Today, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and Representative Anthony Brown (D-MD) expressed disappointment that the final National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA) does not give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard and vowed to keep fighting to enact this important and necessary reform into law.
The members said: "We are disappointed that the final NDAA does not give the D.C. mayor appropriate powers to address the response failures of two violent incidents in the nation's capital. The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the events at Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, are prime examples of why giving the mayor control is vital and underscores the urgency of getting such a bill signed into law. We now know that on January 6th, the Trump administration refused to deploy the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol for several hours, endangering countless lives and prolonging the insurrection. At Lafayette Square, the Trump administration used the D.C. National Guard and other federal law enforcement agencies to attack largely peaceful protestors. Both incidents highlight the urgent need to give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard."
The governors of states and territories control their National Guards, while the president controls the D.C. National Guard. The House-passed version of the NDAA included the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard provision. Senate republicans blocked consideration of an amendment filed by Senators Van Hollen and Carper to include this provision in the Senate version.
When the House passed its version of the NDAA, it was the first time either chamber of Congress had ever passed a bill to give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard. The members have previously introduced the D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act to give the mayor control.