CHARLESTON — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) issued the below statement Thursday after President Donald J. Trump’s announcement that he would be extending National Guard Title 32 orders through March 2021. This announcement comes after Senator Capito sent a letter to President Trump specifically requesting that the federal government continue to support the West Virginia National Guard’s (WVNG) response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I truly don’t think there is a state that has utilized its National Guard more broadly in response to this pandemic than West Virginia,” Senator Capito said. “The WVNG plays a tremendous role in our fight against the coronavirus, and as we begin preparation to distribute a vaccine, we should continue to support their efforts. Today’s announcement by the president is fantastic news, and I’m glad he’s listened to my request and has agreed to extend Title 32 orders at one hundred percent. Doing so will allow our National Guard the support they need and benefits for the vital work they are performing in our communities during this difficult time.”
In May, Senator Capito and her colleagues wrote a letter, urging President Trump, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Mark Esper, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor to help provide improved status, leave, healthcare, and reimbursement benefits to National Guard service members that are providing invaluable support services in response to COVID-19. Following this letter, President Trump announced that he would be extending National Guard Title 32 orders through mid-August.
In August, Senator Capito sent another letter to President Trump requesting that the federal government continue to cover one hundred percent of the cost share for the WVNG response to the coronavirus pandemic under Title 32 orders. Today’s announcement is a direct response to this request.
Additionally, as chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito remains in close contact with FEMA Administrator Gaynor, and has had several conversations with him to stress the importance of this issue and the important contribution the WVNG is making.