Norton Expresses Disappointment that DoD Did Not Call on Congress to Give D.C. Mayor Control Over D.C. National Guard When It Streamlined Approval Authority

Jan 12, 2022
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) expressed disappointment that the Department of Defense (DoD) did not call on Congress to give the mayor of the District of Columbia control over the D.C. National Guard in connection with the memorandum it issued on December 30, 2021, streamlining the approval process for deploying the D.C. National Guard for law enforcement purposes. The president controls the D.C. National Guard, while the governors of the states and territories control their National Guards.

“I am disappointed that DoD did not call on Congress to give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard when it streamlined approval authority for deploying the D.C. National Guard,” Norton said. “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. 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 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 House’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA) included Norton’s D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act, which would give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard. 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 version of the NDAA that was enacted into law did not include Norton’s bill.

###