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Home Politics Lawmakers press Trump admin to extend benefits for National Guardsmen amid pandemic

Lawmakers press Trump admin to extend benefits for National Guardsmen amid pandemic

A bipartisan group of 125 lawmakers on Capitol Hill is looking on the Pentagon to increase help to National Guardsmen on coronavirus-related missions throughout the nation.

Under an current federal order, 45,000 National Guardsmen who’re deployed to assist cities fight the coronavirus outbreak would have their mission minimize brief on June 24, someday earlier than the service members would qualify for federal advantages.

“The National Guard has been critical in executing the nation’s pandemic response efforts,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Peter Gaynor, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

“We believe it is critical to ensure that all National Guard personnel are taken care of during this crisis and after, recognizing that the threat of COVID-19 will not immediately go away and the National Guard is likely to be called on again in the future,” they continued.

Lawmakers have slammed the transfer to finish deployments on the particular date as “intentional” and “heartless,” whereas calls have been rising on Capitol Hill to increase advantages for the Guardsmen.

Rep. Max Rose, who has been deployed to New York City’s Staten Island with the National Guard amid the outbreak, stated in an announcement that “in peace time we should never balance our budget on the backs of our soldiers, so why anyone would think this is okay to do in the middle of a wartime effort is beyond human comprehension.”

“This decision must be reversed not only because it is deeply unpatriotic, but also economically unsound and puts our gains against COVID-19 at risk for some short-term, foolish budgetary gimmick,” the New York Democrat stated.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated Friday he would help extending their mission if wanted to assist fight the coronavirus in varied cities.

“If they have a valid mission assignment that’s verified by FEMA, my view is we should extend those tours of duty,” he stated throughout an interview with NBC’s “Today.”

“I’m fully committed to supporting our National Guard members,” he stated. “I’m not worried about the number of days. What I’m worried about is making sure we win the fight against coronavirus and we fully support the young men and women who are serving on the streets of America in the National Guard.”

The group of 95 Democrats, 29 Republicans and one Independent referred to as on the administration to supply deployed troops with healthcare advantages for 180 after their deployment ends, preserve all Guardsmen on federal Title 32 standing relatively than transitioning them to state lively responsibility orders early subsequent month, and permit flexibility on how they’ll use accrued time without work.

“We are proud of the incredible contributions of the National Guard. They have been a critical team member in the nation’s fight against COVID-19,” the lawmakers wrote. “We welcome your support in ensuring they are kept safe, healthy, and receive the benefits they deserve.”

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