Ryan on Mexico wall: ‘We’re going to pay for it’

Greg Nash

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the U.S. will fund the initial construction of President Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“First off, we’re going to pay for it and front the money,” he told host Greta Van Susteren on MSNBC’s “For the Record” Wednesday.

Ryan said there are “various ways” to get Mexico to help foot the bill and refused to rule out the possibility that Mexico may reimburse the U.S., before adding that rank-and-file Republicans remain committed to making the wall a reality.

“There are a lot of different ways of getting Mexico to contribute to doing this,” he said. “There are different ways of defining how exactly they pay for it.”

{mosads}“The point is, [Trump] has a promise that he made to the American people to secure our border,” Ryan added. “A wall is a big part of that. We agree with that goal.”

“We will be working with him to finance the construction of the physical barrier, including the wall, on the southern border.”

CNN reported Wednesday Congress may pay for Trump’s wall using a special spending bill fleshed out over the next two months. 

Ryan reportedly proposed such a move that evening during the GOP’s ongoing congressional retreat in Philadelphia.
The Speaker suggested a supplemental appropriations bill — a spending measure dedicated solely to fund Trump’s wall — according to Republicans present.
“[Ryan] talked about the supplemental budget coming this spring to push that along,” Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told CNN Wednesday.
“The president said he’s going to get reimbursed one way or the other and we accept that. Meantime, we do have to pay our bills.”
Collins said Ryan did not discuss the barrier’s cost Wednesday and said discussions are in the early stages.
Ryan’s spokeswoman, meanwhile, said the Speaker has not received a request from Trump about a special spending bill.
“There’s an acknowledgement that the administration could send a supplemental but there’s no set date,” AshLee Strong said.
“In the meantime, we’ll continue to move forward with the appropriations process date unchanged and consider the request when we get it.”

Trump signed an executive order earlier Wednesday directing federal agencies to begin building a wall on America’s southern border with Mexico.

“A nation without borders is not a nation,” he said, announcing the order at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.  “Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders.”

Trump made building a border wall a central pledge of his presidential campaign, frequently insisting Mexico would fund the structure.

The president admitted during an ABC News interview Wednesday, however, U.S. taxpayers would foot the barrier’s initial bill.

“[We’ll] absolutely [be] reimbursed at a later date,” Trump said of the federal government. “I’m just telling you there will be a payment.”

“I would say in months,” Trump added when pressed on a timeline for starting construction. “Certainly planning is starting immediately.”

Independent estimates peg the cost of completing a wall along America’s 2,000-mile southern border at between $15 billion and $25 billion.

Mexico’s government has repeatedly insisted it will not fund the barrier, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto calling the project “against our dignity” earlier this month. 

Tags Borders Mexico Paul Ryan Politics Republicans wall
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