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.
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.
Wisconsin District 57
Candidate for Congress
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