McConnell Says GOP Congress Will Not Even Try to Fund Trump's Border Wall Until After Election

By Susan Jones | September 6, 2018 | 7:11am EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (File photo/Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - Following a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Fox News there's no chance of a government shutdown; a discussion about funding the border wall will happen "after the election"; and repeal and replace "would be difficult to achieve" in this Congress.

On another topic, McConnell said he doesn't "have any observation to make" about the anonymous op-ed published Wednesday by the New York Times that quotes a "senior official in the Trump administration" as saying, "the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic."

McConnell said he and House Speaker Paul Ryan had a "good discussion" with President Trump on Wednesday, and they expect the president to sign nine of 12 appropriations bills into law very soon.

"I expect him to sign these nine bills into law. That will fund 90 percent of the government for the first time in 20 years before the end of the fiscal year. And then I expect us to do a short-term continuing resolution for the balance of the funding, and then have the discussion about how to fund the wall after the election."

"We are still in favor of the wall," McConnell said. "We still want to get funding for the wall, but we think the best time to have that discussion is after the election."

"No chance, government shutdown?" Baier asked McConnell.

"No chance of a government shutdown," McConnell agreed. "Zero," he added.

"Has the ship sailed on repeal and replace Obamacare?" Baier asked. He wondered if newly appointed Sen. John Kyl would vote yes on the bill that the late John McCain torpedoed.

"For this Congress, it would be difficult to achieve," McConnell said. "I think whether we can achieve it later depends upon the results this fall and the American people have a chance to decide what kind of Congress they want to have going into the next two years."

Baier asked McConnell what message Republicans are running on for the midterms.

"I think the economy,” McConnell replied. “I mean it's a red-hot economy. I think the policies of this administration and Congress have made a huge difference, whether it is tax reform or regulatory relief. The country is booming.

“These are record numbers that we are producing on unemployment, on growth, that makes a huge difference in the lives of people all across our nation. And that is a result of this Republican government.

“So we think we have plenty to run on, not to mention the fact that we are transforming the courts -- two Supreme Court justices, 26 new circuit judges, making a difference in the lives of every litigant in the country when they go to court."

On the day's other headline -- the anonymously written op-ed, titled, "I'm part of the resistance inside the Trump administration" -- McConnell had no particular reaction.

The unnamed administration official, writing in the New York Times, said President Trump "does not fully grasp" that "many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."

"Well, I had not seen this piece until your set-up at the beginning of the show," McConnell told Brett Baier, "so therefore I really have nothing to say about it, other than I think it's important for the American people to know, if you are one of the American people who are right of center, it's been an extraordinarily productive Congress.

"From the Supreme Court justices, circuit judges, regulatory changes, tax reform -- we've had an extraordinarily accomplished Congress. And that's what our meeting down at the White House was about, finishing up this year's fiscal year business."

President Trump has called the op-ed "treason."

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