House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe it’s necessary to shut down the government over border wall funding, adding that he thinks the Senate will need additional time to complete the appropriations process.
The Wisconsin Republican’s comments follow President Donald Trump asserting he would be supportive of a government shutdown if Congress fails to appropriate the funds necessary to build the physical barrier along the southern border during a campaign rally in Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday night.
“Well, I don’t think a government shutdown isn’t necessary and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” he told reporters at a press conference in Hillsboro, Ore., noting that the lower chamber already passed a spending measure that provides border wall funding.
Lawmakers will have no shortage of work upon their return from August recess, as deadlines to keep the government funded and raise the debt ceiling are quickly approaching. Ryan said it’s unlikely the upper chamber will be able to process appropriations bills as quickly as the House, adding that he thinks an extended timeline will provide them the opportunity to accomplish both priorities.
“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 that I think we all recognize and understand,” Ryan said. “I don’t think that anyone is interested in having a shutdown, I don’t think it’s in our interest to do so while we work on doing what we actually said we would do — what we have done already in the House and we need to do, which is control our borders — so I don’t think you have to choose between the two.”
Ryan said he believes building the wall — one of Trump’s top campaign promises — is a critical component in securing the nation’s borders. The House speaker also said that border patrol agents told him the barrier is necessary along certain parts of the landscape, during his tour of the Rio Grande Valley in February.
In theory, Trump could veto a spending bill if it doesn’t appropriate the funds for the structure.
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