“This reliance on NGOs is not working and is unsustainable — they are overwhelmed and underfunded,” Bowser said in her letter. She has repeatedly stated that the influx was stressing her government's ability to care for its own homeless residents and required intervention from Biden's government.
“We know we have a federal issue that demands a federal response,” Bowser said at a July 18 press conference.
In her letter, Bowser harshly criticizes Abbott and Ducey, accusing them of “cruel political gamesmanship” and saying the pair had “decided to use desperate people to score political points.”
Bowser does not have the authority to personally order a National Guard deployment, an issue that has become emotionally charged in recent years as a symbol of the district's entrenched status as less than a state.
Her limited authority played a role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol building by supporters of former President Donald Trump. When it became clear that the U.S. Capitol Police were overmatched by the crowds, Bowser couldn’t immediately deploy the district guard. Instead, crucial time was lost while the request was considered inside the Pentagon, and protesters rampaged through the building.