Trump urged to approve Virginia National Guard funding request
Virginia’s congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to swiftly approve federal funding for the Virginia National Guard to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We write to urge you to quickly approve the request made by Governor Ralph Northam for additional authorities and funding under Title 32 U.S. Code 502(f)(2)(A) to assist the Commonwealth of Virginia to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Governor Northam requests this authority and funding for the Virginia National Guard as they work to respond to incidents related to the preservation of life and property in connection with COVID-19 emergency response efforts,” wrote the members of Congress in their letter to President Donald Trump.
Several states across the country have begun to mobilize their National Guards to assist in their response to the coronavirus outbreak. Under Title 32, Virginia’s governor would have the authority to deploy units to communities across the Commonwealth to help distribute food, support local test facilities, and assist first responders and health providers.
Additionally, this request would allow the federal government to cover the cost for these critical missions.
On March 24, Northam determined the need to increase the Virginia National Guard force to full-time status in an effort to help with the coronavirus emergency response across the Commonwealth.
“We urge your prompt approval of this request so Governor Northam may fully task the Virginia National Guard as he finds necessary to support the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response efforts in support of this National emergency declaration,” they concluded.
The $2 trillion bipartisan coronavirus economic relief package signed into law on Friday includes $1.4 billion for deployment of the National Guard. This funding level will sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard under the direction of the governors of each state for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts to the health crisis.