Ryan, Bustos Introduce Legislation to Guarantee Federal Government Covers Full Cost of National Guard COVID-19 Response Efforts
Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Cheri Bustos (IL-17) today introduced legislation that would require the federal government to cover the full cost of National Guard deployments for COVID-19 response efforts. Companion legislation will be introduced in the coming days by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and President-elect Biden has announced that his administration intends to provide 100 percent reimbursement to states for the Guard’s COVID-19 support.
“This legislation ensures that states aren’t financially punished for utilizing the National Guard to perform its primary mission -- protecting the American People. Now, more than ever, the federal government must do everything it can to finally defeat COVID-19,” said Congressman Ryan.
“American families are suffering, and this dire public health crisis requires every available resource to bring it to an end and save lives,” Congresswoman Bustos said.“With state resources spread thin, the Trump Administration saddled cash-strapped states with the additional burden of paying for a portion of the National Guard’s critical response efforts. It’s past time for a national strategy that brings an end to these bureaucratic and political games to defeat this virus and I applaud President-elect Biden’s commitment to doing so. I thank my colleagues for joining me in this effort and will continue to see to it that the National Guard and our states have the support they need through this public health crisis.”
In response to the public health crisis, members of the National Guard have been deployed across the country to assist with responses like coordinating personal protective equipment deliveries, enhancing testing capabilities and now delivering the vaccine. The Trump Administration failed to implement a reliable plan for the National Guard’s COVID-19 response efforts, which included forcing already cash-strapped states to cover a quarter of the costs associated with deployment and pick up multi-million dollar tabs.