Trump grants Whitmer’s request to extend use of National Guard but with less federal funds

Whitmer with members of the national guard (Photo courtesy of Facebook/ Governor Gretchen Whitmer)

LANSING, Mich.—President Donald Trump has granted Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request to use the Michigan National Guard forces for the state’s COVID-19  response through December 31, 2020.

Title 32 authority, which allowed guard members to receive federal pay and benefits, was originally set to expire on August 21.

The state of Michigan will now share 25% of the cost of the guard activities from August 21 to December 31. Previously, Title 32 was 100% federally funded.

“While I am grateful for the extension, the president’s decision to federally fund Guard activities at only 75% leaves states across the country with an additional cost when we're already facing severe holes in our state budgets. We need the president and Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to support states like Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement on Tuesday.

Members of the National Guard have been working in Michigan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting testing and screening, distributing personal protective equipment and assisting at food banks across the state.

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