Trump says he will extend Title 32 custody orders, securing their federal benefits
Amid mounting fury over a FEMA directive that would end orders for tens of thousands of Guard soldiers, just under the 90 days it takes to make them eligible for federal benefits, the president said Thursday that he would personally assure them an extension.
“The men and women of National Guard have done a great job in fighting the coronavirus, ”President Donald Trump said in a tweet. “This week, I will be extending their Title 32 orders until mid-August, so they can continue to help states succeed in their response and recovery efforts. “
Title 32 orders relate to full-time National Guard service, as opposed to state orders, in which troops remain under the governor’s responsibility, and title 10 active service orders, in which troops are federated under the leadership of the president and can be deployed outside the United States Under Title 32 orders, members of the Guard are eligible for To pay, but do not accumulate certain benefits, including the use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and an accelerated retirement schedule, until they accumulate 90 days of active service.
A current order from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to end the activation period for the more than 40,000 Guard troops called in to help with the coronavirus response on June 24. education and retirement benefits.
Earlier this month, Representative Max Rose, a Democratic New York and Army National Guard captain called the move “heartless”, saying it not only hurt members of the nation-serving Guard, but also left the nation vulnerable with work yet to be done.
On May 22, Defense Secretary Mark Esper offered his own support to extend orders if there is still work to be completed for members of the Guard. On the same day, 129 members of Congress, including representatives from both parties, wrote to Esper and FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor asking for an extension of the ordinances.
In his tweet, Trump did not specify when he would order the extension.
On Thursday, the governors of 42 states signed a letter from the National Governors Association saying the Guard was needed to help recovery from a pandemic.
“Given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, the virus has affected each state and territory in a different way and at different times,” the letter reads. “As states and territories move towards recovery and reopening, our National Guard will be essential to support operations such as testing, distribution of personal protective equipment, supply chain support and the food chain, increasing nursing home staffing and supporting warehouse operations. “
Office of the National Guard spokeswoman April Cunningham referred specific questions to the White House.
“The National Guard remains committed to its service to support the fight against COVID-19 and will stay in this fight for as long as we need,” she said in a statement provided to Military.com. “Our nation is counting on the National Guard to help it and we will not let it down.”
– Hope Hodge Seck can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @HopeSeck.
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