WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that he would extend funding for the National Guard through mid-August, as states continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally, funding was set to expire on June 24. Governors and lawmakers have been urging President Trump to extend the funding, as around 46,000 National Guard members are currently activated nationwide.
In a Tweet, President Trump pledged to extend Title 32 orders, which allow governors to “place a soldier in a full-time duty status under the command and control of the state, but is directly funded with federal dollars,” according to the National Guard Association.
While extending Title 32 orders is a step in the right direction, many are calling for more support for the forces.
On Friday, Representative Joe Cunningham joined with other House members to introduce the Support Our National Guard Act, bipartisan legislation designed to improve medical benefits for members of the National Guard. The legislation would require the Pentagon to extend Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) coverage to all members mobilized in the fight against COVID-19. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate as well.
The SC National Guard has been pivotal in the fight against COVID-19. Members have delivered and made personal protective equipment, provided meals to families in need, delivered books to children, set up mobile hospitals, manned COVID-19 testing sites, decontaminated facilities, and more.