September 09, 2020

Shaheen, Hassan & Bipartisan Group of Senators Call on Trump to Restore Full Funding for National Guard’s COVID-19 Response

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) sent a letter this week with a bipartisan group of Senators to President Trump, urging him to reinstate the 100 percent federal cost share for all National Guard members activated under 502(f) authority to support states’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan letter, led by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), is signed by 33 other Senators on both sides of the aisle. Shaheen and Leahy sent a letter with a group of Senators last month, calling on him to restore full funding to states for National Guard units responding to the public health crisis.

 

In the bipartisan letter sent this week, the Senators wrote, “The new determination to reduce the federal cost-share, however, comes at a time when there is still significant need across the country.  Therefore, we request a restoration of the previous Federal cost-share levels to maintain National Guard operations without an additional burden to states and territories.”

 

They continued, “The National Guard has lessened the impacts of the virus in many ways, including support to community-based testing sites, distributing millions of meals to Americans in need, as well as aiding our front line health workers that provide care to COVID-19 patients in hospitals and clinics across the nation.  It is clear to us that the members of the National Guard have honorably answered the call to serve our nation in this difficult time, even when it puts their health and safety at risk.”

 

The Senators closed their letter by calling on the President to restore the full 100 percent funding in all states for National Guard members activated in response to the pandemic. The letter can be read in full here.

 

President Trump recently reduced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement for National Guard units from 100 percent to 75 percent, with no explanation, and with the unexplained exception of several states. Since March, National Guard units in every state and territory have supported key COVID-19 response efforts, from distributing much-needed food, to running remote testing locations, to standing up alternate medical care facilities. Senators Shaheen and Hassan issued a joint statement with New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, slamming the President’s decision to approve a Guard activation extension at only 75 percent federal reimbursement for New Hampshire and other states, with no explanation. Shaheen has repeatedly pushed the President to restore the full funding for the New Hampshire National Guard.

 

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