December 15, 2011

Manchin applauds elevation of National Guard to Joint Chiefs | WOWK News

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted Thursday for final passage of a bipartisan bill to elevate the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and fund the Department of Defense for the coming year. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act will now go to the President's desk for his signature.

"We don't see much bipartisan cooperation around here, but members of Congress from both parties recognized that our National Guard has earned a place at the highest tables of our nation's military, and I was so proud to help fight for this well-deserved honor. No one achieved this for the Guard - their hard work and sacrifice earned them this seat," Manchin said in a news release. "As Governor, I was extremely honored to be the commander-in-chief of the best National Guard and Reserve forces in the nation. On top of giving the Guard this long-overdue elevation, I am so encouraged to see that in this bill, Democrats and Republicans put politics aside and made sure that our defense needs are funded - and that we did so for the 50th consecutive year. I ask the President to sign this bill quickly."

In addition to the elevation of the guard chief, the bill also includes a 1.6 percent across-the-board pay raise for all members of the uniformed services. It also caps future health care fee increases to cost of living adjustments.

By:  April Kaull