McConnell says he will push for border wall funding

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that he will make an effort to get funding for President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE’s border wall in the lame-duck session, adding that he had already spoken to House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week Stefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' 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 HeitkampProgressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight Business groups aim to divide Democrats on .5T spending bill On The Money: Powell signals Fed will soon cut stimulus MORE (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillRepublicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect Giuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri MORE (D-Mo.), and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sanders traveling to Iowa, Indiana to pitch Biden's spending package Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda 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 KavanaughSenators denounce protest staged outside home of Justice Kavanaugh Why isn't Harris leading the charge against the Texas abortion law? Cori Bush introduces legislation aimed at expanding access to emergency rental assistance funds 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.