Wyoming lawmakers kill 'Defend the Guard' deployment act
By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: February 15, 2020
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Veterans and lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, rallied in support of a bill in Wyoming that would restrict combat deployment of National Guard troops.
The bill failed an initial vote, 35-22, falling far short of the two-thirds majority needed for introduction in the Wyoming House.
Under the Defend the Guard Act, Wyoming troops and airmen could only be sent to combat with congressional authorization specifically granted by the Constitution, such as declaration of war.
States including Michigan, Oklahoma and West Virginia have discussed similar legislation recently as the U.S. nears two decades of conflict in Afghanistan since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"We now have kids going to war who were born after 9/11. I don't think one generation should bind another generation in war,” Paul told a small crowd Friday at the Wyoming Capitol.
Opponents of such measures in other states have pointed out there's already a potential check on combat deployments of National Guard troops — they must be approved by a governor.
Lawmakers defeated the bill on introduction without debate later Friday.