Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) excoriated the Trump administration’s decision to abruptly end the National Guard’s deployments the day before they can claim benefits in a Tuesday statement.
Rose criticized the Trump White House for deciding to stop deployments on June 24, the day before thousands of National Guard members would qualify for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI bill.
The New York lawmaker called for the decision to be reversed because it is “unpatriotic [and] economically unsound.”
“Intentionally ending orders one day short of a deadline for National Guard soldiers to receive benefits for their heroic sacrifices is the definition of heartless,” he said.
“In peace time we should never balance our budget on the backs of our soldiers,” he added, “so why anyone would think this is okay to do in the middle of a wartime effort is beyond human comprehension.”
Trump’s approval of the National Guard deployment to assist during the coronavirus pandemic gave members federal pay and benefits and put them under the command of state governors through May 31.
The Trump administration reportedly further extended the National Guard deployment to June 24 – one day short of the 90-day benchmark for benefits to go into effect, Politico reported Tuesday.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that Trump has approved 49 National Guard requests, which the government will fund fully through June 24. As of Tuesday, the National Guard has authorized 39,891 National Guard troops and an additional 891 troops in state active duty status.