Governor Whitmer calls on Trump to extend Michigan National Guard through Dec 31


A sign language interpreter (left) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a COVID-19 news conference in Lansing on July 9, 2020.

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that the president authorize the use of Michigan National Guard forces through December 31, 2020. 

Title 32 authority, which allows Guard members to receive federal pay and benefits, was set to expire on August 21 due to a deadline set by the Trump Administration. 

“The Michigan National Guard is a crucial part of the State’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Guard will be vital to our ongoing recovery as well,” said Governor Whitmer.

This is not the first time Governor Whitmer has requested an extension of the Michigan National Guard in the state. On May 28, Whitmer sent a letter to President Trump requesting an extension of Title 32 authority through July 31, 2020.

That day, President Trump approved Whitmer’s request.

The Michigan National Guard also showed up to help the victims of the Midland flooding in May when a state of emergency was declared following the collapse of the breach of the Edenville and Sanford Dams.

In addition to allowing Michigan to fully utilize the National Guard for recovery and reopening efforts, the extension of Title 32 authority means that many Guard members will qualify for federal retirement and education benefits made available under the GI Bill.  

“Since March, the men and women of the Michigan National Guard have stepped up to support the state’s response to COVID-19; this extension would allow us flexibility to continue our work with Governor Whitmer to protect our fellow Michiganders,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The uncertain nature of this global pandemic makes the National Guard a critically important asset as we keep up the fight against COVID-19 together in the coming months.” 

To view a copy of Governor Whitmer’s letter to President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor, and FEMA Region V Acting Administrator Kevin Sligh, click the link below:  

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