Money for Pittsburgh air base won’t be affected by Trump’s emergency declaration: report

    Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County, Pa. (Flickr Commons)

    An $85 million project aimed at helping an Air Force Reserve station near Pittsburgh accommodate larger C-17 cargo planes won’t be affected by the Trump administration’s plans to shift federal money away from defense projects to construction of a border wall.

    The Morning Call of Allentown reported Friday that funds for the construction of those facilities at the 911th Air Wing in Moon Township, Allegheny County, “are all committed.”

    “Construction is on track to be completed by fiscal year 2020,” Tech Sgt. Marjorie Schurr told the newspaper in an email.

    The project was one of three identified in a letter that U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., sent to the Pentagon Thursday asking how President Donald Trump’s plan to shift $3.6 billion in military construction funds to the border wall would affect roughly $200 million worth of planned projects in Pennsylvania.

    The other projects identified in Casey’s letter were $71 million targeted for a “submarine propulsor manufacturing support” facility in Philadelphia and an $8 million appropriation that would replace an operations training facility and dining hall at Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County.

    The letter was co-signed by all nine Democratic members of Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation, as well as U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District.

    According to Casey’s letter, the money for those projects has been appropriated, but has not yet been spent, which gives the administration the leeway to move money around under federal law.

    A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., told The Call that the Pennsylvania senator had “confirmed that 911th Airlift Wing projects would not be affected.” Toomey is “in the process of determining whether the other two projects listed may be affected,” his spokesperson, Steve Kelly, told the newspaper.

    Jacklin Rhoads, a spokeswoman for Casey, told The Call that the Scranton Democrat and other co-signers want the Pentagon “to tell them without question none of the Pennsylvania projects will suffer for this national emergency.”

    Read the full letter:

    Pennsylvania Democrats want… by on Scribd

    An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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