Senate Fri. night passes Leahy-authored Commission To Review The Future Of The Army, with major implications for the future of the National Guard

Leahy-Authored Commission To Review Future of Army
Passes As Part Of Annual Defense Authorization Bill

. . . Major Implications Also For The Future Of The National Guard

. . . Bill Also Adds Portions Of VT’s Upper Missisquoi And Trout Rivers To National Wild And Scenic Rivers System

. . . Senate Action Sends Bill To President’s Desk

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014) – U.S. Senate National Guard Caucus Co-Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday praised inclusion of the National Commission on the Future of the Army in the final Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  The Senate passed the annual defense authorization bill Friday night in a vote of 89 to 11.  

The independent review panel will consider and evaluate key policies concerning the make-up, training and deployment processes of the U.S. Army.  This review has major implications as well for the future of the National Guard.  The panel will also make recommendations to Congress and the President about how to best shape the Army for the future and address antiquated practices within the Army.  In addition to establishing the panel, the law will also freeze some of the most controversial proposals of the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal, including the transfer of all Apache attack helicopters, until after the Commission issues its report.  The provisions included in the authorization bill were introduced earlier this year by Leahy and Guard Caucus Co-Chair Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).  Their bipartisan legislation was cosponsored by 47 senators.

“The Administration’s budget proposal reflected many tough choices about the future size and shape of each of the Services,” said Leahy.  “But it also included decisions about the U.S. Army that would irreversibly change the nature of that branch of our Armed Forces, including the National Guard, which has served with distinction in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and here at home.  The Guard deserves a bigger role in America’s future security than is envisioned in the Administration’s budget.  We cannot realistically defend the nation without the Guard taking on a bigger role.  This Commission will help provide an objective, outside review of these consequential decisions.”

In a federal lands package added to the legislation, the defense authorization bill also includes a new law to add portions of Vermont’s Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

The bill now goes to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

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