Tester sponsors plan to strengthen National Guard, improve emergency response

Senator’s bipartisan bill gives Guard ‘seat at the table’ at the Pentagon

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is backing legislation to strengthen the National Guard and to improve coordination between states and the federal government when responding to emergencies.

The bipartisan National Guard Empowerment and Integration Act would elevate the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to a position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would reestablish the three-star position of Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Tester said the legislation would give the National Guard a “seat at the table” when the Pentagon determines budgets and policies, creating a more targeted funding process for the Guard’s domestic operations.

“I was in the Middle East this year to see Montana troops, and I’ve visited Montana’s flooded communities over the past few weeks,” Tester said.  “And in both places, Montana National Guardsmen are serving all of us honorably with hard work, dedication and unmatched skill.  It’s time we give the Guard a seat at the table and a stronger voice to make sure the needs of its people are met.”

The bill is endorsed by the National Guard Association of the United States.

A copy of the bipartisan National Guard Empowerment and Integration Act is available on Tester’s website, HERE.