Udall: New Mexico Military Projects At Risk from President Trump’s Unconstitutional National Emergency Declaration

Udall: New Mexico Military Projects At Risk from President Trump’s Unconstitutional National Emergency Declaration

$187.5 million in funding already appropriated by Congress for critical military construction projects at White Sands Missile Range and Cannon, Holloman, and Kirtland Air Force Bases could be raided to pay for the president’s border wall

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in response to new information released by the Department of Defense (DOD) that lists military construction projects around the country and the world that are at risk of being cut in order to pay for President Trump’s border wall through his unconstitutional national emergency declaration. The list includes six New Mexico projects, putting in jeopardy $187.5 million in funding already appropriated by Congress for critical projects at White Sands Missile Range and Cannon, Holloman, and Kirtland Air Force Bases.

Udall, as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, fought to secure funding for these critical projects. The New Mexico projects listed by DOD as at risk of being raided include:

  • $40 million for an information systems facility at White Sands Missile Range,
  • $42 million for dangerous cargo pad relocation at Cannon Air Force Base,
  • $7 million to upgrade the Wyoming Gate and $9.3 million to replace Fire Station 3 at Kirtland Air Force Base, and
  • $85 million for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) training facility and $4.2 million for a UAV control station facility at Holloman Air Force Base.

“The president’s unconstitutional emergency declaration is threatening to put critical military construction projects in New Mexico on the chopping block to pay for his ineffective and wasteful border wall,” Udall said. “The facts on the ground on our border do not justify the president’s unconstitutional national emergency declaration. There are, however, very real and urgent projects we must prioritize in New Mexico that are vital to our national defense and our economy. As a member of the Appropriations Committee that helped secure these projects, I can tell you that these funds were appropriated deliberately and to help our bases and military installations fulfill their essential missions. Potentially raiding critical funding from White Sands, Holloman, Cannon and Kirtland will only make us less safe and less secure. The president is playing politics with military readiness and putting his border wall ahead of our safety and our service members. This ‘national emergency’ is really an end run around Congress’s constitutional power to set funding levels, plain and simple. That’s why I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to join our efforts to  stop these funding raids and unite together to defend the Constitution.”

Udall, along with U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), introduced a bipartisan resolution in the Senate to block the president’s national emergency declaration and uphold the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution. The resolution, which serves as a companion bill to H.J.Res.46, passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate on a bipartisan basis. President Trump vetoed the resolution on Friday, and the House is expected to vote on an override as early as next week.

Udall has also previously introduced legislation with Senator Martin Heinrich in the Senate to prevent the president from using the National Emergencies Act of 1976 or other laws to raid critical military construction and disaster response funds to construct his wall along the southern border.

 

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