Three state delegates recently proposed new legislation that would divert $10 million from state surplus funds to Washington to help build a border wall between the United States and Mexico. But, some state legislators are calling the proposal a political stunt.
Delegates Carl “Robbie” Martin, R-Upshur; Patrick Martin, R-Lewis; and Caleb Hanna, R-Webster, announced the proposed legislation January, 15 stating that “one of the most pressing issues facing West Virginia right now is the rampant drug problem – a problem fueled in large part by the trafficking of highly potent, illicit drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.”
“West Virginians support our President and the wall,” Delegate Carl Martin said. “They’re sick of seeing Washington politicians sit on their hands while drugs and criminals pour over our border. It’s time for the states to stand up and do what they can to support our President in his fight to protect innocent Americans.”
“This is about our children and our future, and we must do everything in our power to protect them,” Delegate Patrick Martin said. “Since the D.C. liberals won’t act on this, we will. And I hope West Virginia serves as an example to other states that it’s time to stand up against inaction in Washington and band together to do what’s right.”
However, WV House of Delegate Minority Leader, Tim Miley, D- Harrison, called the proposed legislation a political stunt. “This is nothing but a cheap political stunt in an effort to get attention,” said Miley. “Thankfully, most West Virginians, at least the ones that I have heard from, overwhelmingly reject their notion.”
In a heavily circulated Facebook post, state Senator Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier, wrote, “I generally refrain from commenting on political stunts, but I’ve received numerous questions today and feel compelled to respond. “…Yes, three delegates did in fact offer a bill to send $10 million from our state budget to support lengthening a border wall.…No, it won’t pass. It won’t even be put up for a vote. It’s unconstitutional to divert state funds like this. It’s also embarrassing for the nation to see this kind of political stunt…We have 7,000 children in foster care, 25% of children living in poverty, retirees who haven’t received a benefit raise for decades, crumbling water systems, a veterans nursing home to build, a waiting list a mile long for drug treatment, & that’s just the beginning of our needs. I am proud to work with responsible legislators of both parties and both chambers to solve problems and help people. That’s what we were all elected to do.”
The proposal is currently being drafted and should be formally introduced in the Legislature in the coming days.