McConnell says he will push for border wall funding

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that he will make an effort to get funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE’s border wall in the lame-duck session, adding that he had already spoken to House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Pelosi hits Trump, Netanyahu for 'weakness' amid tensions over Omar and Tlaib In Hong Kong, the need for peaceful persistence MORE (Calif.) earlier in the day.

“We’re certainly going to try help the president achieve what he’d like to do with the wall and border security,” McConnell told reporters in the Capitol.

Republican leaders had declined to make a concerted push for border wall funding before the midterm election, fearing it could lead to a possible government shutdown that would hurt Republicans.

But now that Trump has helped McConnell expand his Senate majority by as many as four seats, the GOP leader said on Wednesday he will make a push to fund the president’s top priority, even though it will likely be met with stiff Democratic opposition.

"That obviously will have be done on some kind of bipartisan discussion,” he added.

On the subject of a bitter fight over the border wall in December, McConnell said he hoped to avoid a government shutdown, observing that he would need Democratic votes to pass any year-end spending bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

“Hopefully we’ll not be headed down that path,” he said

McConnell also applauded the results of the midterm election, in which Republicans knocked off at least three Democratic incumbents, Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-Mo.), and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyLobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (D-Ind.).

“It is indeed a good morning for Senate Republicans,” he said.

He added that Republican voters were revved up by the divisive debate over Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' Sen. Susan Collins: Israel should allow Omar, Tlaib to visit The return of Ken Starr MORE and made their displeasure known to Democratic candidates in red states.

“It was like an Adrenalin shot. We were worried about lack of intensity on our side and I think the Kavanaugh fight certainly provided that,” he said.

McConnell also said he was grateful to Trump for crisscrossing the country in the final week of the campaign to rev up conservative voters.

“He was extremely helpful to us in states where he is in excellent shape. He worked very hard and drew large crowds and I think it clearly had a positive impact on the outcome,” he said. 

McConnell declined to pass judgment on Trump’s fiery rhetoric on immigration and a caravan of migrants headed to the U.S.-Mexico border, however, arguing that dealing with them is “not a legislative issue.”

--Updated at 11:18 a.m.