Armstead said the money might be there this year, but the Legislature likely will shoulder the burden of finding the funds in the future.
White responded: "We can only add to, we cannot take away from the court's budget."
He was referring to the court system's protection from legislative budget cuts in the state constitution.
Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, has outspokenly opposed the magistrate pay raise bill since its introduction. On Wednesday he blasted the bill again.
Lane said in the last 10 years magistrates have received close to $27,000 each in pay raises. Citing statistics from the Internal Revenue Service, Lane said more than 500,000 households in West Virginia have annual income of less than that.
"What is wrong with us, Mr. Speaker? How callous can we be?" Lane said, addressing House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne.
Democrats maintained that wasn't the issue.
"This has nothing to do with unemployment. We can't change that whether we pass this or not," Miley said.
The Legislature has promised for years to equalize the pay of magistrates, said Majority Whip Brent Boggs, D-Braxton.
His fellow Democrats, most notably Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell, contended the bill would have been passed with little discussion if it benefited larger counties.
It wasn't until Speaker Pro Tempore Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hampshire, took up the microphone that comments broached on the personal.
He questioned White about past funding for other projects, most notably to rebuild the Morgan County courthouse after it burned down. Others brought up that appropriation and similar funding requests as well.
Cowles is from Morgan County and asked for the money. In Armstead's view, that was unnecessary.
"Looking up and saying this person got money for this or that person got money for that, that to me is a personal attack rather than dealing with the substance of the bill," Armstead said after the session.
"I think it was hard for them to deal with the substance of the bill when it's such a bad idea."
Delegate Mary Poling, D-Barbour, said the bill's cost wasn't that much when broken down by individual taxpayer. The raise equates to 43 cents per state resident, and she said it was a price her constituents would be happy to pay.
Although Miley said there was no agreement between the House and Senate on who would initiate the measure, he pointed out that Senate President Jeff Kessler introduced an identical bill in his chamber earlier in the week.
The bill bumps up pay for 48 magistrates, 23 magistrate court clerks, 48 magistrate assistants and five deputy clerks. There are 158 magistrates in the state.
If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, it would take effect July 1.