Arizona Senator Martha McSally applauded the national border emergency declared in February by President Donald Trump, but expressed frustration after the news broke this week that Fort Huachuca would see money diverted away from planned projects.
According to McSally, the only deferred project in Arizona is the Ft. Huachuca Ground Transport Equipment Building. The project cost is $30 million.
McSally said she spoke with Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy who gave his commitment that the project will be completed in a timely manner.
McSally blamed the Army’s failure to finish an environmental cleanup at the base for delays that left the base’s new ground transport equipment building as a target for budgeters.
“The fact of the matter is that had the Army completed this sooner, the project would not have been delayed and would not have even been up for discussion,” McSally said in a statement.
While funding for this project was authorized and appropriated in FY19, it is no longer an FY19 project due to unforeseen environmental issues at the construction site. The Army had to complete a major environmental cleanup before the actual construction project could be awarded. At the earliest, this pushed the award back to summer of FY20. The environmental cleanup is expected to continue until August 2020.
On June 27, 2019, the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 by a large bipartisan vote of 86 – 8. This bill backfilled all of the money used for the national emergency.
“We need to secure our border and protect our military; we can and should do both,” McSally said. “As soon as the emergency was declared, I went to the mat to fight for Arizona projects and succeeded by receiving assurances from the highest levels of the Department of Defense. However, this one project at Ft. Huachuca was already delayed because of ongoing environmental cleanup that is taking longer than expected. The fact of the matter is that had the Army completed this sooner, the project would not have been delayed and would not have even been up for discussion. I spoke to Acting Army Secretary McCarthy to convey my frustration with the delay and he assured me that this project will be completed in a timely manner once the cleanup is complete.”