ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The state of Maryland has yet to be reimbursed for the cost of deploying hundreds of National Guard members to the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Without those funds, the department will have to make serious budget cuts.READ MORE: Thousands Of National Guard Troops Will Remain In Washington Into March Following US Capitol Riots, Inauguration
Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen of Maryland’s Army National Guard has a message: time is of the essence. Maryland’s National Guard needs to get this money now, but if they don’t do it by Aug. 1, over 700 of their members will stop getting paid. And for the hundreds waiting to go to training, they’ll be held up or delayed.
He’s asking for help sooner rather than later.
“We needed to make it abundantly clear to our congressional delegation that we’ve got to act now,” Gowen said.
In a letter sent to Sen. Ben Cardin, Gowen said the National Guard needs to be reimbursed for sending thousands of soldiers from across the country to the Capitol riots on Jan. 6. About 800 soldiers were from Maryland alone.
“The National Guard deployed 26,000 members, both Army and Air, to the Capitol, and there’s no set aside for money for operations like that,” Gowen said.
In a tweet Tuesday, Gov. Larry Hogan called on Maryland’s congressional delegation to take urgent action to prevent major disruptions to ongoing operations.
READ MORE: Gov. Larry Hogan Visits Maryland National Guard Soldiers At U.S. Capitol
Congressional leaders pleaded with us to send the National Guard to the U.S. Capitol in January, but still haven’t reimbursed expenses from the deployment.
We are calling on our congressional delegation to take urgent action to prevent major disruptions to ongoing operations. pic.twitter.com/iCyxKGEtOk
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) July 20, 2021
“Aug. 1 is very important,” Gowen said. “We’ve got to have the money by then.”
Without the money, there will be a severe cut in training, maintenance and payroll for 776 full-time soldiers and airmen in Maryland.
“It’s going to have an effect on readiness. It’s going to have an effect on retention. It’s going have an effect on how quickly we respond to things going forward,” Gowen said.
It is unclear exactly how much money is owed to Maryland alone, but we do know the bill for sending over 25,000 National Guard members that responded after the Capitol riots were roughly $521 million. WJZ reached out to Cardin’s office, to whom this letter was sent. This was his response:
“There is no question that this was a federal mission, and it should be paid for with federal funds. Congress needs to get this done before our August recess,” he said.
A Statement from U.S. Senator Ben Cardin reads:MORE NEWS: Congress Passes Bill To Reimburse Maryland National Guard For Help During Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
“Maryland National Guard members were deployed with no notice to defend the U.S. Capitol, as well as lawmakers and staff, from immediate and ongoing threats. Guard members helped to ultimately ensure a peaceful transition of power to a new Administration on January 20 at the U.S. Capitol. There is no question that this was a federal mission and it should be paid for with federal funds. Congress needs to get this done before our August recess, when serious budget shortfalls put public safety at risk and could hurt the Guard’s readiness for other critical ongoing missions.”