(The Center Square) – National Guard commanders in Wisconsin allege the U.S. Congress still hasn't reimbursed them for the $10 million spent to deploy troops to Washington last January.
“The Wisconsin National Guard sent approximately 550 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen to Washington D.C. from January 15 to January 23 to support civil authorities in the national capital region during the presidential inauguration,” Maj. Joe Trovato with the Wisconsin National Guard explained to The Center Square. “The Wisconsin National Guard received reimbursement for both Capitol response missions from the National Guard Bureau, however, the National Guard Bureau has not received reimbursement from the federal government, which is now leading to a national funding shortfall.”
Wisconsin initially sent 550 soldiers to the Capitol in January. Trovato says that deployment cost $1.3 million. Wisconsin then sent another 130 troops to Washington from mid-March to the end of May. The cost of that deployment was $1.5 million.
Trovato says the $10 million is earmarked for “pay and allowance funding” in Wisconsin for the final few months of the fiscal year that ends September 30. He is not saying if the lack of funding means some troops won’t be paid.
“At this time, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the future impact, as there are a number of alternatives and courses of action under consideration, but our priority is to avoid impact to unit and service member readiness,” Trovato said.
Southern Wisconsin’s Republican Congressman, Bryan Steil, told The Center Square the blame needs to be laid 100% at the feet of Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress.
“Speaker Pelosi prioritized her plans to spend trillions of dollars on her radical political agenda rather than reimburse our citizen soldiers. Reimbursing our citizen soldiers should be a top priority, not Speaker Pelosi’s spending spree,” Steil said. “Speaker Pelosi should allow a clean bill to come to the floor that fully reimburses our troops without attaching unrelated and wasteful spending that fulfills her radical agenda. We owe it to our troops and their families.”
Money for the National Guard was tied to an appropriations plan in the U.S. House that passed by a single vote back in early May. It died in the Senate because the proposal was loaded with other spending completely unrelated to the Guard.
Congressman Steil voted against the larger spending plan.