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Governors oppose Biden National Guard proposal

Fifty governors have signed letters in opposition to a Biden administration proposal that would change who has control over a state’s national guard. A new Pentagon proposal, supported by the White House, would partially change that.

It’s a governor’s job to handle the state’s National Guard, deploying members within their own state or to others in times of crisis.

The Pentagon’s proposal would give the Air Force secretary the sole authority to move Air National Guard members from any state to Space Force units in effort to build the service’s Space Force.

The secretary said the proposal impacts 13 space units — about 1,000 Air National Guard members.

A White House official said the Biden administration stands by the proposal for a one-time transfer of airmen to help expand the Space Force and expand space security.

However, the governors are calling the proposal an overreach.

“If adopted, the proposal would flout more than a century of precedent and undermine federal law protections for state control of their National Guard,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, R, wrote in an open letter to lawmakers.

“Instead of attempting such a power grab in Congress, the U.S. Department of the Air Force should work with the affected governors to build up the Space Force in a way that is consistent with federal law,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R, wrote in an open letter to Biden.

“Legislation that sidesteps, eliminates or otherwise reduces Governors’ authority within their states and territories undermines longstanding partnerships, precedence, military readiness and operational efficacy,” a joint letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed by the other 48 governors reads.

The proposal is being reviewed by the Senate Armed Services Committee. There are no further reports on what committee members plan to do with it.

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