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HASC Maintains Gubernatorial Authority Over Guard

05-29-24 WR Authority WEBSITE
05-29-24 WR Authority WEBSITE
Washington Report

The nation's governors would maintain their ability to nix any proposed transfers of National Guard units to other components under a measure approved on May 22 by the House Armed Services Committee.

The Department of the Air Force — which oversees both the Air Force and the Space Force — had asked the HASC for permission to bypass America's governors and move the Air National Guard's space units to the Space Force.

But all 54 of the nation’s governors, many lawmakers, the chief of the National Guard Bureau and NGAUS opposed the proposal.

Federal law requires a governor to consent to any move of a Guard unit in their state or territory.

The Air Force’s proposed language was in the initial draft of the HASC's fiscal 2025 National Defense Authorization Act.

Yet the HASC approved an amendment from Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., last week, which maintains gubernatorial authority over potential moves involving Guard units.

The matter is also far from fully resolved.

The HASC’s version of the fiscal 2025 NDAA now goes to the full House for consideration.

The Air Force's proposal will also likely come up when the Senate Armed Service Committee marks its version of the fiscal 2025 NDAA during the second week of June.

Any differences in the House and Senate versions of the NDAA must be reconciled and approved by both chambers before President Joe Biden can consider signing the annual defense policy bill into law.

Other key items in the HASC's version of the fiscal 2025 NDAA include:

  • Zero-cost dental coverage for every member of the Guard and Reserve.
  • A permanent Air Guard tuition assistance program like what is currently available in the Army Guard.
  • An increase in military leave for federal employees in the Guard and Reserve from 15 to 20 days.
  • Up to $100 in medical cost reimbursement for military applicants to cover the co-pays for required tests and procedures.

— By John Goheen