge support of National Guard issues. Letters are also available on our “write to congress” feature on our website http://www.ngaus.org for each Alert. You can fax or e-mail as well.

Nation’s Governors register opposition to Section 511 in the House Authorization Act of FY07 (30 Governors have signed)
To: Senate Majority Leader Frist, Senate Minority Leader Reid, Speaker of the House Hastert and House Minority Leader Pelosi.

The nation’s governors strongly oppose legislation to allow the President to federalize the National Guard in a state without the consent of the governor. The House passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5122) would authorize the President to take control of the Guard in case of “a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident, or catastrophe that occurs in the United States, its territories and possession, or Puerto Rico.” The provision was drafted without consultation or input from governors and represents an unprecedented shift in authority from governors as Commanders and Chief of the Guard to the federal government. We take very seriously our constitutional duty to protect our citizens and lead our Guard. We are responsible for the safety and welfare of our citizens and are in the best position to coordinate all resources to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. The current process by which we use our National Guard emergencies and request federal assistance when necessary works well and should not be changed. We urge you to drop provisions that would usurp governor’s authority over the National Guard during emergencies from the conference agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act.

Senate Appropriation
Senate Report 109-292

The Senate left town without finishing the Senate Appropriation Act. Right now there have been 95 amendments included in the act.

Wyoming Delegation Visits
Brigadier General Don Hough, Assistant Adjutant General-Air and Colonel Harold Reed, 153rd Airlift Wing Commander and members of his staff were on Capitol Hill last week. They met with members of their Congressional delegation to discuss support for the Air National Guard.

NGAUS meets with the DoD Health Affairs Secretary
NGAUS legislative staff was invited to take part in a discussion on August 8th with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. William Winkenwerder. The discussion centered on the current TRICARE budget and what type of strategic plan will be needed in the future to ensure current, past and future beneficiaries receive the care they deserve. Although no concrete decisions were made at the meeting, NGAUS was glad to participate and looks forward to opportunities to add our voice along with those representing the Guard’s active duty counterparts.

Parliamentarians Needed!
As the NGAUS Legislative Staff prepares for the General Conference in New Mexico, the call is going out for volunteers to serve as parliamentarians for the resolutions sessions. Each resolution subcommittee (Army and Air) needs an experienced individual parliamentarian for the respective resolutions committees. One parliamentarian will serve the Joint committee as well. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Bernie Phelps at (202) 408-5884.

NGAUS Legislative Deputy Returning to New York
Scott Hommel, NGAUS Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, has announced his intention to leave NGAUS to return permanently to New York. Citing a need to spend more time with family, Scott will be joining Peduzzi Associates, Ltd., working out of New York and traveling to Washington as required. He will continue to serve at NGAUS until 1 October 2006. Scott has played a major role in developing the proactive legislative team here in Washington. His friendly demeanor and aggressive style will be sorely missed. Brig. Gen. (ret) Rich Green is beginning an immediate search for Scott’s replacement. We wish Scott well.

Mark your calendars

NGAUS CACO Conference
In anticipation for next year, NGAUS has already secured hotel rooms for next year’s CACO Legislative Conference. The conference will be held on March 5 & 6, 2007. For information regarding the 2008 conference, check out the Legislative page of the NGAUS website.

Need information!

Looking for information about the 128th NGAUS Conference, what the legislative team working on and what is the latest news on the National Guard go to http://www.ngaus.org.

“We Serve”

Providing NGAUS members with effective and knowledgeable representation on Capitol Hill.

Published by the NGAUS Legislative Staff:
Brig Gen (ret) Richard M. Green, Director
Scott Hommel, Deputy Director
Michele Traficante, Joint Programs
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Andy Vanlandingham, Air Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst
Emily Breitbach, Legislative Analyst

For more information on NGAUS, check out our website: www.NGAUS.org.

Category: NGAUS.


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