Military communities around the country are looking at the potential impact of President Trump’s state of emergency declaration.
The president declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday to secure up to $8 billion in funding for a barrier on the southern border — more than four times what Congress approved.
In San Diego, officials are eyeing the long-term costs of the Trump administration’s decision to pull $3.6 billion of that $8 billion from the military construction budget to use for the wall along the border.
Mark Balmert, executive director of the San Diego Military Advisory Council, said Friday he was fielding questions about the impact of such a move.
“These (military) facilities are built by private contractors. And their business will take a hit. Their employees can take a hit, too,” Balmert said. “So there will be some impact.”
San Diego is a major West Coast hub for the Navy and Marines. One in five jobs in the city is tied in some way to defense.
“We don’t know what that impact is, but the uncertainty alone starts to hit each household,” Balmert said.
There are numerous military construction projects underway or planned in San Diego County, including improvements at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to house the F-35 jet fighter. A new pier for the Navy, set to begin this year, could be on the chopping block, along with hundreds of smaller projects.
The Marines have been under fire to improve water quality at Camp Pendleton after tests detected bacteria found in human and animal waste. A $48 million project to improve drinking water is set to get underway.
Rep. Mike Levin, D–San Juan Capistrano, is a first-term congressman whose district includes Camp Pendleton.