Congress redirected monies allotted to state National Guard divisions to pay for troops protecting the Capitol after the Jan. 6th insurrection to ensure the safety of those working in the building and protect the then-incoming presidential team. After months of Congressional delays, states were forced to cut their Guard budgets drastically. On July 27, 2021, Oregon Guard troops were notified drills were canceled for August.
The unclassified notification reads:
Many of you may be aware of the National Guard’s shortage of funds for the current fiscal year. This is due to $521 million spent from the…budget to send more than 25,000 troops to the Capitol to provide security after the election. The National Guard funded the response with FY21 dollars earmarked for training, operations, and maintenance — funds [that] are still yet to be reimbursed by Congress.
Due to this shortage, based on guidance from the Chief, National Guard Bureau, we have made an extremely difficult, yet necessary, decision to cancel the drill period for the month of August. September drill is still to be determined.
Several reasons that cutting drills are problematic first affect troops’ readiness for federal and state missions. And National Guard members are not paid when they miss monthly drill weekends or their yearly week-long commitments, which can be a financial hardship.
In addition to the above-stated problems, Oregon’s troops are needed to help fight the fires within the state. As of August 1, the state has 11 active wildfires, including the Bootleg Fire that has burned over 400,000 acres.
Reportedly, Congress is working toward an agreement to reimburse the National Guard FY21 Budget, however, the insurrection deniers in the House and Senate contend diverting the guard’s funding to have troops at the Capitol was unnecessary. They hold onto the belief that what occurred at the Capitol on Jan. 6th was a peaceful event, which has been blown out of proportion by the media and Democrats — many of them are fierce loyalists to the former president; Donald Trump.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Oregon Military Department: LCC August Drill Letter pdf
National Interagency Cire Center: Current Wildfires
Featured and Top Image by Spc. Miguel Ruiz Courtesy of The National Guard’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Courtesy of Oregon National Guard – Creative Commons License