March 19, 2019

The military projects in NM that might be cut to fund a border wall

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Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland Flickr cc

The U.S. Department of Defense listed military construction projects from across the world that could lose funding under a national emergency declaration by President Donald Trump. Included among those are projects at military facilities in New Mexico.

Trump’s national emergency declaration would draw funds from the DOD to construct a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Both the U.S. House and Senate—led by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall—voted to disapprove Trump’s national emergency declaration. Trump vetoed Congress’ effort.

In New Mexico, projects that could be cut include $85 million to house MQ-9 Reaper drones at Holloman Air Force Base, $40 million for a new Information Systems Facility at White Sands Missile Range, $42 million for a new cargo pad area and $16 million for projects at Kirtland Air Force Base to upgrade anti-terrorism protections at an entrance gate and build a new fire station.

Inclusion on the list does not mean the projects will necessarily be cut. And those awarded before the end of the current fiscal year or military housing, barracks or dormitory projects were exempt, according to the DOD.

But opponents of Trump’s border wall and national emergency declaration used the list as another reason to criticize the national emergency declaration, which faces lawsuits that call it an unconstitutional use of powers from the president.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich slammed the idea of spending the Defense funds for the construction of a border wall.

“Threatening the readiness of our men and women serving in our military endangers our national security,” Heinrich said. “We cannot allow President Trump to raid taxpayer dollars meant to help our military defend our nation to pay for a wall that New Mexicans don’t want or need. I will do everything I can to oppose this effort to steal from our military to build a wasteful border wall under the false pretense of a national emergency.”

New Mexico’s entire delegation, in both the House and Senate, voted against Trump’s national emergency declaration. All members of New Mexico’s delegation are Democrats.