Speaking to a crowd of supporters at a rally Tuesday night in Phoenix, President Trump vowed to make good on one of the signature promises of his campaign– the wall along the Mexican border. He even went as far as to threaten a government shutdown over the issue.
“Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me — we have to close down our government — we’re building that wall!” he declared.
While some Republicans back the idea of funding and building a wall on the southern U.S. border, there is far from universal support across the party. There has been little indication that Republican leadership would be willing to risk a government shutdowns over to get their way certain funding for a wall, as shutdowns can cost the federal government billions of dollars, and tend to be politically unpopular.
Despite the president’s remarks, House Speaker Paul Ryan Wednesday afternoon said a shutdown is unnecessary.
“I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown,” Ryan said during a press conference in Oregon today. He added that both he and president share “very legitimate concerns” about the border and agree on the need for a physical wall, but said that a shutdown is “not in our interest.”
In a written statement Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not directly address the president’s comments on the border wall, but suggested he does not want to hold basic federal funding hostage over this issue. He wrote that his team was working with the White House to “prevent a government default” and “fund the government.”
Trump’s comments in Phoenix, however, likely emboldened staunch conservatives on the Hill who have held up negotiations over budgets and raising the debt ceiling in the past.