The National Guard is making good on its threat earlier this year to cancel summer training sessions unless Congress pays up for its deployment to Washington D.C., in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
A spokesman for the Guard told The Hill that six training sessions of the Nebraska National Guard were canceled because it had not yet received reimbursement for the month’s long deployment earlier this year and said more sessions will likely be canceled.
“There will likely be more things that would be canceled if the funding is not restored,” National Guard Spokesman Wayne Hall told The Hill Saturday.
Thousands of Guard troops were called to Washington, D.C. after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, trying to disrupt a joint session of Congress tallying the final Electoral College vote of the 2020 election.
The number of troops shrank during the next several months to about 2,500 before they were cut loose in May.
The cost for the deployment, $521 million, however, remains unpaid by Congress.
"Without reimbursement funding, there is significant impact on National Guard readiness if we're not able to resolve this in a timely manner," U.S. Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in a statement on July 17.
Another event, a marksmanship training in August, has also been canceled, according to the article.
"We just couldn't incur the cost," Maj. Scott Ingalsbe, spokesperson for the Nebraska National Guard, told CNN.
According to National Guard officials, the canceled events are saving money from lodging and meals it provides to members during their weekend service.
“I am proud of the 300 Nebraska Airmen and Soldiers who answered the call in January to secure our nation’s capital and ensure a peaceful transfer of power. Their regularly scheduled training and the correlated pay and benefits – modest paychecks families depend on to pay rent and put food on the table – should never be in doubt,” U.S. Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Adjutant General of the Nebraska National Guard, said in a statement to The Hill.
“While we have already cancelled or postponed several events to conserve resources, further loss of funding would be detrimental to our future readiness for federal missions or emergencies here in the state of Nebraska.”
A bipartisan group of 70 Congressmen are asking leadership to pass and distribute the funding soon.
“Without immediate action, the brave volunteers of our National Guard will suffer, and the National Guard Bureau estimates its readiness will decrease by 15-20%, the group’s letter to the leadership said. “We urge you to swiftly come to an agreement on emergency appropriations that includes full reimbursement for the National Guard.”
Senators from both parties who lead the Appropriations Committee said that they want to see the funds appropriated in August but could not say if they would also be distributed the same month, according to The Hill.
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