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Sinema says Trump emergency could cause problems for Arizona

(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX — President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration over the U.S.-Mexico border could cause problems across Arizona.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Wednesday that two projects to expand the F-35 program at Luke Air Force Base could be at risk.

“Right now, Luke Air Force Base is expecting $40 million just this year,” she said. “Now that $40 million is at risk, and that’s really concerning because this construction has to be completed by March 2021.

“That means that we have to get those dollars in the door now and they’ve got to start growing this in order for us to be ready for additional squadron of F-35 pilots.”

But Sinema said the national emergency could also mean that funding could be taken away from various security efforts on the border, such as staffing and technology.

“If you start removing funds from those pots of money, then you’re actually reducing your ability to stop the greatest and most dangerous flow of illicit goods, which is drug trafficking through our ports of entry,” she said.

Trump invoked executive power last week, after signing a budget bill to avert another government shutdown. The bill did not include enough of the money he wanted for the wall he promised voters.

The bill he signed set aside $1.4 billion for the wall. He had wanted $5.7 billion.

“I think its appropriate if the president wants to ask Congress to continue to appropriate additional dollars and it is our job to consider those requests, but it is Congress’ job to make those decisions about appropriating dollars,” Sinema said.

“My opinion is that it is Congress’ job to continue that work. We are responsible for appropriating the dollars and directing them to the types of border security measures that we believe…is appropriate to create full border security.”

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