Reminding the President that “states across the country are already struggling with balancing their budgets” in light of the pandemic, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has dispatched another letter to the White House seeking full funding of the Michigan National Guard through the end of the year.
The governor sent a letter to President Trump yesterday requesting that he fully fund the Guard forces during their COVID-19 response through December 31, 2020. Last week, the president made the decision to federally fund Guard activities at only 75-percent in every state except Florida, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut, and California, “leaving states across the country with an additional cost during an unprecedented public health, economic, and budget crisis.” Title 32 authority, which allows Guard members to receive federal pay and benefits, was previously set to expire on August 21st due to a deadline set by the Trump Administration.
Whitmer says, “States across the country are already struggling with balancing their budgets to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to provide essential services to their citizens. Michigan needs the president to fully fund the use of the Michigan National Guard so our guardsmen and women can continue to provide crucial parts of our emergency response, like conducting testing and screening, distributing personal protective equipment, and assisting at food banks across the state.” She adds, “The president’s decision to grant full federal funding would directly impact our state’s ability to re-engage our economy while continuing to keep our communities, seniors, and vulnerable populations safe.”
Last week, the president authorized the use of Michigan National Guard forces for COVID-19 response through December 31st. While Title 32 had been funded at 100-percent federal expense, the president has imposed a 25-percent state cost share for the state of Michigan from August 21st to December 31st.
Whitmer argues, “This is yet another reason why we need the president and Congress to work together on a bipartisan recovery package that includes direct funding for states,” and concludes, “The health of our families, our economy, and our small businesses depend on the president’s ability to put partisanship aside and work across the aisle to protect the American people. This virus has already taken more than 160,000 American lives on his watch. It’s time for him to do the right thing and help us navigate this crisis.”
To view the governor’s letter, click the link below: