CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – When rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC on January 6th, the loss of life, injuries, and damage to the building itself were not the only costs.
The Pentagon called up National Guard units from around the country to come in to protect the Capitol and members of Congress. West Virginia sent more than 200 soldiers at a cost of millions of state dollars. But, nearly seven months later, the Mountain State has still not been reimbursed.
“We’ve talked with our Congressional delegation and they’re ready to take action. They’re ready to do this. At this point it seems there are two competing bills, and so I’m hopeful they’ll come together and be able to cut a deal. The issue is we’re just running out of time,” said Brig. Gen, William Crane, WV National Guard.
The time crunch is because if West Virginia is not reimbursed soon it will have to cancel two National Guard training exercises in August and September. One scheduled for Clay County is supposed to bring in more than one-thousand West Virginia and out-of-state first responders and army troops for disaster emergency training. That would be a huge loss of economic impact for the state. Leaders are trying to help the Adjutant General.
“I’ll follow up with him specifically, but also make sure that I am fully supportive of this and am pushing for it. I am on Appropriations. I’m in a place where I can be impactful here, and have been,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.
The Pentagon says the total cost for all states that responded with National Guard help was more than 500 million dollars.
“The General Says funding SNAFUs like this can have a domino effect. For example, a solider who misses training exercises through no fault of his own, can lose pension credits, and that may mean less money in retirement benefits,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.