NY Gets More Border Funds Than Arizona

New York is currently getting more federal border relief funds than Arizona, and one lawmaker from the state that is actually on the border is not happy about it.

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who departed the Democratic Party last year to become independent, lashed out at the liberals for the decision. The top two leaders in Congress for the Democratic Party are from New York, which might have something to do with the Empire State receiving more border funds than the Copper State.

Arizona only received a very small portion of the $800 million federal border fund pot, relatively speaking. The fund was designed to help states alleviate overcrowding that is happening at holding facilities for migrants. It would seem that a state that’s actually located on the border – and directly deals with the problem on a daily basis – should get more than a state located thousands of miles away from the border.

Recently, Sinema said she’s “livid” about how her state has been treated by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Biden administration at large. She singled out the two congressional leaders, accusing them of steering an inordinate amount of border funds to their home state.

Speaking with Politico this week, Sinema said it’s “important for people to know” why New York received more border funding than Arizona did. In talking about the amount of money that New York got from the pot, she said:

“It’s fairly obvious. I don’t know if you noticed, but the announcement about that $104 million came out first, in a joint press release from Schumer and Jeffries – not from the White House or from FEMA. The first news of it broke by their press release.”

She then was sarcastic when she said:
“Now, how did that happen?”

While the Biden administration has called for approving another $600 million of funding to relieve crowding at migrant shelter facilities, it might be an uphill battle for that to get approved.

As Sinema explained:
“Now that a yeoman’s amount of this funding has gone to the interior of the country, not to border communities, that lift to get another tranche of this funding – to get more of it approved – is even heavier than before. To be clear: It was very heavy in December.”

The argument Sinema is putting forth highlights what could be a widening gap in a line of thinking for how Democrats – and former Democrats – should approach things like border funds. It also shows the differing viewpoints of border states and those states that have powerful congressional leaders.

At the same time, Sinema’s stance on the matter goes to build on her image that she’s not an ordinary lawmaker, and isn’t afraid to oppose leaders from either political party. While she made herself an independent last year, she hasn’t announced whether she’ll be running for re-election yet.

Historically speaking, Sinema sides with Democrats more frequently than does another well-known moderate, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. But, she decided to become an independent in 2022 and no longer attends the Democratic caucus meetings.

If Sinema were to decide to run for re-election in 2024, she would face off against two other challengers instead of one, which makes her path to return to Washington more difficult.