Following Tester Push, Trump Extends Title 32 Orders For Thousands of Guardsmen Fighting COVID-19

Senator consistently fought to extend Title 32 orders to ensure National Guard members receive earned federal benefits

Following sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, President Trump announced that the Administration will extend Title 32 orders for National Guard members fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic through mid-August, ensuring that these men and women will have the opportunity to earn additional benefits for their increased service.

“This is great news for thousands of Guardsmen defending our nation during this national emergency who have been waiting in limbo for the benefits they rightfully earned,” said Tester. “When the going got tough, the men and the women of the National Guard stood ready to serve on the front lines of this pandemic. It took far too much pressure and time for this Administration to do the right thing, but I’m glad it did—and I’ll continue working to hold the Department of Defense accountable to deliver on this commitment.”

To assist local and state governments in their response to the national health emergency, troops from the Army and Air National Guards across 54 states and territories, including Montana, have been put on state active duty or mobilized under Title 32 orders. Last week, Tester urged the Administration to reverse its decision to place a “hard stop” on the deployments of more than 40,000 National Guardsmen and women, including nearly 200 from Montana, just one day shy of them becoming eligible for federal benefits.

In Congress, Tester has been leading to charge to expand Title 32 authorities for the men and women of the National Guard on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 crisis. Following weeks of pressure, he successfully pushed the Administration to authorize Title 32 for National Guard members responding to the outbreak activated in several states. Tester has been fighting to ensure the Montana National Guard receives the support it deserves during the COVID-19 pandemic— he doubled down on his effort to grant Title 32 authorities for these Guardsmen in a letter to the President with the Montana congressional delegation.