Trump Spares Only FL, TX From Cuts To National Guard Funding For COVID Response
President Donald Trump has agreed to continue covering the full cost of National Guard deployments in just two states that requested it, according to CNN: Florida and Texas.
- Governors in both states reportedly appealed directly to the president in asking for the continuation of funding.
- “Other states will now have to pay a quarter of the cost of National Guard deployments in their states, despite their governors also requesting the federal government continue to foot the entire bill,” the news outlet reported.
- A White House official told CNN that Trump made exceptions for Florida and Texas because their governors made "special, direct cases to the President," pointing to now unique circumstances in those states that might otherwise justify the decision.
"The governors of Texas and Florida made the case directly to the President that a continuation of the 100% cost share was necessary to support the Guard's efforts in their states," a White House official told CNN. "Florida and Texas were the only states to make special, direct cases to the President."
CNN noted that “While Texas and Florida both have a large number of coronavirus cases -- more than 466,000 and 502,000, respectively -- other states with large numbers of cases, like California and Arizona, will only see three-quarters of the costs covered by the federal government.”
Noam Lee, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, said in a statement:"With American lives at risk, the President is continuing to manipulate our nation's pandemic response to benefit his own political fortunes. The National Guard deployments are the latest development in the partisan games the President has played with states seeking critical supplies and aid."
House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat, expressed similar sentiment: "The President should be providing the full support of the federal government for this mission. The President is also playing politics by picking a few states to get special treatment over others and not adequately responding with the gravity necessary to address the crisis.”
And James Nash, press secretary for the National Governors Association, said in an email: "It will cost states millions (we don't have a more precise number) to come up with their 25 percent match, during a time when state budgets already are under unprecedented strain.”
“Trump's emphasis on a direct appeal from governors to secure full funding for the National Guard deployments is just the latest example of Trump and his aides requesting governors ask the President directly for help,” CNN wrote, “and -- in some cases -- make a public show of thanking him for coronavirus assistance.”