January 22, 2021

After Duckworth’s Request, President Biden Signs Executive Order to Fully Reimburse Illinois for Costs of National Guard Activations in COVID-19 Response Efforts


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, released the following statement after the Biden administration directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fully reimburse states for costs associated with the deployment of National Guard troops in their efforts to combat the pandemic. The Administration’s move follows Duckworth urging then-President-elect Biden in late December to take immediate and urgent action along these lines after being inaugurated.

“National Guard troops have been serving as frontline workers since the beginning of this pandemic, working to help keep their communities and their nation safe, and I’m glad that one of the first acts of the Biden administration is acting on my request to recognize their service and sacrifice by fully covering the cost of their deployments. This action reverses the Trump administration’s infuriating decision to withhold some of the federal funding that supports the deployment of these troops and I applaud this move to provide 100% of this critical funding.”

This issue has been a top priority for Senator Duckworth, who sent multiple letters to the previous administration urging them to fully cover the costs of these deployments and extend Title 32 authorization for National Guard servicemembers. In May, she introduced the National Guard COVID-19 Response Stability Act to ensure that all National Guard troops activated in response to the pandemic receive additional benefits and provide states with greater certainty.