"We are also one of only two states that run motorcycle safety courses, which all Guard members must take if they use motorcycles. We have had to cancel that," Hoyer said.
He praised Ken Fisher, CEO of the Fisher House Foundation, which helps wounded veterans around the country. "He agreed to help with death benefits for five families."
Five American soldiers have died in overseas missions since the federal government shut down on Oct. 7.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Fisher had agreed to provide advance financial grants to families until the federal government makes reimbursements in the future.
Hoyer praised Manchin and Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., for their leading roles in collecting signatures from 50 Senators and 88 House members on letters sent to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking that full-time National Guard employees receive "excepted status" during the continuing government shutdown.
"All members of our congressional delegation signed the letters," Hoyer said.
But he wants those members of Congress, and their colleagues, to sort out their differences soon.
"These folks have to find some kind of a way to deal with their political and ideological differences to protect our country at home and abroad," he said. "This has to be resolved quickly."
The ongoing layoffs, Hoyer added, "will hurt individuals and families, as well as members of the military."
But of 1,150 people originally furloughed from the West Virginia National Guard, Hoyer added, only about 60 are still off their jobs.
But when they receive their paychecks on Friday, Guard members and employees will collect only what they earned through September 30.
"We need to have some approval to pay them [for lost time] when they come back on duty," Hoyer said. "And some have not been able to pay their personal matches on insurance and retirement programs."
But things are better here than in several other places.
"The state of West Virginia goes above and beyond its obligations to run its National Guard," Hoyer said. "But we are still degrading readiness every day [the federal government] doesn't pass a budget....
"One way or the other, West Virginia's National Guard will get what it needs," Hoyer said.Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.