Maloney, Norton, Van Hollen, Carper, Brown Celebrate Historic House Passage of D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act

Sep 24, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Tom Carper, and Congressman Anthony Brown announced that their District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act, which would give the D.C. Mayor control over the D.C. National Guard (DCNG), passed the House today as part of the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Currently, the President controls the DCNG, while the governors of the states and territories control their National Guards. This is the first time either chamber has passed a bill to give the D.C. mayor control over the DCNG.

 

“On January 6, 2021, Americans watched in horror as U.S. Capitol Police waited for hours for the assistance from the National Guard that they urgently needed to protect the Capitol from a violent attack. That’s why I’m proud to have supported the inclusion of the D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will ensure the Mayor of the District of Columbia has the appropriate authorities to deploy and mobilize the National Guard in the event of an emergency,” said Chairwoman Maloney.

 

“The District of Columbia mayor is the chief executive for our jurisdiction and has the best knowledge and most reliable expertise about when to deploy our own National Guard,” Norton said. “The D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act, which I had introduced for years before the January 6th insurrection, simply gives the District’s chief executive the same authority afforded to governors of states and territories over their Guards. This bill may have ended the insurrection hours earlier on January 6th, and would afford D.C. a critical element of home rule as we simultaneously fight for statehood. Today’s House passage is another step toward granting full equality to D.C. on our road to statehood.”

 

“On January 6th, as our Capitol faced an insurrectionist attack, District of Columbia officials and Capitol Police were unable to get the backup they needed. To better protect our nation’s capital, it’s clear that D.C. must have complete authority over its National Guard. I’m glad to see the House pass this vital provision, and I’ll be working to get this passed in the Senate,” said Senator Van Hollen.

 

“When floodwaters rise, the electric grid breaks down, or vaccination tents go up, local leaders and folks across the country take comfort knowing that the brave men and women of the National Guard are standing by ready to help. But for those who call the District of Columbia home, help is delayed when disaster strikes. It’s long past time for D.C. leaders to make D.C.’s decisions — starting with having the ability to call on their National Guard,” Senator Carper said. “I’m pleased that the House passed the District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act today as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, a positive step forward to finally give the District control over their National Guard. I look forward to working to right this historic wrong in the Senate and providing DC residents the same peace of mind and protection that their fellow Americans enjoy.”

 

“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act leads with our values and will make our country and communities safer. I applaud the inclusion of a provision providing the D.C. Mayor authority over the Guard to protect public safety and respond to emergency situations,” said Congressman Anthony Brown. “We’ve seen across the country how local elected officials, with the support of federal partners, have the best knowledge base to quickly deploy the assets to address the security issues. This legislation is an important step forward for the safety of our 700,000 neighbors in Washington D.C. and ultimately statehood.”

 

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Issues: 
117th Congress