05.21.20

Senator Baldwin and Representatives Kind, Moore and Pocan Call on President Trump to Extend Federal Funding for Wisconsin National Guard in Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic

“An extension of this funding is critical to ensuring the safety and health of our citizens, as well as advancing efforts to reopen our state.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representatives Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, and Mark Pocan wrote to President Trump and requested an extension of funding for the Wisconsin National Guard in support of the fight against COVID-19 through at least July 31, 2020, with the possibility of an extension through the end of the year.

In the letter, Baldwin, Kind, Moore and Pocan write to President Trump, “An extension of this funding is critical to ensuring the safety and health of our citizens, as well as advancing efforts to reopen our state.”

Without approval from President Trump for an extension, authorization of full federal funding for National Guard response operations in Wisconsin and other states will expire on June 24, and states could begin to lose Guard members’ services on June 10 due to the need to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to civilian life on June 24.

“The work of the Wisconsin National Guard has significantly advanced our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of National Guard service members have provided invaluable logistics support and are fully integrated in the Wisconsin State Emergency Operations Center. The Wisconsin National Guard is supporting taskforces working to assist local communities with creating isolation facilities and hospital surge capacity, including staffing an alternative care facility in Milwaukee. Most importantly the Guard is operating 25 field testing teams working throughout the state to provide both community and targeted testing. All of these efforts are essential to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on Wisconsinites, and the need for this support is expected to persist through the end of the year. We share the Governor’s concern that prematurely ceasing federal funding for National Guard COVID-19 support operations will hinder Wisconsin’s ability to respond and could contribute to a possible second wave of infection,” Baldwin, Kind, Moore and Pocan wrote to President Trump.

The letter comes in support of a request from Governor Evers to President Trump on May 15 for an extension of 502(f)(2)(A) of Title 32, U.S. Code, funding for the Wisconsin National Guard, to make sure there isn’t a lapse in authorities or federal funding for the Guard’s work on the frontlines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full text of the Baldwin, Kind, Moore, Pocan letter is available here.