Seacoast Senators Ask Sununu To Join Lawsuit Vs. Trump Border Wall Plan

Mar 25, 2019

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Credit Emily Corwin for NHPR

Democrats are calling on Governor Chris Sununu to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging President Trump's plans to fund a border wall.

Five state senators wrote to Sununu about the issue Monday, saying the president’s plan could jeopardize $223 million in projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Sununu has said it's unfortunate that planned upgrades at the shipyard may be up for grabs as the federal government looks for money to put toward the president's wall proposal.

But in a statement, Sununu blames the situation on New Hampshire's all-Democratic Congressional delegation for not signing off on Trump’s original border wall budget plan.

“They knew the risks when they took that position,” Sununu says. “I join the people of New Hampshire in calling on them to find a funding solution that both secures our border and continues funding for these critical projects.”

Sununu did not respond to questions of whether he'd join the 16-state lawsuit that argues President Trump's disaster declaration to fund the border wall is unconstitutional. New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, said he was not working with attorneys generals from those states on the lawsuit.

The military has said it doesn't plan to pull money from projects like those at Portsmouth that would be funded before this September. Critics say they don't believe any projects are off the table.

Sen. Dan Feltes of Concord, the Senate Majority Leader, accused Governor Sununu of not standing up for the state. "And so," Feltes said in a statement, "New Hampshire Senate Democrats are going to stand up for New Hampshire. It's time to fight back, fight for New Hampshire businesses and for our shipyard."

(This post was updated Monday night with a statement from Majority Leader Dan Feltes.)