House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that a government shutdown over President Trump’s border wall wasn’t necessary, instead asking the president to give Congress time to fund the wall through regular order.
Ryan’s remark that “no one” wants a government shutdown came after Trump said Tuesday night that he would veto a must-pass government funding bill if it didn’t include money for his promised wall along the southern border.
Ryan responded to Trump’s veto promise during a press conference in Hillsboro, Ore., saying that Congress needed 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 hasn’t allocated the full funding Trump’s request needs for the wall.
“There are very legitimate problems and concerns on the border that need to be addressed,” Ryan said, but “we’re going to need 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 have 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 criticize Trump for threatening a shutdown.
“The president is employing a strategy that he thinks is effective for him,” Ryan said.
Ryan was at Intel’s headquarters in Oregon as part of a road trip with House Republican leaders to rally support for their upcoming tax-reform push. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quit Trump’s manufacturing advisory council last week.