House committee bars private funding for National Guard deployments

“We don’t know if any of those sources are foreign government sources that are being funneled through private entities,” Escobar stated. “We don’t even know if those sources are adversaries to our interests.”

The proposal would bar funding from private sources for a cross-state Guard deployment besides for emergency or catastrophe reduction efforts.

During a quick debate, Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) pushed again, calling it “an absolutely ridiculous accusation that the National Guard is up for sale.”

Despite that criticism, the transfer comes after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, in June used a donation from a Tennessee-based billionaire to pay to deploy as much as 50 South Dakota Guardsmen to Texas so as to add to the general Guard presence on the border.

At the time, House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith (D-Wash.) slammed the transfer as akin to utilizing a state’s National Guard as a private militia. He promised his panel would press the Pentagon on the problem and argued accepting private cash to deploy Guard troops must be unlawful.

“Sadly this is not a hypothetical. This actually did happen,” Smith stated Wednesday. “A private person basically worked with the governor to rent out the National Guard to go perform a mission outside of that state.”

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