June 12, 2024

Manchin, Lee Introduce Bipartisan Guarding Readiness Resources Act

Washington, DC – This week, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (I-WV) and Mike Lee (R-UT) led seven of their bipartisan colleagues in introducing the Guarding Readiness Resources Act. The legislation will allow state National Guard units to more easily receive federal reimbursements for their emergency and disaster response activities by providing an exemption from the Miscellaneous Receipts Act for State Active Duty (SAD) reimbursement payments.

“We are all incredibly grateful to the brave members of our National Guard who protect West Virginians and all Americans from any threat that comes our way,” said Senator Manchin. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan Guarding Readiness Resources Act to ensure National Guard units can receive the federal reimbursements they need to continue serving our country safely and effectively. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join this commonsense legislation that supports our Guard men and women and boosts emergency preparedness in our communities.” 

"The National Guard is a cornerstone of our national defense and emergency response system, responding to everything from natural disasters to national security threats," said Senator Lee. "Unfortunately, the current process for reimbursing Guard units creates unnecessary financial hurdles that undermine their readiness. Our bill ensures that the funds used by states to reimburse the National Guard go directly to maintaining and preparing our equipment for future missions."

Senators Manchin and Lee were joined by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Jim Risch (R-ID).

"National Guardsmen are essential to our national defense and disaster response capabilities. Their ability to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters, civil disturbances, and other state missions is vital to the safety and security of our communities," said Senator Cruz. "I am proud to join Sens. Lee and Manchin in introducing bipartisan legislation that ensures funds needed to maintain the Guard's readiness go to the right place. This change will directly benefit our National Guard units across Texas and the entire nation, empowering them to better serve our citizens."

“The men and women of the National Guard serve our country and communities with bravery and honor. They are often among the first to respond to a major disaster like a blizzard or flood,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This legislation will ensure they can maintain the resources they need to fulfill their missions.”

“I’m proud to introduce the Guarding Readiness Resources Act to ensure that our National Guard has the necessary funding for equipment and is prepared for any emergency,” said Senator Rubio.

“The National Guard continually protects us both at home and abroad,” said Senator Crapo. “This bill goes a long way in eliminating federal red tape to ensure readiness and provides the National Guard with the funding, resources and equipment to successfully carry out missions.”

"The National Guard continuously responds to the dynamic domestic challenges this nation faces. Immediate response often requires significant unforeseen state expenditures. While the law allows for federal reimbursement, it is executed in such a way that states never see those much-needed funds. This creates substantial budget gaps that threaten the readiness of the force,” said Retired Major General Francis M. McGinn, President of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). "The Guarding Readiness Resources Act corrects this oversight and ensures the National Guard has the necessary resources to effectively fulfill their mission. We are grateful for the work of Senators Lee and Manchin and ask for full congressional support for inclusion in the FY25 NDAA."

"The scope of how we utilize the members of the National Guard today can consist of deployments overseas or service to our own communities," said Jeffrey Frisby, Executive Director of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS). "The dual mission of the National Guard to serve both the state and federal governments often creates blurry lines in pay, benefits, and even the utilization of military equipment. With the high standards of serviceability for military property, it is important that the funding is always there for repair, maintenance, and to ensure mission success. The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States is thankful for the work of Senator Lee and Senator Manchin to ensure that we eliminate any delays in the funds that would be used to ensure National Guard equipment is always ready, for every mission, no matter where we are called to be next."

The full text of the legislation is available here.