Governors Oppose Billion-Dollar Cuts to National Guard Funding

February 24, 2020 by Dan McCue

The National Governors Association is joining with the National Guard Association of the United States to oppose the Department of Defense’s planned reprogramming, which would cut nearly $1.7 billion from the National Guard and Reserve.

At the request of the nation’s governors, Congress, on a bipartisan basis, has fully funded the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account and included increased investment in the procurement of National Guard vehicles and aircraft.

According to the association, this funding is critically important to ensuring the reliability of the National Guard’s dual use equipment and protecting the safety of our service members.

“The readiness of the National Guard is paramount to protecting the homeland,” the association said in a statement released Monday. “Time and time again, with increasing frequency, the National Guard must answer the call to protect us from wildfires and hurricanes; flooding and landslides; and threats against our global and homeland security.”

The bipartisan association said its members are united in urging the Administration to restore “these critical funds.”

The request comes a week after the National Guard Association wrote directly to President Donald Trump, asking him to reverse course on the proposed funding cuts.

Specifically, the Guard Association asked the president to restore $1.3 billion for National Guard and Reserve Equipment; $100 million for new multipurpose multi-wheeled vehicles and upgrades to the Guard’s existing inventory;  $196 million for Air National Guard C-130J aircraft; and all funds appropriated to support National Guard counter-narcotics operations.

“All of these funds are essential to maintain National Guard interoperability, lethality, and readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy,” wrote U.S. Air Force Major General Michael McGuire, board chairman of the Guard Association, and U.S. Army Brigadier General (Ret.) J. Roy Robinson, the organization’s president.

“We have concerns regarding the targeting of these specific accounts, making the National Guard disproportionately shoulder the burden as bill payer,” they continued.

McGuire and Robinson went on to remind the president that he appeared before the National Guard Association’s members at its 2016 general conference.

At the time, they said, Trump pledged “to give [the National Guard] the resources, the equipment and the support you need and deserve.”

“You also assured, ‘The National Guard will always have a direct line to the Oval Office,'” they continued. “You were the only presidential candidate to honor us with your presence at the conference, and our members have never forgotten it.”

They closed by asking for a meeting “to discuss how we can work together to resolve this matter.” 

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