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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Legislative Alert #06-21

The Issue: National Defense Enhancement and the National Guard Empowerment Act of 2006 as contained in the 2007 Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Action Required: Contact your Congressmen and Senators and ask them to urge the Armed Services Committees’ Leadership to support National Guard Empowerment in Conference

The Senate passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 2766, that incorporated features of the National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act. S. 2658. Although some pieces of the original legislation are omitted, it will be a major step forward for the National Guard in providing significant leverage at the bargaining table with the Pentagon. The amendment still promotes the NGB Chief to a four-star position, directs the Deputy Commander at Northern Command be a Guard officer, designates the National Guard as a joint activity of DOD and allows the National Guard Bureau to establish more direct lines of communication with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, states and federal agencies.

Although USNORTHCOM is the combatant command with the ultimate responsibility for defending our homeland, it is the National Guard, located in over 3000 communities across our country that will answer the call. The National Guard has a unique constitutional responsibility to our governors, making them the first choice to assist our first responders in responding to natural disasters or terrorist attacks. This logically leads to the conclusion that the Guard needs a seat at the table as Deputy Commander of USNORTHCOM, and in the Pentagon, as a four-star Chief of NGB when decisions are being made concerning force structure and defense budgets.

Continuing Department of Defense decisions made without National Guard participation must end. The NDAA Empowerment language is a critical first step, ready now, to further that goal. Those who wish to harm this country will not wait. Neither can the National Guard.

Senate Conferees: Warner, R-VA; McCain, R-AZ; Inhofe, R-OK; Roberts, R-KS; Sessions, R-AL; Collins, R-ME; Ensign, R-NV; Talent, R-MO; Chambliss, R-GA; Graham, R-SC; Dole, R-NC; Cornyn, R-TX; Thune, R-SD; Levin, D-MI; Kennedy, D-MA; Byrd, D-WV; Lieberman, D-CT; Reed, D-RI; Akaka, D-HI; Nelson, D-FL; Nelson, D-NE; Dayton, D-MN; Bayh, D-IN; and Clinton, D-NY

House Conferees: Hunter, R-CA; Weldon, R-PA; Hefley, R-CO; Saxton, R-NJ; McHugh, R-NY; Everett, R-AL; Barrett, R-SC; Thornberry, R-TX; Hostettler, R-IN; Jones, R-NC; Ryun, R-KS; Gibbons, R-NV; Hayes, R-NC; Calvert, R-CA; Simmons, R-CT; Drake, R-VA; Davis, R-KY; Skelton, D-MO; Spratt, D-SC; Ortiz, D-TX; Taylor, R-MS; Abercrombie, D-HI; Meehan, D-MA; Reyes, D-TX; Snyder, D-AR; Smith, D-WA; Sanchez, D-CA; Tauscher, D-CA; Brady, D-PA; Andrews, D-NJ; Hoekstra, R-MI; LaHood, R-IL; Harman, D-CA; McKeon, R-CA; Kline, R-MN; Miller, D-CA; Barton, R-TX; Gilmor, R-OH; Dingell, D-MI; Davis, R-VA; Shays, R-CT; Waxman, D-CA; King, R-NY; Reichert, R-WA; Thompson, D-MS; Hyde, R-IL; Leach, R-IA; Lantos, D-CA; Sensenbrenner, R-WI; Coble, R-NC; Conyers, D-MI; Pombo, R-CA; Walden, R-OR; Grijalva, D-AZ; Boehlert, R-NY; Sodrel, R-IN; Gordon, D-TN; Manzullo, R-IL; Kelly, R-NY; Velazquez, D-NY; Young, R- AK; LoBiondo, R-NJ; Oberstar, D-MN; Buyer, R-IN; Boozman, R-AR; Herseth, D-SD

By using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS web page www.ngaus.org you can email your elected officials immediately and send a pre written message or edit it as you desire for the issue described above. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to the President or members of Congress.

Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to "Write to Congress" as well

For more in-depth information and background visit our web site at www.ngaus.org.

Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Scott Hommel, NGAUS Deputy Legislative Director at: 202-454-5307 or email
: scott.hommel@ngaus.org.

Category: (Military) NGAUS Leg.
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