State Rep. Amanda Stuck
Op Ed

Why is Rep. Mike Gallagher Silent?

President Trump is ending the deployments for thousands of National Guard members one day before some additional federal benefits kick in.

By - May 21st, 2020 09:55 am
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Wisconsin National Guard individuals man a COVID-19 testing facility in Bay View. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Wisconsin National Guard individuals man a COVID-19 testing facility in Bay View. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The U.S. Marine Corps lists three principal values: honor, courage and commitment. Mike Gallagher is a former Marine. While I can’t speak to his honor or courage, I must say, judging from his silence on the Republican plan to stiff the National Guard, I have doubts about his commitment to his comrades in arms.

Let me explain.

Across the country, the National Guard has been called into service against COVID-19. The Guard has operated as poll workers, delivered protective equipment where it’s needed, distributed meals, assisted hospitals with emergency care. Guardsmen and women have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

In my own district, the Guard is wrapping up an ambitious, multi-county program in which several thousand people were tested for infection. Testing is an essential and overdue component in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Given the Trump Administration’s complacent response to the January outbreak, it’s important to ramp up contact tracing in order to minimize contagion. We are all grateful for the Guard’s efficient and deliberate action.

Here’s the trouble: The Trump administration plans to end the deployments of more than 40,000 National Guard members–a day before thousands would become eligible for federal benefits. Republican lawmakers are saying “thank you” to Guardsmen and women by making sure they earn the cheapest reward for their service. Meanwhile, the honorable Mike Gallagher says nothing.

So much for commitment.

We’re caught in a generational crisis. So for this year, we’ve lost 30 times more Americans to a coronavirus than we lost on Sept 11, 2001. Our citizens face a new set of hardships. They’re anxious and uncertain. Leadership is tested in times like these. Thankfully, we have all been able to rely on the National Guard. Lawmakers need respond with an equal measure of reliance.

Mr. Gallagher should demand the Trump Administration to extend the 502(f)(2)(A) funding authorization through the end of the year, with monthly assessments, in order to allow the Wisconsin National Guard to continue supporting its mission critical. That would represent an honorable and courageous commitment.

Amanda Stuck
Representative
Wisconsin District 57
Candidate for Congress

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Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

2 thoughts on “Op Ed: Why is Rep. Mike Gallagher Silent?”

  1. steenwyr says:

    >>>> “The Trump administration plans to end the deployments of more than 40,000 National Guard members” <<<<<

    Had to educate myself on this one … thought National Guard was a state-by-state operation. It generally is, unless it's been federalized — which it was in CA, NY, and WA in late March and was discussed for others at the end of March, but I can't find conclusive reports for anything after that without looking really hard in places I don't know to look.

    WI Guard might be operating under Title 32 (still state-local, but federally funded) and not Title 10 (federalized), so it's not clear what the impact is in this state. At the end of the presser, it does say "extend funding", so maybe it is the former which I'd interpret to mean that Trump can't actually "end the deployment" (the governors retain that power), but I could see how without funding, they might not be able to continue operations.

  2. TransitRider says:

    Today’s Washington Post explains this in more detail. Apparently military pensions are based on how many years you serve, and you only get credit for “fiscal years” (12 months from October thru September) during which you have served (been on active duty) at least 90 days (not necessarily consecutively). If they deactivate you on your 89th day, you get no credit (unless you are called up again by the end of September).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/05/22/pentagon-leaves-open-possibility-some-guardsmen-could-fall-short-accrued-benefits-virus-response/

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