Politics National Guard sound the alarm over $521M reimbursement for Capitol deployment

22:10  17 july  2021
22:10  17 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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a man standing in front of a group of people in uniform: National Guard at the Capitol © National Guard at the Capitol National Guard at the Capitol

The National Guard this said this week that if it does not receive the $521 million reimbursement for its help protecting Washington, D.C., following the Jan. 6 insurrection that it will hinder the readiness of the guardsmen to respond to other situations.

"Without reimbursement funding, there is significant impact on National Guard readiness if we're not able to resolve this in a timely manner," Chief of the National Guard Bureau and Army General Daniel R. Hokanson said, CBS News reported.

Gaurdsmen were deployed from almost every state and territory in the months following the Capitol riots, when supporters of former President Trump stormed the building and breached security. The National Guard stayed to protect the area during President Biden's inauguration, and months thereafter.

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Other members have been deployed to assist with coronavirus care and treatment in ailing parts of the country.

"Given what the National Guard has done in the last 18 months, we would be sending a terrible message to thousands of dedicated men and women of the Illinois National Guard who have taken the oath to support and defend the Constitution," Major General Richard R. Neely told reporters Friday, according to CBS.

The National Guard has been warned for weeks that if it doesn't receive the money back, critical resources such as training may need to be canceled.

"Without those resources, the Guard ... will find themselves with training issues," Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told lawmakers back in June.

A bipartisan group of 70 House lawmakers wrote a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to come to a deal so the National Guard can be reimbursed.

"If trainings are canceled, several thousand Army National Guard Soldiers will not have enough service time this fiscal year to receive credit for a good year toward a military retirement. Approximately 2,000 training schools will be canceled, affecting their readiness, pay and career progression. Ground vehicle and rotary wing operations and maintenance will be halted. Facilities will degrade, including the delay of critical fire safety projects in Maryland, Minnesota and the Virgin Islands," the letter stated.

The National Guard cannot receive the money until an agreement is reached on emergency appropriations among lawmakers.

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