Shaheen Responds to Trump’s Decision to Extend Mobilization of National Guard Troops During COVID-19 Pandemic, Heeding Shaheen’s Call to Ensure Guard Receives Full Federal Benefits

May 28, 2020

**Shaheen Previously Led the NH Congressional Delegation Letter to the Trump Admin Urging the Secretary of Defense to Extend the Full-Time Guard Duty Authorization Until June 30th** 

**Shaheen Statement Follows Her Call Earlier this Month & Legislation Last Week with Senator Duckworth to Ensure National Guard Personnel are Provided Access to Full Benefits**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump announced that he would extend the mobilization of National Guardsmen in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to mid-August, heeding calls from Shaheen and others in Congress earlier this month. The President’s order originally limited the mobilization of National Guardsmen to 89 days, which would have prevented troops from qualifying for additional federal benefits they normally would be granted if it was extended for 90 days or more.

“I’m glad the President heeded my call alongside the federal delegation to right this wrong and ensure our Guardsmen and women who answered the call of duty have access to the full federal benefits they’ve earned,” said Shaheen. “We rely on the Guard to aid our communities when crisis or disaster strikes, which is precisely why their assistance on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak has been so important to our state’s ongoing response strategy. Extending this order allows eligible Guard members to access the education and retirement benefits they deserve and will continue to bolster New Hampshire’s response to this public health emergency. I’m grateful for the New Hampshire National Guard’s continued service to our state, not just during this crisis, but for every day that they protect and serve Granite Staters.”

Shaheen previously led a New Hampshire congressional delegation letter to the Trump administration requesting an extension until June 30th for the New Hampshire National Guard’s status under the National Guard Title 32 authority. The Trump administration instead put in place a deadline of June 24th which is one day shy of the 90-day period that would allow eligible personnel to qualify for certain education and retirement benefits. Earlier this month, Shaheen sent a letter with Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), urging the administration to revise this date by one day and to extend full federal benefits to all National Guard personnel activated in response to the public health emergency. Senator Shaheen also introduced legislation with Senator Duckworth (D-IL) and a group of lawmakers to ensure all National Guard troops activated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic receive additional benefits and provide states with greater certainty.