House Speaker Paul Ryan allegedly said there is no chance at a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, at a private dinner earlier this year, said he thought only “one member” wanted to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, Breitbart News has learned from multiple sources with direct knowledge of the comments, including former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO).
The dinner, sources said, took place on the eve of the House’s passage of two relatively minor immigration bills at the end of June: Kate’s Law and sanctuary city reforms. The far wider reaching Davis-Oliver Act was tabled at the same time.
“Ryan told a group of Republicans he met with … that only one person wants a wall,” Tancredo told Breitbart News shortly after the dinner.
Tancredo took issue with the Speaker’s characterization of support for the wall within the House GOP. “Of course he means only one person in his entourage and of the leadership,” he told Breitbart News. “I know several people in Congress who want a wall and I know that there are millions of Americans who want a wall.”
“You have to understand the level of fear that exists in the Republican establishment about this issue,” Tancredo told Breitbart News, seeking to explain the pressures that Republican members of Congress face when addressing immigration.
“The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want a wall … the pressure is greater from the Chamber of Commerce than it is from the members,” Tancredo, who for years in the House fought a mostly fruitless battle to get Congress to combat the flood of illegal immigration, added. “That’s the basic problem. It was then. It is now.”
A current House GOP member confirmed that Ryan made a remark similar to the one Tancredo referenced, but stressed that the Speaker was attempting to summarize the disparate voices in the House GOP caucus, telling Breitbart News:
All this narrative serves to inform is that Ryan’s is making a point of listening to Members and that Members mostly are trying to listen to each other. I believe it is true that support for the wall is not as strong as it needs to be among House Republicans.
That member added an assessment of the difficulties facing the effort to fund the wall. According to this member who supports a border wall, one of the biggest problems is Republicans’ lack of knowledge of the history of the immigration issue and the failures to secure the border in the past. The House member told Breitbart News: