(CNSNews.com) - The Biden administration's "willingness to hollow out the National Guard is unconscionable in the face of growing global threats and a border crisis created by the Biden administration," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote in a December 16 letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Abbott, a Republican, made it clear that Texas will not force COVID vaccinations on its guardsmen and women, despite the Biden administration's threat to cut off federal dollars for unvaccinated members.
"As Governor of Texas, I am the commander-in-chief of this State’s militia," Abbott said.
As the commander in chief, Abbott said he has ordered the adjutant general of Texas to comply with his executive order stating that "[n]o governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. That includes the Texas National Guard and Texas State Guard. Under this order, General Norris will not punish any guardsman in Texas for choosing not to receive the vaccine," Abbott wrote.
Not only did Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin threaten to cut off federal funding -- the secretary of the Air Force warned of discharge proceedings earlier this month.
Abbott pointed to a string of legal setbacks for the vaccine mandates as a further reason to flout the feds.
"The State of Texas will not enforce this latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate against its guardsmen," Abbott's letter concluded.
"If the federal government keeps threatening to defund the Texas National Guard, I will deploy every legal tool available to me as Governor in defense of these American heroes."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has deployed thousands of state troopers and National Guard members to the Texas border as part of “Operation Lone Star," an effort launched in March to arrest people (and criminals) crossing the border that Biden refuses to protect.