Whitmer says Trump denied request to fully fund National Guard in Michigan

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE denied a request by Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Rally crowd chants 'lock him up' as Trump calls Biden family 'a criminal enterprise' Democrats condemn Trump's rhetoric against Michigan governor as allies defend rally MORE (D) to fully fund the National Guard to continue its activities in her state, including its pandemic response.

In a statement from the governor obtained by a local CBS affiliate, Whitmer said the director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Doug Hoelscher, left a voicemail for her chief of staff rejecting Whitmer’s request to fully fund the federal service in Michigan. 

The White House reportedly settled on providing 75 percent federal cost share through the end of the year, according to WNEM. 


In early August, President Trump issued a memo that reauthorized funding for the National Guard to assist states with their pandemic response through the end of 2020. However, the president reduced cost sharing from existing levels. 

At the time, the memo stated that the federal government would no longer provide 100 percent of the funding for the National Guard after Aug. 21. Instead, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would offer 75 percent funding for states' pandemic response. 

However, several states including Florida, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut and California were exempt from the funding cut. At the time, Texas and Florida in particular had been hit hard by a spike in coronavirus cases. 

Before the memo was issued, the National Governors Association asked the president to extend federal funding and benefits, or Title 32 authority, expeditiously.

Whitmer accused Trump of “continuing to play political games while American lives and livelihoods are on the line.”

“The president’s blatantly partisan cuts to funding for National Guard units in all but five states is dangerous and could cost American lives,” Whitmer wrote. “Our Guard members have been vital to our COVID-19 response by testing thousands of people in communities across the state during the height of the pandemic, and will be crucial to our recovery efforts moving forward.


“It's irresponsible and irrational to fully fund National Guard activities in some states but not others.” 

A White House spokesperson told The Hill the decision was not based on politics. 

“The only way there are cuts to the Michigan National Guard is if Governor Whitmer fails to properly utilize leftover funds from the CARES Act to cover the remaining 25 percent of the cost,” the White House said in a statement.

Updated: 9:29 p.m.