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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia)

Jul 2, 2020

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today thanked Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Tom Carper (D-DE) for filing an amendment to the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the Senate is considering on the floor this week, to give the District of Columbia mayor control over the D.C. National Guard. The President controls the D.C. National Guard, while the governors of the states and territories control their respective National Guards. This issue was raised again when the Trump administration deployed federal police, the D.C. National Guard and out-of-state National Guard troops on D.C. streets, without the mayor’s consent, in response to largely peaceful protests. Norton, whose D.C. statehood bill passed in the House on Friday, has long fought for D.C. to have control over its local affairs, including the D.C. National Guard, a home-rule issue that does not require statehood.

“Thank you, Senator Van Hollen and Senator Carper, for your amendment giving D.C. control of its own National Guard,” Norton said. “The NDAA provides a useful vehicle for this much-needed change to enhance local control and public safety. The D.C. mayor and National Guard have the most experience handling protests and demonstrations in the country because the nation’s capital is the most important venue for airing national issues.”

Norton is the sponsor of D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act, which would give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard. Van Hollen and Carper are the sponsors of the bill in the Senate. Van Hollen and Carper have long been active supporters of D.C. statehood, voting rights and home rule. Norton said she looks forward to working with them to pass the statehood bill in the Senate, but in the meantime, she is grateful for this amendment, which achieves an element of statehood.

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