(Boise, Idaho) – Yesterday the Arizona State Senate passed S.B. 1367, the Defend the Guard Act, in a 16-13 partisan vote. This bill would prohibit the deployment of the Arizona National Guard into active combat without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The Arizona Senate has become the first state legislative chamber to pass the Defend the Guard Act.
A draft of S.B. 1367 can be read here. The Senate floor vote and debate can be watched here.
“If the president wants to use the Arizona National Guard to fight wars halfway across the world, then it can only be done after a majority of the people’s representatives vote to send them there. If Congress refuses to vote, then its a war the Arizona National Guard should not be fighting,” Senator Wendy Rogers (R-District 7) said in her closing speech. Ret. Lt. Col. Rogers is a twenty-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and lead Senate sponsor of S.B. 1367.
“So proud of my friend Wendy Rogers,” tweeted Kari Lake, the Arizona Republican Party’s 2022 gubernatorial nominee, following announcement of the bill’s passage in the upper chamber.
“Yesterday was historic. Exactly twenty years and one day after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Arizona State Senate has passed legislation that will ensure their National Guard will never again participate in unconstitutional wars that Congress refuses to take accountability for,” explained Dan McKnight, Chairman of Bring Our Troops Home. “My team and I have laid the groundwork for four years to reach this point. We could not be more proud of all the Arizonans who called their legislators in support of the Defend the Guard Act. Through education we can move mountains and together end our endless wars.”
Sgt. Dan McKnight is a thirteen-year veteran of the U.S. military, with service in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, U.S. Army, and Idaho Army National Guard, including an eighteen month combat deployment in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007. He founded Bring Our Troops Home, a national, non-partisan veterans organization which advocates the return of congressional war powers and an immediate end of the United States’ unconstitutional wars in the Middle East and Africa, in 2019.
“I’m lucky to work with bold bill sponsors in dozens of states, but none that picked up the guidon and charged into battle with the same grit as Senator Wendy Rogers,” McKnight said. Versions of the Defend the Guard Act have been introduced in eighteen states in 2023, and more are expected before the close of the year. Visit DefendTheGuard.US for more information.
During his floor speech in support of S.B. 1367, Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli (R-District 30) quoted extensively from the 1935 best-selling book War Is a Racket by U.S. Marine Major General Smedley General.
“As a committed supporter of America’s veterans, and as a legislator who took the oath to uphold and protect the United States Constitution, I will be enthusiastically voting for this legislation,” said Senator Justine Wadsack (R-District 17), a co-sponsor. Senator Wadsack read an excerpt from an op-ed by U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar (R-District 9) who endorsed S.B. 1367 and its house companion H.B. 2320 in February.
“I encourage all residents of Arizona to contact their local representatives and tell them that I support passage of the Defend the Guard Act, and so should they. This is legislation that puts our soldiers, and America, first. And I’m grateful to the veterans organization Bring Our Troops Home for bringing it to my attention,” wrote Congressman Gosar. The full op-ed can be read at the Libertarian Institute.
The Arizona House of Representatives is expected to take up H.B. 2320 shortly. The bill currently has ten co-sponsors.
To interview Sgt. Dan McKnight about S.B. 1367, Arizona’s unprecendented vote and the Defend the Guard movement, please contact Communications Director Hunter DeRensis at firstname.lastname@example.org.