Leahy Welcomes Graham as New Republican Co-Chair of 97-Member Senate National Guard Caucus
WASHINGTON Nov. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who has been the Democratic co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus for more than a decade, has a new Republican partner. At a news conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Leahy welcomed as the caucus’ new co-chair Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Graham will replace Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.), a founding member of the caucus, who is retiring from the Senate.
It is a rare leadership change for the influential group. In a partnership that has spanned a decade, Leahy and Bond have forged the caucus into a highly effective advocacy body on Guard issues, during a time of sweeping changes in the Guard’s mission, needs and role in the Pentagon’s decision making apparatus – changes that accelerated after 9/11. Graham, a former member of the South Carolina Air National Guard and a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, has been active on Guard and Reserve issues on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Working closely together as a team, Leahy and Bond ushered in major “Guard Empowerment” reforms that have given the Guard its first four-star seat at the table when key decisions on missions, staffing and equipment are made. On the Appropriations Committee, Leahy and Bond also have remedied earlier massive equipment shortages facing the Guard.
SOURCE Office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy