Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and a group of their colleagues to support the National Guard COVID-19 Response Stability Act, legislation that ensures all National Guard troops activated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic receive additional benefits and allows governors to continue using the National Guard to help coronavirus response efforts.
Currently, National Guard deployments are scheduled to end in June, one day short of the 90-day threshold for Guardsmen to receive additional federal benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
“The California National Guard has played a key role in the state’s coronavirus response, including helping conduct tests, treating patients and helping staff homeless shelters. Terminating these deployments in June in order to prevent guardsmen and reservists from qualifying for retirement and federal benefits is a bad decision. We shouldn’t cut off this much-needed manpower in the middle of pandemic. I hope the Trump administration allows these deployments to continue and fully supports Guard members,” said Feinstein.
“The Trump Administration’s repeated attempts to nickel and dime members of the National Guard would be wrong under any circumstance, but it is particularly offensive when these troops are responding to a deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has already killed more than 90,000 Americans,” said Duckworth. “This legislation would ensure that all National Guard troops activated to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic are provided with the full benefits they’ve earned and will give states much-needed certainty during these uncertain times.”
In addition to Feinstein and Duckworth, the legislation is also supported by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).