LONG BRANCH, NJ — Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) led the entire New Jersey delegation in the U.S. of Representatives in demanding that the Trump Administration reverse its decision to cut federal funding for the National Guard. In a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, the Members expressed concern about the Trump Administration’s decision to end full federal support for the National Guard. According to a report, the Trump Administration plans to force all states with the exception of Florida and Texas to pay for 25% of the cost of National Guard units after August 21.

“We are deeply concerned by the announcement that the Trump Administration plans to end 100 percent federal cost-share for National Guard units in most states. Memos signed by President Trump on August 3 would require all states and territories, with the exception of Texas and Florida, to pay for Title 32, Section 502(f) National Guard deployments to address the COVID-19 pandemic beginning August 21 to December 31,” the letter states.

“The abrupt end of the 100 percent federal cost-share for Title 32 activations appears to be a premature and baseless decision that would strip away essential federal funding from states that are already facing major economic shortfalls directly linked to the coronavirus. We urge you to immediately reverse this decision and reinstate full federal support for National Guard units for every state and territory.”

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Support from the National Guard allowed New Jersey to increase testing for COVID-19 while lowering the rate of transmission and daily number of COVID-19 deaths since the state’s peak in April. An end to full federal support for the National Guard would not only eliminate vital assistance in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, it would also place additional fiscal pressure on states that are already experiencing budget shortfalls.

A copy of the letter is available here.