House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday there will be “a big fight” after the midterm elections over funding President Trump’s border wall, but he said he doesn’t know how the issue will be resolved.
“We intend on having a full-fledged discussion about how to complete this mission of securing our border, and we will have a big fight about that,” Ryan (R-Wis.) said at the National Press Club.
“We’ll figure out how to do it in December,” Ryan added. “I can’t speak to what the outcomes will be.”
Ryan’s comments came in response to a question after a speech in which he promoted the GOP tax cuts and other agenda items while attacking Democrats, weeks ahead of elections that will decide control of the House.
Ryan and other GOP leaders had urged Trump to postpone a fight over the border wall until after the election. Trump last month signed legislation that funds about 75 percent of the government, including the Pentagon, through Sept. 30, 2019.
The remainder of federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security that funds border construction, are operating under a short-term spending bill through Dec. 7.
Trump wants $5 billion for the border wall in 2019, whereas Senate Democrats have agreed to only $1.6 billion. It’s unclear how the issue will be resolved.
“We have a commitment to go fight for securing the border and getting these policy objectives achieved,” Ryan said.
Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign that the wall would be paid for by Mexico.
Ryan was also asked about the disappearance and alleged killing last week of dissident Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi while he was visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Ryan did not criticize Saudi Arabia, saying instead that answers were needed from both countries.
“I think it’s very disturbing, it’s very unnerving we just need to get clear facts from both countries ... from the Turks and the Saudis,” he said. “As an elected leader we stand with you in the media in solidarity to making sure that this does not go unnoticed, and that we stand and fight for answers so we can bring transparency and accountability.”
Ryan was also asked about the new report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that says nations will need to take “unprecedented” actions to cut their carbon emissions over the next decade, to hold global warming to moderate levels.
“I think the answer is technology,” Ryan said.
“We as a developed country are as clean as it gets,” Ryan said, but he said developing countries such as India and China could benefit dramatically from improved technology and the United States should share technology with its allies.
Ryan is retiring from Congress and said he doesn’t have plans to try to return to elected office, but you “never say never.”