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Friday, September 01, 2006

NGAUS Legislative Update; 9/1/2006

Recess is Over!
Congress will return to work on Tuesday, September 5. This is expected to be the final legislative effort before both chambers adjourn to campaign for the coming November elections. Both the House and Senate have tentatively set Oct. 6 as their adjournment date.

The Senate is expected to finish debate on the Defense Appropriations bill during next week’s floor action. Once complete, it will proceed to conference committee with the House.

The Authorization bill may be completed in the next few weeks. Reports indicate that many of the issues have been resolved by staff with big issues left for the leadership of the two committees.

NGAUS will update with more information as it comes available.

NGAUS Alerts
NGAUS has issued several legislative alerts throughout the past several weeks in an effort to keep pressure on Congress to support Guard related issues.

Each legislative alert is posted on the NGAUS website (NGAUS.org) and includes directions on actions that you can take as well as letters that you can email, mail, or fax to your elected officials.

Alert # 06-18: National Defense Enhancement and National Guard.
Empowerment Act of 2006. Within the Senate version of the Authorization bill, legislation is included that would elevate the Chief of the Guard Bureau to a four-star position, designate the Deputy Commander at NORTHCOM a Guard member, and establish Guard service as a “joint.” These provisions were added as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill, which is currently in conference between the House and Senate. Contact your members of Congress and ask that this legislation be included in the final version of the Authorization Bill. It is imperative that the Guard have a seat at the table to impact decisions on behalf of the Army and Air National Guard.

Alert # 06-16: TRICARE.
The House version of the Authorization bill contains a measure that would enhance TRICARE access to all members of the National Guard. The provision would establish premium cost-share of 28 percent for the National Guard regardless of duty status. Urge your Senator to support this language and keep it in the final bill.

Alert #06-13: Section 511 of the Defense Authorization Bill.
Another item included within H.R. 5122, the House version of the defense authorization bill, is a provision that would allow the President to federalize National Guard members during a “serious natural or man-made disaster, accident or catastrophe that occurs in the United States, its territories and possessions, or Puerto Rico,” without prior consultation with the governor.

This would allow the federal government to control National Guard members during times when governors will need those troops the most, thereby negating the inherent line of authority from governor to adjutant general to individual Army and Air National Guard units. The National Guard Association of the United States strongly opposed to Section 511 of H.R. 5122. Conference committee members should be made aware of the dangerous precedent set by section 511 of H.R. 5122.

Alert #06-12: Joint Cargo Aircraft.
The House version of the Authorization bill includes funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program while the Senate does not. NGAUS supports the House language that funds JCA.

As you know, the Army National Guard is scheduled to field the JCA to replace aging and lesser performing C-23 and C-26 aircraft. The National Guard Bureau is also promoting the JCA as a follow-on mission for Air National Guard wings that are slated to lose aircraft as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). When not deployed in support of the Global War on Terror or other contingencies, these aircraft will be available for state missions such as disaster response and homeland security. This aircraft is critical for states and units around the country who have a need for this capability.

Write your member of Congress to express your support on this important issue.

NGAUS Resolutions Sessions
One of the most important tasks at the NGAUS conference is the passage of resolutions at the Joint, Army and Air Resolutions Sessions. As a reminder to the voting delegates--bring a copy of the resolutions packet. It is NGAUS hope that all delegates will have read the resolutions prior to arrival and the first resolutions session on Friday, Sept. 15. If you have any questions regarding resolutions, please contact Ms. Bernie Phelps: B. Phelps.

“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, Legislative 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: NGAUS.org

Category: NGAUS.


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