McSally says she‘ll vote to uphold Trump‘s border emergency

By JONATHAN J. COOPER – Associated Press – Wednesday, March 13, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona said Wednesday she’ll vote to uphold President ’s emergency declaration freeing up money to build a wall on the southern border.

, a Republican appointed to her seat in January, had avoided taking a position on ’s emergency declaration ahead of an expected vote in the Senate to nullify it. The emergency declaration allows the Pentagon to redirect money from other purposes to pay for the wall.

said in a statement she decided to support the emergency declaration after speaking with , Vice President Mike Pence and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. She said she received assurances that no military construction projects in Arizona would be affected during the current federal fiscal year, which ends in September.

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

The decision to side with is fraught with challenges for , who is likely to face a tough competition in next year’s election. Democrats are eyeing the seat long held by Republicans as a pickup opportunity that could help determine control of the Senate.

Mark Kelly, a Democrat and retired astronaut looking to unseat , said her decision makes clear “she is not the independent voice Arizona deserves.”

Kelly said in a statement he supports border barriers “where they make sense,” but ’s emergency declaration is a bad precedent that goes around the constitution. He said he’d vote to overturn it.

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

Pence called on and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema 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.

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