Alaska US senators split on diverting military spending to border wall

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of 11 Republicans who voted Wednesday to stop President Trump from redirecting military funds to build a border wall. 

Sen. Dan Sullivan voted with the majority of Republicans against the resolution. 

Alaska has four projects worth $102 million that would be delayed in favor of the wall. The projects include an upgrade to a weapons range and power plant repairs at Eielson Air Force Base, as well as an expansion of a missile field at Fort Greely. 

Sullivan is normally a big proponent of increasing military assets in Alaska, but he said earlier this month that shifting the money to the southern border is in the national interest.

Murkowski, in a statement, said she shares the president’s “very legitimate concerns over border security” but voted to uphold the separation of powers. The Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate funds, and Murkowski points out that Congress decided to spend the money on military construction priorities.

The resolution passed the Senate 54-41. The House is likely to pass it Thursday. Trump is expected to veto, as he did when Congress sent him a similar measure in March.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at