GOP lawmakers in two states want to spend state funds on border wall
NEW YORK — A Republican Montana state senator and Republican delegates from West Virginia plan to introduce measures to allocate state funds to help build President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the southern US border.
Republican Montana state Sen. Scott Sales confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that he will propose a bill that would allocate $8 million in state funds to help build Trump’s border wall.
The proposals come as the President and lawmakers remain locked in a standoff over Trump’s demand that Congress allocate $5.7 billion to build a wall at the US-Mexico border. On Saturday, the partial government shutdown broke the record to become the longest government shutdown in US history — with no end in sight.
“Border security should be something that’s on the forefront of all legislatures whether they’re state or federal,” Sales told CNN in an interview. “Even a state like Montana, with a small population and being a long ways from the southern border, we’d be remiss to think there aren’t impacts to the state by illegal immigration.”
Sales said the $8 million is a “very small contribution in the effort to provide border security” and that his proposal is “in a way a symbolic measure to highlight this issue that I think should be of concern to every single citizen.”
Three Republican West Virginia delegates announced on Tuesday that they plan to introduce a bill that would divert $10 million from their state’s surplus to help build Trump’s wall.
“West Virginians support our President and the wall,” said Delegate Carl Martin, according to a news release from the West Virginia Legislature.
He added, “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.”
Delegate Caleb Hanna, who is cosponsoring the bill with Martin and Delegate Patrick Martin, appeared on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning and said he believes “the wall is a crucial part in addressing West Virginia’s drug problem.” He said he wants to “take 10 million of West Virginia’s $200 million surplus and give it directly to the southern border to help build the wall.”
The South Dakota Legislature passed a resolution supporting the President’s proposed border wall. Unlike the proposals emerging from other states, this resolution does not make any state allocations toward the wall.
It urges Congress and the President “to immediately provide for the security of our nation by controlling and securing our national borders with appropriate legislation to fund the construction of steel barriers and border control impediments along with the strengthening of current border control infrastructure.”