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Vt. Lieutenant Governor Fights Proposed Guard Cuts

Opposition is growing to potential cuts for the Army National Guard.
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Opposition is growing to potential cuts for the Army National Guard.

The Vermont Army National Guard is 3000 members strong and they have a big fan at the Statehouse.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for all that they do for us," says Lt. Gov. Phil Scott,R-Vermont.

That's why Scott joined with 39 other seconds-in-command. They wrote President Obama to oppose his proposed cuts for the Army National Guard.

"We need them to be prepared and ready and we have to do our part in terms of funding them," says Scott.

"There's no question the proposed cuts will have an impact across the board," says Adjutant General Steven Cray, Vermont National Guard.

Cray says right now it's not clear how the cuts if they go through would affect Vermont. But he's concerned about the idea of the Army National Guard going back to pre-9/11 levels.

"Any cuts whether it's just you know money to do training, money to buy equipment, or you know cuts to personnel, will have an effect," says Cray.

Back at the Statehouse, Scott says it's not clear what politicians in Washington will decide. But he wants them to remember how important the guard is to Vermont, including for responding to emergencies and disasters.

"We've relied on our guard to help us out in those times of need. So, it's not the time to cut back in that area," says Scott.

The cuts are being debated in Washington right now.

We're told Congress should finalize the budget later this year and only after that would we find out how cuts, if any, would affect Vermont.

New Hampshire's senate president also signed onto the letter.
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