Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the amendment to permit the National Guard and Federal agencies performing homeland defense activities to enter into a military cooperative agreement with facilities capable of providing emergency response training.
Providing our National Guard units and public service employees with increased opportunities to train at the state of the art homeland defense training facilities is just plain commonsense. It's a win for the military and service personnel who will be better prepared to safely work in the field and a win for the local communities, who will see local job creation.
My amendment does not call for any increase in funding. It is simply a legislative fix to allow the training facilities to competitively bid for training contracts with the National Guard and Federal agencies. This will allow for additional, comprehensive training for those who are on the front lines during a domestic emergency.
I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment to ensure that our National Guard and homeland disaster first responders have all of the training and tools necessary to carry out their mission.