Barrar Joins Colleagues to Rally in Support of National Guard
6/19/2013

Legislators urge Congress to exempt National Guard technicians from sequestration

On June 19, Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) joined with fellow lawmakers, the Pennsylvania National Guard Association and military advocates to bring awareness to the danger Pennsylvanians would be put in if the federal government furloughs 1,800 Pennsylvania National Guard technicians. Barrar and the other participants are urging the president and Congress to support federal H.R. 1014, which would exempt military technicians from sequestration by including them in military personnel accounts now and in the future.
HARRISBURG –
Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, joined other legislators and members of the Pennsylvania National Guard Association at a rally in the Capitol Rotunda urging Congress to exempt 1,800 Pennsylvania National Guard technicians from furloughs as a result of the federal budget sequestration.

“As we go through our budget process at the state level, I can commiserate with the need to control costs, but the National Guard is not the place to make cuts,” said Barrar.  “We rely on the National Guard as the first line of response during times of domestic emergency.  We must ensure that they are prepared to answer the call.”

To see a video of Barrar’s comments, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8HWcw4pbRs.

During the event, participants highlighted the unanimous adoption of both House Resolution 360 and Senate Resolution 104.  Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Beaver/Lawrence), Democrat chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, authored the House resolution, and Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Allegheny/Beaver/Greene/Washington/Westmoreland), Democrat chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, authored the Senate version.  The resolutions urges Congress and the president to support federal H.R. 1014, which would exempt military technicians from sequestration by including them in military personnel accounts now and in the future.

Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne/Monroe/Pike/Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming), majority chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, joined with Barrar, Sainato and Solobay, to echo the recommendations of Joel Mutschler, chairman of the Pennsylvania National Guard Association.

“The president, Congress and the Department of Defense all agreed to exempt uniformed personnel from the sequester to limit the impact on military readiness; however, the furlough of military technicians violates that intent,” said Mutschler. “We thank the Pennsylvania General Assembly for its steadfast support and for joining us in expressing to Congress and the president that they need to correct this oversight.”

Nationwide, 53,000 National Guard technicians are susceptible to the furloughs.  National Guard technicians are a separate class of National Guardsmen who are full-time federal employees of the Department of Army or Department of the Air Force.  They are dual-status technicians who also fall under the authority of their state’s adjutant general.  By contrast, most members of the National Guard have full-time civilian jobs in addition to their monthly Guard duties.

“National Guard Technicians keep Fort Indiantown Gap and our other National Guard installations at the ready for any emergency,” said Barrar.  “They maintain military equipment, run the day-to-day operations of our facilities, schedule and design training maneuvers, and ensure our installations are properly supplied, in addition to participating regularly in drills.  They are essential to public safety and emergency preparedness.”

The Pennsylvania National Guard has been one of the most called upon during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Domestically, they respond during times of crisis, such as during winter storms, hurricanes, floods and civil unrest. 

More information about Barrar and his other legislative priorities is available at www.SteveBarrar.com and www.Facebook.com/RepBarrar

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
717.783.8063
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
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