Senate rivals tussle over cuts to Los Alamos in Ryan budget

"If I oppose something, that's now recorded as 'implicit'?" Wilson said. 

“Had I been in the Senate and on the Budget Committee and the Ryan budget came over, I would have worked on getting an alternative,” Wilson added, elaborating that she has worries about what the Ryan plan would do to Medicare. 

The New Mexico Senate race has attracted plenty of attention from environmental and energy groups, especially since it would fill the seat left vacant by retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

As of late July, a coalition of green groups had spent $1.5 million in ads attacking Wilson for her energy and environmental positions. That matched spending from GOP-affiliated groups for ads against Heinrich.

Wilson said that the Heinrich campaign’s attempt to link her to the Ryan budget is meant to hide the Democrat’s lackluster history of supporting the state’s national labs.

She said the Democratic congressman fails to understand the value the laboratories provide, such as nuclear deterrence. The backing he has received from environmental groups further undermines his ability to be a staunch advocate for the labs, she said.

“Congressman Heinrich knows he is very vulnerable when it comes to support for our labs and our military bases,” Wilson said. “So he’ll say anything. Really, it’s desperation.”