Today, the National Governors Association called on Congress to pass legislation before the end of the month to reimburse the National Guard for its recent security support mission at the U.S. Capitol.
More than 26,000 Guard members from across the country left their homes and families in the middle of a pandemic to deploy for more than five months to protect the U.S. Capitol and support the needs of the federal government.
These Guard members and their families now face significant challenges if this funding is not restored. State and territories will be faced with cancelling drill and annual training, deferring maintenance on critical equipment, delaying facility repairs, and furloughing and pausing the hiring of Guard members.
Most importantly, this lack of funding will directly affect individual Guard members and their families. It will lead to delayed promotions, certifications, pay and career advancement; safety risks due to gaps in maintenance of facilities and equipment; and ultimately decreased morale across the country. Likewise, this funding gap will degrade the ability of states and territories to effectively render aid to our citizens the event of a disaster or emergency.
It is Congress’s responsibility to ensure the well-being of our service members, especially when supporting federal missions. The Guard played an historic and unprecedented role in 2020 and into 2021, helping to secure the peace; recover from natural disasters; and assist with COVID-19 response, testing and vaccinations.
Given the Guard’s vital support role on behalf of all Americans, Congress should act quickly to solve this funding challenge.