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McSally will vote to support Trump’s declaration of a national emergency

(AP Photo/Molly Riley)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona said Wednesday that she will vote to uphold President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Arizonans know there is a humanitarian and security crisis at the border – drugs are killing and harming loved ones in communities everywhere,” she said in a statement.

The emergency declaration allows the Pentagon to redirect money from other purposes to pay for the wall.

McSally said she spoke with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan about her concerns over funding sources — mainly that Luke Air Force Base would be affected.

“As a result, no Arizona military construction projects from fiscal year 2019 will be impacted,” she said in the statement.

“Now, it’s Congress’ turn to fully fund border security and our men and women in uniform.”

McSally had avoided taking a position on Trump’s emergency declaration ahead of an expected vote in the Senate to nullify it.

The Republican told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos last month that Trump has “every right” to declare an emergency.

But she said even though she shared his “goals and frustrations,” she wished they could be achieved another way.

“I prefer that it didn’t come to that. I prefer Congress do our job and stop playing political games with something that used to be bipartisan, which is border security,” she said.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly criticized McSally’s position in statement:

By voting to walk away and cede her constitutional authority to the president – any president – Senator McSally has made it clear once again that she is not the independent voice Arizona deserves.

Like many Arizonans I agree we need to secure the border smartly with manpower, technology, and barriers where they make sense, but this national emergency is a bad precedent that goes around our constitution in support of a solution that won’t work. I would vote to overturn it.

Arizona has long suffered because partisanship in Washington has prevented solutions to secure the border, and that won’t change until we elect leaders who are willing to stand up to their own party to do what’s right.

The Democratically controlled House has voted to rescind Trump’s emergency declaration and the Senate is expected to follow suit, though there are unlikely to be enough votes to overturn Trump’s veto.

Pence called on McSally and Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to support the emergency declaration during a visit to a Drug Enforcement Administration facility in Phoenix last week.

“Any vote against the president’s national emergency declaration is a vote against border security,” Pence said.

Sinema has not said how she would vote, though she has said she’s concerned about losing funding for Arizona military installations and ceding Congress’ authority over government spending.

She told Mac & Gaydos last month that the decision is not the president’s to make.

“I think it’s 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,” she 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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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