Health Care

Governors call for Trump to extend funding for National Guard coronavirus response

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The National Governors Association (NGA) on Monday called on President Trump to extend federal funding for National Guard forces being used to respond to the coronavirus, warning that they need certainty on the issue.

The federal funding and benefits for the National Guard members helping states across the country operate testing sites, distribute food and medical supplies, and other tasks, is set to expire on Aug. 21.

Governors are warning that they have to start transitioning the forces to state control and funding well ahead of that deadline, though, disrupting planning for the coronavirus response. 

“While we appreciate the Administration’s support over the past few months, short-term extensions and last-minute authorizations are adversely impacting and disrupting state plans and operations,” the NGA, which represents governors in both parties, said in a press release on Monday. 

The NGA called on Trump to extend the federal funding and benefits, known as Title 32 authority, without delay. 

“Governors strongly urge the President to authorize an extension of Title 32 today,” the NGA said. “Unnecessary delays in extending Title 32 create significant challenges for states and territories, which are amplified in the middle of a crisis.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) put the issue in sharper terms in a tweet on Saturday. 

“The president says governors are getting what we need from his administration,” he said. “That is not true. Not by a long shot. Today, our @NationalGuard begins transitioning to state status because he refuses to extend their federal mission.”

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump federal funding Jay Inslee National Governors Association PPE

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