Congressman: The Guard deserves the funding they need
Washington, D.C. – As a budget shortfall potentially threatens the Iowa National Guard’s September training exercises, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today pushed the House Appropriations Committee to approve a reallocation of funds that would allow the Guard to hold its scheduled drills.
A high participation rate in previous training exercises this year, along with higher than expected training costs, has contributed to a $2.4 million budget shortfall in the Iowa National Guard’s budget. If that shortfall is not addressed, it could jeopardize Guard drills scheduled for September. It is expected that the National Guard will submit a reprogramming request that will allow them to transfer money between accounts, allowing the proposed drill to go forward as scheduled.
"It's important that the Iowa National Guard has the resources they need to conduct their scheduled exercises—and that members of the Guard who rely on income from this training aren't exposed to unnecessary financial hardship," Braley said. "The Iowa National Guard has done a tremendous service to our state, both domestically and abroad, and it's important that they have the funding they need."
Braley’s letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee urges them to approve any reprogramming request made by the Guard that would allow them to carry out their currently scheduled exercises.
“After all the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform, we should do everything in our power to ensure that the National Guard has the funds required to carry out their scheduled training sessions,” Braley wrote.
Braley has been a consistent advocate for Iowa's National Guard. This year, he repeatedly fought proposed cuts to the Iowa National Guard, citing their work on behalf of Iowans in the aftermath of natural disasters and in combat deployments outside the United States. In December of 2012 he joined Rep. Tom Latham in efforts to block cuts to the Des Moines Air National Guard.
A copy of Braley’s letter is available below.
September 4, 2014
The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen The Honorable Peter Visclosky
Chairman Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Defense Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations Committee on Appropriations
H-405 Capitol Building 1016 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Visclosky,
It has come to my attention that The National Guard has an approximate $101 million funding shortfall for the remainder of the fiscal year, with the Iowa National Guard’s portion of the shortfall totaling roughly $2.4 million. This has raised the possibility of canceling scheduled training drills for the month of September.
The possibility of cancelling drills is extremely troubling and would lead to a loss of income for Guard members—many of whom rely on the income for basic necessities. After all the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform, we should do everything in our power to ensure that the National Guard has the funds required to carry out their scheduled training sessions. I urge you to remedy this issue by swiftly approving any reprogramming request submitted by the National Guard.
Thank you for your consideration on this important matter and I look forward to hearing from you.