Ryan on Trump's Wall Threat: No Need to Shut Down Government Over Border Funding

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is joined by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) while speaking during a visit to Intel in Hillsboro, Ore., on Aug. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Ryan).

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) indicated today that he’s not willing to go the route of government shutdown to get the amount of funding that President Trump wants for the border wall, telling reporters “places that are necessary” for enhanced security along the border already have a spending allocation.


At his rally Tuesday night in Phoenix, Trump tied the border wall to the looming government shutdown at the end of September.

“The obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it,” the president said. “But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”

Ryan, who gave an address on tax reform at Intel in Hillsboro, Ore., this afternoon, responded in a Q&A with media. “I don’t think a government shutdown’s necessary and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included. And Congress and the House has already done its work on this issue. There are very legitimate problems and concerns on the border that can be addressed,” he said.

“The House already has passed funding for border security, including building physical barriers like a wall in the places that are necessary. I actually toured the Rio Grande Valley in the spring and members of the Border Patrol took me out there to show that they actually needed physical barriers to be able to stop the cartels from bringing drugs across the border and human trafficking,” Ryan added.

“So this is a need that needs to be addressed. The House has already acted on it this. So we already passed this legislation. The fact is though, given the time of year it is and the rest of the appropriations we have to do, we’re going to need more time to complete our appropriations process, particularly in the Senate. So that’s something I think we all recognize and understand that we’re going to have to have some more time to complete our appropriations process, so I don’t think anyone’s interested in having us shut down. I don’t think it’s in our interest to do so.”


Ryan emphasized again that the House has already taken border control measures. The bill passed by the lower chamber at the end of July includes $1.6 billion for border security in a $788 billion spending package. “So I don’t think you have to choose between the two,” he said. “We’ve got to get through our appropriations process, we’re going to need more time to do it and we’re going to keep focusing on making sure that we actually get these physical barriers on the border that we think are necessary.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) argued a shutdown “really hurts our role in the world too because it looks like we’re dysfunctional when we’re talking to other countries about how they need to govern.”

“Shutting down the government over a wall — any time we talk about shutting the government’s wrong,” Kinzinger told CNN. “I’ll support funding for border security. I’ve worked the border. It needs to be secure. I don’t necessarily think it needs to be a wall, but you can do virtual fencing and fencing and walls in areas,” the congressman said. “But to threaten government shutdown a month before, to even toy with it, I think it’s dangerous for the confidence of the markets and it’s dangerous for our role in the world as we’re talking to nations like Afghanistan to say, here’s how you govern yourself.”



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