WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on defense, today during a defense subcommittee hearing reviewed the fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding request and budget justification for the National Guard and Reserves. During the hearing, the following witnesses testified before the subcommittee: General Daniel R. Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau; Lieutenant General Jody J. Daniels, Chief of the Army Reserve; Vice Admiral John B. Mustin, Chief of the Navy Reserve; Lieutenant General David G. Bellon, Commander of the Marine Corps Forces Reserve; and Lieutenant General Richard W. Scobee, Chief of the Air Force Reserve.
Senator Shelby’s remarks are as follows:
“Welcome back to each of our witnesses. Thank you for being here today to discuss your FY23 budget request.
“The National Guard and Reserves serve both overseas and – when disaster strikes – here at home. Over the last few years they have answered the call on many occasions.
“From responding to COVID-19, hurricanes, and wildfires to safeguarding our border, these men and women have served our country with distinction.
“I am deeply concerned, however, that the Administration’s failure to direct the appropriate resources to the crisis at the southern border has resulted in shifting the burden to the Guard.
“Because the Administration has refused to fund the construction of a comprehensive barrier along the border, it has been compelled to send the National Guard to deal with the consequences.
“Further, if the Administration succeeds in appealing a recent court decision, Title 42 restrictions will end and the demands on the Guard’s manpower and resources will only increase.
“Recently, we have seen as much as $300 million in a single year reprioritized from the Guard to pay for border deployments.
“Now, we are seeing active military components cover most of the bill which puts a significant and unnecessary strain on the DOD in the year of execution.
“Regrettably, this was all predictable and avoidable.
“So, today I would like to understand how the Administration’s policies at the border are straining your resources and how the President’s budget supports the fundamental requirements of the Guard and Reserves.
“I would also like to know whether your respective budgets fall short of providing adequate funding for much-needed equipment, modernization, training, and recruitment. Thank you.”