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Upton, Dingell lead bipartisan letter asking for full reimbursement of national guard costs

Washington, August 11, 2020 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. Fred Upton (MI-06) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf asking them to extend federal funding for the National Guard for the remainder of the calendar year at a 100 percent reimbursement rate for the state of Michigan. The letter comes after the Administration announced that it would only continue covering 100 percent of the Guard’s coronavirus relief efforts in Texas and Florida, and it would reduce the rate to 75 percent in all other states and territories, including Michigan.

The letter was signed by 13 members of the Michigan congressional delegation.

“Michigan relies on the National Guard for vital assistance, from coordinating PPE deliveries to enhancing testing capabilities,” the members wrote. “The federal cost sharing reduction from 100% to 75% could have a detrimental impact on Michigan’s ability to respond to any emerging coronavirus threats, as our state has relied heavily on the National Guard to fight COVID-19.”

Michigan has more than 90,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,000 deaths.

The full letter is available here and below:

Dear Secretary Esper and Acting Secretary Wolf,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the state of Michigan. With over 90,000 confirmed cases and 6,000 deaths and numbers still on the rise, it’s clear this emergency is far from over. Michigan relies on the National Guard for vital assistance, from coordinating PPE deliveries to enhancing testing capabilities. The activation of Title 32, Section 502(f), which federally funds the work of our Guardsmen and women, helps prevent the additional exacerbation of Michigan’s public health and economic situation.

We were pleased to see the President’s extension of the authorization for Title 32 orders through December 31st, as governors across the nation have been asking for longer-term extensions. However, the federal cost sharing reduction from 100% to 75% could have a detrimental impact on Michigan’s ability to respond to any emerging coronavirus threats, as our state has relied heavily on the National Guard to fight COVID-19. Additionally, this reduction in federal cost sharing may force our state to make additional cuts to other critical services.   

If recent trends are any indicator, this pandemic is far from over and the economic impacts will be felt for years to come. That is why we ask you to extended federal funding for the National Guard for the remainder of the calendar year at a 100% reimbursement rate for the state of Michigan.

Thank you in advance for considering this important and timely request.

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