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National emergency declaration could divert $148M from AZ military projects

TUCSON – After President Donald Trump declared a national emergency at the southern U.S. border in February, many people across the nation pondered where the funding for potential border barriers will come from.

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island released a Department of Defense document outlining potential projects that may be cut or delayed in order to fund the border barriers.

According to the document, this could divert up to $148 million from military bases in the Grand Canyon State, including Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Luke Air Force Base in Maricopa County and Camp Navajo near Flagstaff.

The following is a list of the unawarded projects in Arizona as of Dec. 31.

  • $48.355 million VMX-22 maintenance hanger in Yuma
  • $30 million ground transport equipment building at Fort Huachuca
  • $23 million F-35 maintenance facility at Luke Air Force Base
  • $17 million F-35 Squad Ops No. 6 at Luke Air Force Base
  • $15 million ground equipment facility at D-M
  • $14.8 million missile motor magazines, and utility and site improvements at Camp Navajo

The Pentagon said not all the listed projects will be eligible to lose or delay its funding. The document states “no military construction projects with FY 2019 award dates will be impacted.” In addition, projects involving housing, barracks or dormitory projects will not be impacted.

Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for Senator Martha McSally, issued the following statement: “Ft. Huachuca has a long overdue project from Fiscal Year 2018 that we are actively working to keep off any chopping block and will fight tooth and nail to backfill if needed.”

“We know President Trump wants to take money from our national security accounts to pay for his wall, and now we have a list of some of the projects and needed base repairs that could be derailed or put on the chopping block as a result,” Reed said in a statement. “What President Trump is doing is a slap in the face to our military that makes our border and the country less secure.”

Trump currently seeks $8.2 billion to fund border barriers.

After Congress passed a “motion of disapproval” against the national emergency, Trump responded by vetoing the motion, the first of his presidency. Congress will vote to potentially override the veto March 26.

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Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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