Northam: FEMA denied funding after Virginia responded to Capitol insurrection


Members of the National Guard patrol outside the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Virginia’s request for an emergency declaration for funding assistance after the commonwealth sent aid to respond to the Capitol insurrection.

Northam confirmed FEMA’s decision after it was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Maryland’s request to cover the expenses for both responding to the riot and increasing security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration was also denied. Both states applied Friday, the Journal reported.

“Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that supplemental federal assistance under the Stafford Act is not warranted for this event,” a Jan. 17 letter from FEMA to Virginia read.

The Stafford Act allows the president to declare an emergency that would release federal assistance. President Trump did declare an emergency for Washington, D.C last week.

Both states sent thousands of law enforcement officers and National Guard troops in the wake of the attack, which left 5 people dead, including an officer with the Capitol Police who was beaten with a fire extinguisher.

Northam, a Democrat, believes the decision was politically-motivated. Both he and Maryland’s governor, Republican Larry Hogan, have criticized President Trump multiple times in the past.

“Virginia was there to defend the U.S. Capitol on January 6 — and we are committed to ensuring a peaceful transfer of power tomorrow,” Northam tweeted Tuesday morning. “Now, the same President who incited this terrorism has denied us support in our efforts to stop it. A slap in the face.”

Both states plan to appeal.

The National Guard troops are among 25,000 Guard members staying in Washington, D.C. through the inauguration. The FBI is currently vetting the Guard members for concerns of a possible inside attack. Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said in a statement on Monday the vetting is “normal for military support to large security events” and there was no intelligence indicating a threat at the time.

However on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that two Guard members were removed from the inauguration detail after officials determined they had ties to fringe right group militias. No plot against Biden was found.

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