Pat McGeehan recounts his experience in the most recent West Virginia state legislative session trying to pass his “Defend the Guard” legistlation. He describes the many battles involved in introducing a bill like this, waged both behind the scenes in the form of threats and bullying, and publicly in the form of media coverage. McGeehan’s opponents claim that the bill could cause West Virginia to lose federal funding, which he says is untrue, or at least greatly exaggerated. More brazenly, they argue that it’s unconstitutional, citing a supreme court case from the 1990s (that doesn’t actually bear directly on McGeehan’s argument)—but of course the Defend the Guard act itself is based on a constitutional argument about Congress’ failure to declare war the way it should. McGeehan and his allies came close to passing the legislation this time around, but ultimately failed. He assures Scott that he will be back at it again next year.
Pat McGeehan is a two-term representative in the West Virginia House of Delegates and a graduate of the U.S. air force academy. He is the author of Stoicism and the Statehouse. Follow him on Twitter @McGeehan4WV.