Governors nationwide are urging the Trump administration to extend National Guard deployments to assist with the coronavirus response ahead of another deadline.
In late May, President Trump extended federal funding for National Guard deployments until mid-August, saying at the time the extension would help “states succeed in their response and recovery efforts.”
But in order to meet Covid-19 safety requirements, Air and Army Guard supporting personnel will need to demobilize no later than Friday, according to a Defense official. That’s raising alarm among governors who are preparing for the possibility that an extension is not granted.
“While we appreciate the Administration’s support over the past few months, short-term extensions and last-minute authorizations are adversely impacting and disrupting state plans and operations,” the National Governors Association said in a statement Monday.
“Governors strongly urge the President to authorize an extension of Title 32 today. Unnecessary delays in extending Title 32 create significant challenges for states and territories, which are amplified in the middle of a crisis,” the statement said.
Title 32 status provides federal funding for the National Guard deployments across the country while allowing those forces to remain under the control of state governors as they help with staffing community-based testing sites, building test kits, among other activities.
CNN reported Friday that the Trump administration is weighing an extension. A Defense official told CNN that the Defense Department is expecting an extension, but it’s sitting at the White House.