Manchin Urges Administration To Restore Full Funding For National Guard COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Charleston, WV – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led 34 Senators in urging the Trump Administration to restore full funding for National Guard COVID-19 pandemic response across the United States and West Virginia through Title 32 502(f) orders.
Since March, National Guard units in West Virginia have supported response to help West Virginians, from distributing much-needed food supplies to running remote testing locations and assisting as needed across the state. Last week, President Trump terminated the 100 percent federal cost share of Title 32 orders. Instead, the National Guard will receive 75 percent reimbursement except Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and Connecticut who will continue to receive 100 percent reimbursement.
In May, Senator Manchin successfully advocated for the extension of Title 32 orders through mid-August and introduced the Support Our National Guard Act, a bill to provide transitional healthcare benefits to National Guard servicemembers who have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic under Title 32 502(f) orders.
The Senators wrote, “We write to request you restore one hundred percent Federal cost share to all states and territories for use of the National Guard under Title 32 of U.S. Code for responding to coronavirus, which was terminated by your August 3 memorandum for all states and territories except Florida and Texas. The National Guard response has been critical within our states to supporting the health and well-being of millions of Americans.”
Read the letter in full below or click here.
Dear Mr. President:
We write to request you restore one hundred percent Federal cost share to all states and territories for use of the National Guard under Title 32 of U.S. Code for responding to coronavirus, which was terminated by your August 3 memorandum for all states and territories except Florida and Texas. The National Guard response has been critical within our states to supporting the health and well-being of millions of Americans.
Congress has demonstrated repeatedly that we understand 32 USC 502(f) to include the ability for the National Guard, under command of state and territory governors, to respond with Federal resources to disasters that endanger Americans. Most recently, the CARES Act included funding specifically for COVID-19 response for the Army and Air National Guards, as requested by the Department of Defense. You determined to use reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at one hundred percent cost share, and the resulting mission has lessened the negative impacts for Americans.
This new determination to reduce the cost share comes at the worst possible time, as positive cases continue to rise, and food security and other basic needs increase due to the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic. Further, by singling out Florida and Texas for a full cost share as other states face challenges of similar magnitude, the decision appears arbitrary and without justification. Exacerbating the arbitrary and capricious decision, the White House on August 7 extended a short term restoration for some states to a one hundred percent cost share through September 30. This inequity among states is irrational.
We ask that you re-authorize one hundred percent cost share for all states and territories through at least December 31.
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