Control of D.C.’s National Guard will not be in the hands of the District’s mayor for the foreseeable future.
A provision in the latest military spending bill that would hand have handed over the reins was stripped after negotiations between the U.S. House and Senate.
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton proposed the D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act earlier this year and it was wrapped up in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.
Norton has been proposing similar legislation for years. When the House passed its version of the act earlier, it was the first time either chamber of Congress had ever passed a bill to give the mayor control over the D.C. National Guard.
But the latest version of the bill agreed on by the House and Senate Armed Services committees left the provision out.
In a statement, Norton and other lawmakers that supported the bill expressed frustration: “We are disappointed that the final NDAA does not give the D.C. mayor appropriate powers to address the response failures of two violent incidents in the nation’s capital. The attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and the events at Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, are prime examples of why giving the mayor control is vital and underscores the urgency of getting such a bill signed into law.”
An independent review released in November by an inspector general found that top Pentagon leaders acted appropriately in deploying the D.C. National Guard.
Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Tom Carper, D-Del., as well as Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., and Anthony Brown, D-Md., were among those who supported the bill.
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