In what is hopefully the first salvo by the states against the power of the federal war-making machine, Vermont lawmakers from both houses of the legislature are pushing bills to pull the state’s national guard troops from Iraq.
State Rep. Michael Fisher, D-Lincoln, said the authority to call up Guard members for Iraq duty has expired because that country no longer poses a threat to U.S. national security.
â€œThe mission authorized in 2002 does not exist,â€ said Fisher, who plans to introduce a bill backed by 30 colleagues Wednesday that calls on Gov. Jim Douglas to join the effort. â€œUnless Congress grants a new authorization, the Vermont Guard should revert back to state control.â€
Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin said the Senate would take up similar legislation.
â€œBottom line is, if the politicians in Washington arenâ€™t going to do the right thing for our troops, letâ€™s do the right thing by bringing our Vermont Guard members home,â€ he said. â€œIf Vermont can make one small step forward, I believe others will follow.â€
Similar proposals are being considered by lawmakers in Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Let’s take their proposals to the other states and make this an issue in state legislative election this year.