U.S. governors plan to urge Obama not to downsize National Guard

WASHINGTON Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:08pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland February 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Governors from both U.S. political parties plan to talk to President Barack Obama on Monday about preventing potential cuts to National Guard units, several governors said on Sunday.

"In downsizing the military, we want to make sure that reserve and National Guard is protected in our country," Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"I'm going to have that discussion with the President tomorrow," Malloy, a Democrat, said.

Many governors are in Washington this week for a national conference of state executives. They are scheduled to have dinner at the White House on Sunday and meet with Obama on Monday.

Several appeared on Sunday morning talk shows, where they said they wanted to speak to the president about the potential cuts to the National Guard. The Guard is a reserve force that is part of the Army but serves state governments often at times of crisis, such as during floods or after hurricanes.

The budget deal Congress reached in December blunted the effect of the across-the-board cuts that had been expected to hit military programs, but the agencies are still expected to reduce spending.

"We cannot shrink that force the way that is being proposed out of the Defense Department," Malloy said.

Another governor, Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin, echoed Malloy's comments on "Fox News Sunday."

"We're going to talk about the National Guard," Walker said when asked what he planned to discuss with the president.

"I think there is common agreement amongst all 50 governors that we shouldn't go back to pre-9/11 standards when it comes to the National Guard," he said.

(This version of the story was corrected to clarify that the governors cited the National Guard as a planned topic of discussion with Obama)

(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; editing by Ros Krasny and Amanda Kwan)

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Comments (16)
ccsccs123 wrote:
“In downsizing the military,”

Well that has been very obvious the past 5 years obongo.

Feb 23, 2014 1:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
carnivalchaos wrote:
ccsccs123: You’re not making sense. Congress determines how much defense spending is to take place, not the President. The cuts being referred to are from the sequester, the result of the Republicans unable to do their jobs.

However, defense SHOULD be cut. We spend too much on defense, and most of the country agrees. We can’t afford it. If you want to criticize Obama on defense spending, criticize him for not advocating a bigger cut in defense budget. And btw, the military hasn’t been downsized over the past 5 years. The only cuts are from the sequester. Mindlessness.

Feb 23, 2014 2:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Timbuk3 wrote:
I fail to see how overstaffing the national guard would have any benefit against our post “9-11″ enemies.

Boston marathon, fort hood and movie theater attacks have not been influenced one iota by the national guard.

Feb 23, 2014 3:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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