The U.S. Senate has hatched a deal to reimburse the National Guard — including in West Virginia — for the cost of pitching in to protect the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 mob attack.
Brig. Gen. William Crane of the West Virginia National Guard today said he is enthusiastic that a deal could be reached. A big remaining question is whether the funding is assured in time to proceed with Guard training in August. Without it, there was significant doubt that the funding would allow the coming month’s training.
The deal was announced Tuesday by U.S. Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., in cooperation with the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
The $2.1 billion proposal also would secure funds for Capitol Police, more pandemic resources and increase support for Afghan refugees.
“We have the responsibility to take care of the Capitol Police in the wake of their incredible service on January 6th, and to reimburse our National Guard for costs incurred protecting the Capitol,” Leahy stated.
Both the Senate and the House will have to pass the measure by the end of the week to assure upcoming National Guard training across the country won’t be disrupted. The National Guard considers August 1 the deadline to assure the upcoming training can still happen.
Across the nation, the National Guard has said, the uncompensated expense for that duty amounts to $521 million. West Virginia’s share would be almost $6 million.
Senator Joe Manchin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he supports the proposal.
“In the days, weeks and months following the January 6th attack, our brave servicemembers protected the United States Capitol with integrity and honor. More than 475 West Virginia National Guardsmen and women served alongside servicemembers from every state, protecting our Capitol and democracy when we needed it most,” stated Manchin, D-W.Va.
“We must ensure our National Guardsmen and women are able to continue their training and drills, which is in jeopardy if we fail to reimburse them for their service after the January 6th attacks. This funding package is essential to the safety and security of our nation, and I am pleased my bipartisan colleagues came to a reasonable agreement to fund these priorities.”
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, also a member of the Appropriations Committee, has also expressed support for supplemental appropriation to cover the National Guard and the Capitol Police.
“I’m very much in support of this,” Capito, R-W.Va., said during a news briefing this month. “I think we need to take care of our Capitol Police and our National Guard.”