Joyce Urges Administration to Extend Full Federal Funding for OH National Guard Supporting COVID-19 Response

WASHINGTON, DC– Yesterday, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined 16 of his fellow Buckeyes in Congress in sending a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor, Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought, and Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller in support of Governor Mike DeWine’s request to restore and extend full federal funding for up to 1,800 members of the Ohio National Guard through March 31, 2021. In total, the letter was also signed by Senators Portman and Brown as well as Representatives Bob Latta (OH-05), Troy Balderson (OH-12), Mike Turner (OH-10), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Steve Chabot (OH-01), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), and Warren Davidson (OH-08).

“Since April, approximately 2,000 men and women of the Ohio National Guard have answered the call to serve their communities and help keep their fellow citizens safe,” the lawmakers wrote in their bipartisan, bicameral letter. “Ohio Guardsmen have significantly increased the response capacity in Ohio by maintaining testing sites, staging and distributing personal protective equipment, and assisting foodbanks in distributing more than 33 million pounds of food to Ohioans in need…We are encouraged by the recent, promising progress made in the development of vaccines against COVID-19, but the threat of the virus still remains. Transmission rates are already increasing in Ohio as we enter into the winter months, and the Ohio National Guard will continue to be an essential part of the State’s ongoing response to the health crisis.”

Since August, the federal government has covered 75% of the costs associated with Ohio’s National Guard response, which is authorized through December 31, 2020. The federal government previously authorized full federal funding from March 22nd through August 21st. Without action, the Ohio National Guardsmen will end their missions on December 17th to permit a 2-week quarantine period. You can read the letter in its entirety here.

In March, Joyce joined members of the Ohio National Guard to distribute foodto approximately 4,000 Ohioans in need at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Additionally, Joyce has taken the following actions in support of the Ohio National Guard throughout the pandemic:

  • Sent a May 29, 2020 letter to then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper asking the National Guard to extend the Title 32, Section 502(f) activations;
  • Sent a May 31, 2020 letterto the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in support of Governor Mike DeWine’s request of an extension of funding for the Ohio National Guard to provide assistance under 32 USC 502(f)(2)(A);
  • Cosponsored the Support Our National Guard Actto require DOD to provide transitional health benefits to any National Guard servicemember activated under Title 32 502(F) orders up to 180 days after a COVID-19 related deployment; and
  • Sent a July 24, 2020 letterto FEMA and DOD supporting Governor Mike DeWine’s request to extend full federal funding for the Ohio National Guard’s COVID-19 response mission.

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