WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association issued the following statement regarding the Senate Armed Services Committee’s passage of the Defense Authorization bill:

“The nation’s governors are encouraged by the Senate Armed Services Committee’s work to protect the Air National Guard from disproportionate and damaging reductions. Governors are particularly appreciative of the work of Committee Chairman Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and Ranking Member Arizona Sen. John McCain, as well as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin for their efforts to preserve Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve aircraft and personnel at fiscal year 2012 levels for fiscal year 2013. 

“The Senate Committee action follows adoption of similar protections for the Air National Guard that were included in the bill passed by the House last week. Both bills provide a path to meet fiscal responsibilities while protecting the aircraft and personnel necessary to fulfill the Guard’s critical mission at home and abroad. 

“This pause gives governors and the Department of Defense the opportunity to put a process in place for 2014 that recognizes the cost-effectiveness and value of the Guard.”