No Joy for Guard Boost:

The 2007 defense authorization bill, now awaiting President Bush’s signature, pushes forward any decision on whether to elevate the status of the chief of the National Guard Bureau. The measure calls for the Congressionally chartered Commission on the National Guard and Reserves to submit a report by March 1, 2007, on the ramifications of the issue. This decision by the House-Senate conference committee did not sit well with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), one of the key proponents for what is termed the National Guard empowerment reforms. Leahy wrote in a three-page statement: “I have been around here over 30 years, and almost every Senator here knows the National Guard as well as any commission member. We don’t need to wait, and we don’t need to study the question of enhancing the Guard further. This is a terrible blow against rational defense policy-making.”