WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following joint statement after President Trump’s recent changes to Title 32 extension authorities for COVID-19 support to states.

“The President’s erratic decision-making regarding extensions of Title 32 authority for the National Guard once again demonstrates that his approach to combating COVID-19 is not based on a coherent strategy, nor public health needs. The National Guard continues to play a vital role supporting COVID-19 responses in every state, Washington, D.C., and three territories, yet President Trump has found their ongoing missions unworthy of full Federal support. Pulling full Federal funding for National Guard missions, as states are working to address the pandemic and reopen their communities, is irrational and simply unacceptable.

“Unsurprisingly, the Administration has also failed to provide sufficient justification for treating states differently under Title 32, granting a select few states full Federal funding through the end of the year, while reducing aid for other states. There is no logical justification for this decision. Instead of basing this decision on what is best for the American people, the Trump Administration’s entire COVID-19 response continues to illustrate the President’s unwillingness to take responsibility and grasp the gravity of the challenge facing our country.”