President Donald Trump gave Governor Steve Bullock authorization for his request for the National Guard to get federal assistance in their fight against COVID-19 in Montana.
According to a release from the Governor Bullock, Trump approved his asking to be a Title 32 standing, which means the federal government will pay for all authorized National Guard costs. However, the release says Governor Bullock still has executive control over the Montana National Guard.
“I’m pleased the President recognizes that Montana is working hard to fight this virus,” Governor Bullock said in the release. “With this federal support, we can fully utilize the Montana National Guard to aggressively respond to COVID-19 and prevent further spread, and we can ensure that our guardsmen and women receive the resources they deserve.”
Below is the full release from Governor Bullock:
“Governor Steve Bullock today announced federal support for the National Guard to respond to COVID-19 in Montana after President Trump approved the governor’s request for Title 32 status. Title 32 status means the federal government will cover all approved costs incurred by the National Guard, even though the Montana National Guard Soldiers and Airmen remain under the command and direction of the Governor.
‘I’m pleased the President recognizes that Montana is working hard to fight this virus,’ Governor Bullock said. ‘With this federal support, we can fully utilize the Montana National Guard to aggressively respond to COVID-19 and prevent further spread, and we can ensure that our guardsmen and women receive the resources they deserve.’
With authority under the Stafford Act, the president issued a memo on April 7 announcing Montana and several other states will receive full funding from FEMA to cover costs from using National Guard forces to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19.
Last week, Governor Bullock activated the Montana National Guard under state active duty authority and funding to assist in screening individuals arriving in Montana airports and rail stations. The Guard’s presence extends the state’s ability to enforce the travel quarantine order and make sure that people arriving in Montana aren’t bringing new COVID-19 cases with them. The National Guard is also assisting the local operation in Toole County. This recognition of the needs within the state allows for full federal funding of the National Guard operations while Governor Bullock retains command and control of the Soldiers and Airmen of the Montana National Guard.”