Governors Balk at Losing Guard Control

House authorizers included a provision in their version of the 2007 defense bill that would enable the President to federalize National Guard forces during a “serious” catastrophe without consulting a state’s governor. A group of 51 governors, including Puerto Rico’s top elected official, sent Senate and House leaders a letter registering their strong opposition to such legislation. They say the provision blindsided them and “represents an unprecedented shift in authority.” They maintain that the current process to engage Guard forces works well. A similar provision does not exist in the Senate version of the bill, so it’s an issue for conference when lawmakers return from August recess.