Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that a government shutdown over Donald Trump’s border wall wasn’t necessary, and asked the president to give Congress more time to fund the wall through regular legislative procedures.
Ryan said no one wants a government shutdown after Trump said Wednesday night at his campaign rally that he would veto a must-pass funding bill if it didn’t sufficiently fund his promised wall along the southern border. Doing so would shut down the federal government for the first time since 2013.
Ryan said that Congress needed more time to complete the formal appropriations process to fund the border wall. Congress has passed legislation to fund border security improvements, including parts of the wall, but not the full funding Trump request for his campaign promise.
“There are very legitimate problems and concerns on the border that need to be addressed,” Ryan said, but “we’re going to need more time to complete our appropriations process, especially in the Senate.”
Democrats in both chambers are staunchly opposed to funding the border wall, and several Senate Democrats vowed to block any bill that includes money for the southern barrier.
“Build that wall. Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump said Tuesday during a rally in Phoenix.
Ryan said that lawmakers didn’t have to choose between building the wall and funding the government, but didn’t knock for Trump for threatening a shutdown.
“The president is employing a strategy that he thinks is effective for him,” Ryan said.
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