Sisolak Says National Guard Funding Request Denied By Trump

State Must Pay 25% Of Cost To Have Guard Assist In Coronavirus Response

Associated Press
September 14, 2020 - 4:15 am
Members of the Nevada National Guard Pfc. Erika Garcia, Spc. Austin Stolpe and Pfc. Josh Wood put down social distancing decals at a new coronavirus (COVID-19) testing site inside Cashman Center on August 3, 2020

Ethan MIller/Getty Images

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Governor Steve Sisolak said President Donald Trump has denied the state’s request to have the federal government fund all of the cost of deploying the National Guard to help with the state’s coronavirus response.

National Guard members have established coronavirus sample collection sites, aided in contact tracing efforts, distributed food and maintained the state’s stockpile of personal protective equipment.

From April until August, the federal government had been covering all of the cost for every state’s Guard deployment.

The White House announced last month that Nevada, along with several other states, would have to pay 25% of the cost of deploying the Guard starting on Aug. 21. The federal government would pick up the rest of the bill through the end of of the year.

Only Florida, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut and California were given 100% federal funding to deploy the National Guard.

Sisolak says began asking the federal government to continue funding 100% of Nevada’s National Guard costs in August and made several requests directly to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Sisolak’s office said Trump told them Wednesday that their requests would not be approved.

“There is no rational justification for providing some states full federal funding for the Guard and denying a state like Nevada, which is still facing an increased transmission risk in our largest counties and devastating economic impacts as a result of this pandemic,” Sisolak said in a statement.

Assistant White House Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Trump has done more to fund the National Guard in emergencies than his predecessors.

“President Trump is the first president in United States history to proactively grant 100 percent cost share for the National Guard under Title 32 status and did so for several months for every state that requested it,” Leavitt said in a statement. “The only other time that 100 percent cost share was extended under Title 32 status was for a much shorter period when Congress dictated it after Hurricane Katrina.”