Republicans To Prevent The National Guard From Bankruptcy

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 14 July 2021 13:30

Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby presented an emergency funding bill Monday that would reimburse the National Guard for their Capital deployment in response to the Jan. 6 attack.

The House passed a $1.9 billion emergency spending bill in May that involved over $520 million in funds to pay the National Guard for their deployment and other measures directed at developing security at the Capitol complex. Though the bill has stalled in the Senate.

Senate Republicans balked at the entire size of the bill without a full assessment of what security changes are needed.

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The $632.9 million bill from Mr. Shelby, Alabama Republican, would fund only the National Guard and U.S. Capitol Police for the costs incurred in their response to the Jan. 6 riot. Funding for security improvements to the Capitol would be delayed.

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“We all agree we must provide desperately-needed funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard. My bill answers these needs,” Mr. Shelby announced in a statement. “I urge my Democrat colleagues to join me in passing this bill without further delay. Funding for the Capitol Police and National Guard must not be held hostage because the Democrats insist on billions more in spending that lacks full support at this time.”

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Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, informed lawmakers last month that if the service was not reimbursed “fairly soon” they may be required to completely cut or dramatically reduce training and drills for the rest of the fiscal year and cut operational maintenance requirements.

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“It will have a very significant impact on National Guard readiness if we’re not able to resolve that in a timely manner,” he stated.

Gen. Hokanson explained that the Guard tapped into its budget to fund the deployment of 26,000 personnel to the country's capital from every state and territory in the U.S. The deployment lasted from Jan. 6 until May 23.

Democrats on the panel later issued a comprehensive $3.7 billion bill — almost twice the price tag of the House-passed proposal — that would add many other measures to the funding for the National Guard and Capitol Police.

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Those ads cover $1.3 billion in Pentagon COVID-19 related funds, emergency assistance to Afghan refugees, and provisions directed at reforming the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program, a State Department program for Afghans who helped U.S. troops throughout the 20-year war.

“We did not budget for an insurrection, and I am glad that my Republican colleagues have joined the negotiating table on this urgent matter, but their proposal falls far short of the needs of the moment,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.

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