Arizona lawmakers split on how Trump emergency will affect Luke AFB
Feb 19, 2019, 11:00 AM
PHOENIX — Members of Arizona’s congressional delegation are split on how President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration over the U.S.-Mexico border could impact the Phoenix area’s Luke Air Force Base.
“I don’t think a lot of people understood that the money to pay for the wall would come from military installations’ funds and a portion of that money right now was slated to be spent at Luke Air Force Base.” U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.
The money was to be spent on moving ahead with the F-35 fighter jet mission a the base near Glendale, Stanton said.
But U.S. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), said Tuesday on Arizona’s Morning News, “I don’t believe it’s going to affect Arizona. It hasn’t been determined, it’s like Chicken Little saying, ‘The sky is falling.’ It’s a scare tactic.”
Trump invoked executive power Friday, 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.
The president said he would combine money approved by Congress with funding he planned to repurpose through executive actions. Money for hundreds of military construction projects around the country was potentially targeted.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko, whose 8th District includes the air base, said in an emailed statement that her office had been in touch with officials from the White House, Luke Air Force Base and the Department of Defense.
“It is simply too early to determine what, if any, impact the president’s declaration of a national emergency may have on Luke,” the statement said.
“Rest assured that I am doing everything in my power to protect our nation, Luke Air Force Base and the F-35.”
Biggs added, “The president isn’t going to access encumbered funds … so I think we’re in good shape there.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.