LANSING, Mich. (WILX/Gray News) - The Michigan Legislature is asking the federal government to treat service members protecting the nation’s Capitol better.
The Senate passed a resolution calling for changes, including a new food provider.
The 1,000 Michigan National Guard troops who have been protecting the U.S. Capitol since January are expected to return home next week.
State Senator Tom Barrett said they were treated worse than if they were deployed overseas.
“Just an unexplainable and really unforgivable problem,” said Sen. Barrett, (R) Potterville
Michigan National Guard troops were called to Washington D.C. after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
The conditions they’re working under haven’t been the best.
They were sleeping in a parking garage before the federal government got them hotel rooms.
Now they are being served food that’s moldy, not cooked, and littered with metal shavings.
In fact, some guard members had to be hospitalized.
“It really doesn’t speak well to that situation when you are serving raw meat to soldiers guarding the building. Our members of Congress aren’t served raw meat, so why are our soldiers?” said Sen. Barrett.
Sen. Barrett has been in the Army for 20 years.
“I’ve been deployed several places around the world and I don’t think I’ve ever been served raw meat, even the conditions I’ve been in,” he said.
Sen. Barrett’s resolution asking the National Guard to cancel its meal contract and give the soldiers a meal allowance passed with no opposition Wednesday.
U.S. Senator Gary Peters is pushing for the same in Washington.
“It would allow them to purchase food out in the city or in the cafeteria here at the Capitol that they know is going to the quality they deserve,” said Sen. Petters, (D) Michigan.
This has been an ongoing issue with the caterer since Michigan troops arrived in D.C.
But, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday she was told the problem was fixed.
“We owe them respect and support and this is something I take very seriously,” said Gov. Whitmer.
Gov. Whitmer said if the Capitol police ask for Michigan’s troops to stay longer, she’ll say no.
Sen. Barrett agreed the mission is over.