National Guardsmen postponed training exercises after U.S. Congress failed to reimburse the National Guard Bureau’s months-long deployment to Washington during the January 6 riots.
Maj. Scott Ingalsbe confirmed six Nebraska National Guard events have been canceled to save money. The Nebraska National Guard spokesman revealed there is no money to conduct training due to the amount Congress owes.
“We just could not incur the cost,” he said according to The Hill.
Training in pre-command and firearms helps soldiers improve marksmanship. However, guardsmen now have to resume training in their respective home bases to save on travel, lodging, and meal expenses. Other events scheduled for early August have also been canceled.
Since mid-January the National Guard Bureau spent $521 million on deploying members to the nation’s capitol to help maintain security at the Capitol building, President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment.
The bureau had assumed Congress would reimburse them. However, the bill continues to be unpaid due to partisan politics.
“While we have already cancelled or postponed several events to conserve resources, further loss of funding would be detrimental to our future readiness for federal missions or emergencies here in the state of Nebraska,” Nebraska National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac said in a statement obtained by the paper.
Bureau spokesman Wayne Hall warns a wave of cancellations are expected in more states, if the bill is still unpaid on Aug. 1.
“Time is running out,” Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Neely said according to the Omaha World Herald. “The loss of these funds will have a major impact on our readiness, both for our federal missions and for state emergencies.”
More than 800 Illinois Guardsmen were sent to the Capitol mission, with another 3,000 assigned to the Chinese Communist Party Virus response according to CNN.
“It would be punishing the force that has worked extremely hard the last two years to ensure the National Guard is always ready and always there when our nation in our community needs us,” Neely said according to the publication.
The Senate Appropriations Committee had negotiated a package that includes funding for the National Guard and Capitol Police. Committee members still had not reached a consensus on the bill at the time of publication.
“We have not reached an agreement yet but I think we are really close,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said. “But that is still not there.”
Both Shelby and Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are highly confident they will reach an agreement before the August recess.