WASHINGTON, D.C. – Florida, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut, and California are receiving full federal funding for their National Guard to help address the ongoing public health and economic crisis.
Not Wisconsin. President Trump cut federal funding to support the Wisconsin National Guard’s work against the COVID-19 pandemic. The reduction in federal support will cost the state $12.5 million that could be spent on other COVID-19 efforts that are essential to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on Wisconsinites.
Now, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin Representatives Gwen Moore, Ron Kind, and Mark Pocan are calling on the President to restore full federal funding to Wisconsin with a one hundred percent federal cost share extension for the National Guard through the end of the year.
In the letter, Baldwin, Kind, Moore and Pocan write to President Trump, “An extension of the one hundred percent Federal cost share to December 31, 2020 is critical to ensuring the safety and health of our citizens, as well as advancing efforts to reopen our state.”
President Trump terminated the one hundred percent federal cost share extension for the Wisconsin National Guard in a memorandum on August 3. In their letter to the President, the lawmakers are specifically requesting an extension of 502(f)(2)(A) of Title 32, U.S. Code, funding for the Wisconsin National Guard, to make sure there isn’t a lapse in authorities or federal funding for the Guard’s work on the frontlines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The work of the Wisconsin National Guard has significantly advanced our response to the COVID-19 pandemic The Guard continues to play a leading role in combating COVID-19 in Wisconsin and is fully integrated throughout Wisconsin’s State Emergency Operations Center. The Guard is currently operating 25 field testing teams, utilizing over 1,400 service members working throughout the state to provide both community and targeted field testing. Wisconsin is likely to continue statewide testing in order to best understand the spread of COVID-19 through the end of the calendar year, utilizing approximately 1,000 service members… Reducing the federal cost share will cost the state $12.5 million dollars that could be spent on other COVID-19 efforts that are essential to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on Wisconsinites. We share the Governor’s concern that prematurely ceasing federal funding for National Guard COVID-19 support operations will hinder our state’s ability to respond and protect Wisconsinites,” Baldwin, Moore, Kind and Pocan wrote to the President.