A bill before the Wyoming Legislature would prevent the state's Army and Air National Guard units from seeing overseas combat without a declaration of war from Congress.

House Bill 98, or the Defend the Guard Act, bars Wyoming guard troops from being deployed to active combat and released from state control without a congressional declaration of war.

The United States hasn't declared war since World War 2.

Sundance Republican Rep. Tyler Lindholm is the legislation's primary sponsor. He told the Sundance Times last month that passing the law is a "huge responsibility" of the state. Lindholm additionally said it's "dumbfounding" that Wyoming is "willing to just nod our heads to the federal government anytime they want to deploy our National Guard."

Lindholm said on the Glenn Woods show Thursday morning that he became involved with foreign policy as a state representative because of the "failure of the federal government."

"That is our role as a state," Lindholm said. "As a state representative, I think it's my duty to defend our guard in this situation."

Similar legislation is pending throughout the United States.

Wyoming's western neighbors, Idaho and Utah, are considering Defend the Guard acts along with several other states scattered throughout the country.

Lindholm said the bill faces a tough battle of even making it onto the House floor for debate. This year, the Legislature will only meet for 20 days to pass a budget. For a bill to even make it far enough to be discussed in a legislative committee, two-thirds of the 60-person House must give their approval.

"I've gotta convince 39 of my colleagues to vote with me to even have it introduced and sent to committee," Lindholm said. "This bill — this one right here — is the most important piece of legislation, I feel, the Legislature has looked at in the past 20-30 years.

"This is standing up and saying, 'This is our National Guard.' Congress is out of their zone and they need to take responsibility if they're going to deploy our troops."


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