Contact: Josh Holly; 202.226.3988
Washington D.C. – U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), senior Republican on the House Armed Services Committee delivered the following statement today at the full committee hearing on the recommendations recently released by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves:
“This is an important hearing, Mr. Chairman, given the significant issues that we face regarding matters of homeland defense and homeland security, and the role and resourcing of the National Guard in both those missions. Furthermore, just as we are faced with significant issues of resetting and sustaining both the Army and the Marine Corps, this committee also must address how to sustain and reset the National Guard and other reserve components.
“As you know, this hearing is a direct result of the action that the Armed Services Committee took in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, which required the Commission on the National Guard and Reserve to report on the advisability and feasibility of implementing the National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act of 2006.
“The Commission’s report is now before us and I want to commend not only General Punaro, the chairman, who is with us today, but also the other commissioners who have developed a series of important and thoughtful recommendations.
“We will certainly consider those recommendations in the context of the mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.
“It is my understanding that Secretary Gates is already working on a package of legislative proposals in response to these Commission recommendations with a goal of getting them to the Congress by the latter part of April. I am encouraged by that response and the willingness of the Department to make necessary changes.
“As this committee moves to shape our own recommendations, I would ask that we also give full consideration to those that are developed by Secretary Gates.”