Kuster Statement on Trump Administration Decision to End Deployment One Day Before Citizen Soldiers and Airmen of the National Guard Would Qualify for Benefits
Washington, DC, May 21, 2020
**Tomorrow, Rep. Kuster will introduce legislation to extend federal status, benefits to National Guard troops deployed during the pandemic**
Today, Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on the Trump Administration and Department of Defense’s decision to end the National Guard’s deployments on June 24, 2020 – one day before the 90-day requirement the men and women who are serving our nation would need to reach to qualify for early retirement and post-9/11 GI Bill benefits:
“Deliberately preventing the brave citizen soldiers and airmen of the National Guard from receiving benefits by cutting COVID-19 response deployments one day short of the 90-day benchmark is a new low, even for the Trump Administration. Here in the Granite State, the New Hampshire National Guard is working to bolster testing efforts, provide support at our employment offices to ensure that Granite Staters receive their unemployment benefits as soon as possible, partner with food banks to get food to those in need, and more. The Trump Administration's decision to end these deployments and keep these brave men and women from receiving benefits for their service is unpatriotic and will bring an early end to the critical support that the National Guard is providing to communities across the country.”
Tomorrow, Rep. Kuster will introduce the National Guard COVID-19 Response Stability Act, which empowers governors to extend federal deployments of their Guard units through the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This legislation – which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Tammy Duckworth yesterday – would ensure Guard members can continue to accrue time-served towards the 90-day federal duty requirement while ensuring that states do not have to pick up the tab for their continued service.