Republicans are going to fight for President Trump’s Mexican border wall after the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday.
“We are committed to helping the president get wall funding,” McConnell, R-Ky., said at an Associated Press event. He added that GOP lawmakers will try to get an amount “he’s looking for.”
McConnell’s pledge comes a day after Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said there would be a post-election fight over wall funding.
The lame-duck session could be the final opportunity to pass significant funding for the wall. Democrats are in position to reclaim the House majority, polls suggest, and there is little chance they would agree to up wall funding legislation if they are in charge of the House in the next Congress.
McConnell told AP reporters that lawmakers will fight for the funding after Congress reconvenes for the so-called lame-duck session that will convene about a week after the Nov. 6 election.
“I think it will be a relatively lively lame duck,” McConnell said. “Sometimes they just sort of go to sleep after the election. But we have too much left to do to have a quiet lame duck.”
The president has called for significant funding to construct barriers to stop illegal immigration along the southern border. His 2019 budget requests $1.6 billion for a wall, but Trump wants much more than that, he said.
[Trump: 'If it was up to me, I'd shut down government over border security']
Wall funding would generally be included in the Department of Homeland Security funding measure which is temporarily authorized through mid-December.
A House bill to fund DHS through fiscal 2019 includes $5 billion for the wall, but the Senate legislation budgets only $1.6 billion.
Democrats, who are needed to pass legislation in the Senate, have pledged to fight additional wall funding, which they say is a waste of money.