07.29.20

Gardner, Bennet, Colorado Congressional Delegation Call for Extended Funding to Support National Guard COVID-19 Response Efforts in Colorado

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and the entire Colorado congressional delegation sent a second letter to President Donald Trump asking for extended federal funding for the Colorado National Guard in support of the fight against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), echoing a recent request from Colorado Governor Jared Polis. The funding was originally approved on April 7, 2020, and is set to expire on August 21, 2020. The Colorado delegation is calling for an extension until the end of this year. 

“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,” wrote the members of the Colorado congressional delegation in the letter. “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.”

This letter follows the delegation’s April letter to the President requesting extended federal funding for the Colorado National Guard.

The letter was signed by Gardner, Bennet, and U.S. Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Dough Lamborn (R-CO), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Jason Crow (D-CO), and Ken Buck (R-CO).

The full text of the letter is available here and below: 

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.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.