Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2020
One Month Later, Governor Whitmer Reiterates Calls on President Trump to Fully Fund the Michigan National Guard
LANSING, Mich. -- Today marks one month since Governor Whitmer requested a phone call with President Trump to discuss the imposed state cost share for use of the Michigan National Guard for COVID-19 response under Title 32 authority, which federally funds National Guard activities and provides Guard members with federal pay and benefits. Although Michigan continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the president has still not responded to the governor’s request.
“COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our state, and we need full federal funding for the Michigan National Guard in order to continue protecting our families and frontline heroes. Our Guard members have been vital to our COVID-19 response by testing thousands of people in communities across the state during the height of the pandemic, and will be crucial to our recovery efforts moving forward,” said Governor Whitmer. “The president should not be playing partisan games while people's lives are on the line. It's irresponsible and irrational to fully fund National Guard activities in some states but not others. We need the president to step up and do the right thing for Michigan families, our frontline workers, and our economy. I once again implore President Trump to fully fund the Michigan National Guard under Title 32 so our Guardsmen and women can continue to protect us from this deadly virus.”
Title 32 authority has been granted to Michigan since March 30, 2020 at full federal expense. On August 3 and 7, President Trump issued six memoranda which extended Title 32 authority for 49 states and territories. The memoranda imposed a 25 percent state cost share for most states, but maintained full federal funding for Florida, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut, and California. Governor Whitmer has repeatedly reached out to President Trump to urge him to provide full federal funding for the Michigan National Guard through December 31, 2020, including sending the president a letter on August 12.
The Michigan congressional delegation has voiced bipartisan support for 100 percent federal funding for the Michigan National Guard. On August 10, Congressman Fred Upton and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell led a letter signed by thirteen of Michigan’s fourteen representatives to FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor urging the Administration to provide full federal funding for the Michigan National Guard COVID-19 response. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters have also called on the president to restore full federal funding under Title 32 authority.
The Michigan National Guard has performed widespread testing and screening in local communities, Michigan Department of Corrections facilities, and nursing homes throughout the state. The Guard has also distributed personal protective equipment, assisted at food banks, and supported public safety throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.