Gelding the States
Huckabee told reporters that the move to shift control of the Guard to the president during national emergencies "violates 200 years of American history" and is symptomatic of a larger federal effort to make states no more than "satellites of the national government."
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, the senior Democrat, called the proposal "one step away from a complete takeover of the National Guard, the end of the Guard as a dual-function force that can respond to both state and national needs."
The provision was tucked into the House version of the defense bill without notice to the states, something Vilsack said he resents as much as the proposal itself.
Under the provision, the president would have authority to take control of the Guard in case of "a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe" in the United States.