07.29.20

Colorado congressional delegation calls on Trump to extend support for National Guard

Colorado's entire congressional delegation, Republicans and Democrats, are asking President Trump to extend funding to the National Guard to help combat the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

In a letter led by Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, the Coloradans said it was a matter of balance.

Funding is set to expire Aug. 21, but the letter ask for extension to the end of the year.

In May Trump extended funding across the country that was set to expire in June for about 46,000 members of the National Guards to assist in their respective states under leadership of their governors.

In full, the letter states:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to support Colorado Governor Jared Polis’s request for an extension of 502(f)(2)(A) of Title 32, U.S. Code, funding for the Colorado National Guard in support of the fight against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This funding was originally approved on April 7, 2020, and is set to expire on August 21, 2020. An extension of this authorization is critical to ensuring Colorado continues to take the steps necessary to mitigate the spread of this virus.

As the state continues to balance reopening the economy while prioritizing citizen health and safety, the assistance of the Colorado National Guard has proven to be essential. We support Governor Polis’s request for an extension of 502(f)(2)(A) of Title 32, U.S. Code through the end of the year, with monthly assessments based on state requirements. On April 29, we wrote to you echoing a similar request and believe this support continues to be a critical component of COVID-19 response efforts.

The ongoing support the Colorado National Guard members provide to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment through staffing COVID-19 mobile and mass testing sites as well as aiding in logistics, distribution, and warehouse management is vital. Without their assistance, Colorado would also lack the staffing necessary to support on-site testing for impacted communities, Emergency Operations Center augmentation, command control functions within the State of Colorado, and critical infrastructure protection. We request that you extend the 502(f)(2)(A) funding authorization through the end of the year in order to allow the Colorado National Guard to continue supporting these mission critical tasks.

Thank you for your urgent consideration of this important matter.

 

By: Joey Bunch

Colorado Politics