McConnell: 'We're Certainly Going to Try to Help the President' Get Border Wall Funding

By Susan Jones | November 8, 2018 | 10:41am EST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) holds a post-midterm election news conference. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - On the day after the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a news conference he thinks there are "plenty of things" that Republicans and Democrats can "work together on," such as infrastructure and maybe prescription drug prices and health care concerns.

McConnell also indicated that immigration is unlikely to produce bipartisanship in a split Congress; and he said funding for a border wall couldn't happen beyond the lame duck session, given Democrats' opposition.

It was McConnell who, in September, postponed a decision on border wall funding until after the midterm election.


"We're certainly going to try to help the president achieve what he'd like to do with regard to the wall and border security," McConnell said on Wednesday. "And that'll, obviously, have to be done on some kind of bipartisan -- excuse me -- some kind of bipartisan discussion."

Later, asked if he'll try to do a "DACA fix" in the lame duck or next year, McConnell responded:

"Oh my goodness. Well, you know, I -- I can't imagine with all the things that we have to do here to wrap up this Congress, that we would revisit immigration, but who knows?"

"What about next year?" a reporter asked.

It's on the -- you know, it's on the agenda every year because we have serious immigration issues.

I would remind all of you the Democrats had total control of the government in 2009 and 2010 and never dealt with the immigration issue. So it seems that no matter who's up or who's down, we have not been able to come to some kind of conclusion about what to do on immigration.

The one thing I thought we all agreed on was the border security issue. Most Democrats voted for it 10 years ago. But we've had a challenge on that as well, as evidenced by the president's desire to build a wall and the reluctance on the other side to support it.

So I -- I can't imagine we'll do anything beyond trying to deal with this funding issue on the wall here at the end of the session.

"Is the caravan an invasion?" a reporter asked McConnell:

"It's -- it's an interesting legal question that ultimately I assume would be solved in the courts," McConnell said.

President Trump made illegal immigration a major campaign issue, another reporter noted. "Wouldn't you want to put immigration at the top of the list? And do you agree with the characterization the president used that it was a crisis from this migrant caravan that's coming?"

"Well, that's, sort of an executive branch issue about what -- you know, how to deploy security forces to deal with that. I'm sure the president will handle it skillfully," McConnell said.

"It's up to -- he -- it's not a legislative issue," McConnell said, referring to Trump's deployment of active duty troops to the border. "It's a question of how you want to deal with security at the border. The president has wide latitude to do that and he's taking advantage of the opportunity that he has."

In early September, McConnell announced the funding for the border wall would wait until after the midterm election.

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

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

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