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Spanberger Joins Members of Virginia Delegation Urging Trump Administration to Approve Virginia National Guard Funding Request Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, March 27, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today sent a bipartisan letter to President Donald J. Trump with other members of the Virginia Congressional delegation urging the administration to swiftly approve federal funding for the Virginia National Guard to help combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Spanberger was joined on the letter by U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), as well as U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), Rob Wittman (R-VA-01), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10).

“We write to urge you to quickly approve the request made by Governor Ralph Northam for additional authorities and funding under Title 32 U.S. Code 502(f)(2)(A) to assist the Commonwealth of Virginia to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Governor Northam requests this authority and funding for the Virginia National Guard as they work to respond to incidents related to the preservation of life and property in connection with COVID-19 emergency response efforts,” wrote the members of Congress in their letter to President Trump.

Several states across the country have begun to mobilize their National Guards to assist in their response to the coronavirus outbreak. Under Title 32, Virginia’s Governor would maintain the authority to deploy units to communities across the Commonwealth to help distribute food, support local test facilities, and assist first responders and health providers. Additionally, with the President’s approval of this request, the federal government would cover the cost for these critical missions.

On March 24, the Governor of Virginia determined the need to increase the Virginia National Guard force to full-time status in an effort to help with the coronavirus emergency response across the Commonwealth.

“We urge your prompt approval of this request so Governor Northam may fully task the Virginia National Guard as he finds necessary to support the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response efforts in support of this National emergency declaration,” they concluded.

Today, Spanberger and the U.S. House look to approve a $2 trillion bipartisan coronavirus economic relief package that includes $1.4 billion for deployment of the National Guard. This funding level will sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard under the direction of the governors of each state for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts to the health crisis.

Click here to read a full copy of the letter. The full transcript of the letter is below.

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Dear President Trump,

We write to urge you to quickly approve the request made by Governor Ralph Northam for additional authorities and funding under Title 32 U.S. Code 502(f)(2)(A) to assist the Commonwealth of Virginia to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Governor Northam requests this authority and funding for the Virginia National Guard as they work to respond to incidents related to the preservation of life and property in connection with COVID-19 emergency response efforts.

On March 24, Governor Northam determined the need to increase the Virginia National Guard force to full time status and intends to utilize the Virginia National Guard to fulfill immediate COVID-19 emergency response requirements across the Commonwealth.

We urge your prompt approval of this request so Governor Northam may fully task the Virginia National Guard as he finds necessary to support the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response efforts in support of this National emergency declaration. Thank you for your timely support to this important request.

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