House committee moves to block private funds for National Guard deployments

House committee moves to block private funds for National Guard deployments
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A House committee on Wednesday adopted an amendment that would block the use of private funds for National Guard deployments across state lines.

Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarUS to restart 'Remain in Mexico' program following court order Historic immigration reform included in House-passed spending bill Democrats call on Biden to sanction climate change contributors MORE (D-Texas) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would not allow National Guard deployments from one state into another to be financed by private or nongovernmental grant donations unless it was used for emergency or disaster relief.

“I don't believe that our National Guard should be up for auction or up for sale. I think that limits transparency. We have no idea who is funding private donations for what some could or might possibly consider political purposes,” Escobar said after introducing the amendment.

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“We don't know if any of those sources are foreign government sources that are being funneled through private entities. We don't even know if those sources are adversaries to our interests,” she continued.

The amendment comes after South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemMidterm elections loom over Supreme Court abortion fight Noem sets South Dakota record for largest-ever fundraiser Republican former South Dakota House Speaker challenging Noem MORE (R) used private money by way of a Tennessee billionaire’s donation to subsidize the deployment of National Guard members to Texas.

“The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response only the National Guard can provide.  We should not be making our own communities less safe by sending our police or Highway Patrol to fix a long-term problem President BidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles MORE’s Administration seems unable or unwilling to solve,” Noem said in a statement in late June.  

However, the amendment received some pushback, including from Rep. Austin ScottJames (Austin) Austin ScottGeorgia Republicans advance map that aims to pick up House seat in redistricting This week: Democrats kick off chaotic fall with Biden's agenda at stake House committee moves to block private funds for National Guard deployments MORE (R-Ga.), who balked at the idea that the National Guard was for sale.

“I'm opposed to the amendment. I think that's an absolutely ridiculous accusation that National Guards are up for sale. You know, the governor of one state would have to coordinate with the governor of another state, so you get two or multiple sets of elected officials that would have to be in agreement for the Guard to be deployed into a separate state,” Scott said. “There's just no reason for this amendment, and I'm opposed to it.”

“I do want to point out that sadly this is not a hypothetical. This actually did happen. All that coordination that Mr. Scott just mentioned would have to happen happened. And a private person basically worked with the governor to rent out the National Guard to go perform a mission outside of that state,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithSenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo On steel and aluminum trade, Trumpism still rules Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Pentagon vows more airstrike transparency MORE (D-Wash.) responded.