CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today issued the below statement after President Donald J. Trump’s announcement that he would be extending National Guard Title 32 orders through March 2021. This announcement comes after Senator Capito sent a letter to President Trump specifically requesting that the federal government continue to support the West Virginia National Guard’s (WVNG) response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I truly don’t think there is a state that has utilized its National Guard more broadly in response to this pandemic than West Virginia,” Senator Capito said. “The WVNG plays a tremendous role in our fight against the coronavirus, and as we begin preparation to distribute a vaccine we should continue to support their efforts. Today’s announcement by the president is fantastic news, and I’m glad he’s listened to my request and has agreed to extend Title 32 orders at one hundred percent. Doing so will allow our National Guard the support they need and benefits for the vital work they are performing in our communities during this difficult time.”
In May, Senator Capito and her colleagues wrote a letter, urging President Trump, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Mark Esper, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor to help provide improved status, leave, healthcare, and reimbursement benefits to National Guard service members that are providing invaluable support services in response to COVID-19. Following this letter, President Trump announced that he would be extending National Guard Title 32 orders through mid-August.
In August, Senator Capito sent another letter to President Trumprequesting that the federal government continue to cover one hundred percent of the cost share for the WVNG response to the coronavirus pandemic under Title 32 orders. Today’s announcement is a direct response to this request. Full text of the letter can be found by clickinghere.
Additionally, as chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito remains in close contact with FEMA Administrator Gaynor, and has had several conversations with him to stress the importance of this issue and the important contribution the WVNG is making.
Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the Trump Administration’s decision to extend the National Guard Title 32 502(f) orders through March 2021 for COVID-19 pandemic response across the United States and West Virginia. Since March, National Guard units in West Virginia have supported response to help West Virginians, from distributing much-needed food supplies, to running remote testing locations, and assisting as needed across the state.
“Our National Guardsmen and women have continued to serve our nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping distribute vital supplies and supporting our front line workers across West Virginia and the United States. I am pleased President Trump heeded our calls to extend the Title 32 orders for our servicemembers on the front lines of this terrible pandemic,” said Senator Manchin. “Although this is a step in the right direction to ensuring our servicemembers have the support they need while on the front lines, I urge President Trump to also support my bipartisan, bicameral bill, the Support Our National Guard Act, which ensures transitional healthcare benefits for our servicemembers after they complete their service. Our servicemembers deserve to be taken care of during and after their service to our nation and my bill would do just that. I applaud today’s announcement and will continue to advocate for our men and women on the front lines of this pandemic.”
In August, Senator Manchin urged the Trump Administration to restore full funding for the National Guard COVID-19 pandemic response. In May, Senator Manchin successfully advocated for the extension of Title 32 orders through mid-August and introduced the Support Our National Guard Act, a bill to provide transitional healthcare benefits to National Guard servicemembers who have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic under Title 32 502(f) orders.