“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 to get their way, as shutdowns can cost the federal government billions of dollars, and tend to be politically unpopular.
“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 the 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.”
If the Freedom Caucus, which consists of conservative and libertarian Republican members, is unwilling to compromise on spending bills, as expected, GOP leadership will likely need to win over some Democrats in order to pass their budget bills or raise the debt ceiling and avoid a shutdown.
“If the president pursues this path, against the wishes of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as the majority of the American people, he will be heading towards a government shutdown which nobody will like and which won’t accomplish anything,” he wrote in a statement.
Trump “will purposefully hurt American communities to force American taxpayers to fund an immoral, ineffective and expensive border wall,” she wrote in a statement. She warned of the large financial costs that come with a shutdown, saying, “The last time Republicans shut down the government, their callous recklessness cost the American economy $24 billion and 120,000 jobs.”
Pelosi signaled that Democrats will push back on Trump’s efforts, adding they “will stand fast against the immoral, ineffective border wall and the rest of Republicans’ unacceptable poison pill riders.”
While Ryan has emerged as a vocal advocate for a wall, his Senate counterpart McConnell has been more tepid about the idea. When asked in March about how much the wall was a priority for him this year, he replied, “I’m in favor of border security. There are some places along the border where that’s probably not the best way to secure the border.” In a press conference in April, McConnell said funding for border security or a wall would be “subject to negotiation with our Democratic colleagues.”
Lawmakers in the last few years have used the threat of a government shutdown as a tricky negotiating tool. Democrats have said they will not work with Republicans on the budget if they feel like they are being backed into a corner with ultimatums.