Rep. Scalise Wants $5B for Wall: 'There Will Be No Widespread Government Shutdown'

By Susan Jones | November 27, 2018 | 5:37am EST
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) supports an additional $5 billion in border wall funding. (Photo: Screen capture/Fox News)

( - In two weeks, the Homeland Security Department's budget expires, and that gives the Republican-led Congress one more chance to produce additional funding for the border wall that President Trump has long promised.

"This is going to be one more battle were going to have, and it's going to happen in the next few weeks," House Majority Whip Steve Scalise told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Monday night.

Scalise also said talk of a government shutdown over the immigration issue -- now reaching a crisis point at the southern border -- is wildly exaggerated:

We were able to get a billion and a half dollars of new funding for border wall in this year's budget. Obviously, we want more. The president's asked for $5 billion. I'd like to see us get there. We've had a number of bills to try to solve that problem.

Let me make this point about the end of the year funding for the department of homeland security. When people talk about a government shutdown, they try to use it in a pejorative term to try to scare people.

Over 70% of the United States government is fully funded until the end of next year's fiscal year, including the department of defense which is critically important. In the past, you saw Obama used our troops as hostages to try to say hey, the troops won't get paid unless you give me X, Y, or Z.

We have now fully funded the department of defense, including giving a pay raise to our troops. That goes through September 30th of next year. So now all we are talking about is an important part of government, but it's less than 30 percent, including the Department of Homeland Security.

That's where the wall funding comes in. So there will be no widespread government shutdown. It's all about funding the department of homeland security and building the wall.

Democrats reflexively oppose most of what Trump is advocating, including wall funding. Even some Republicans are lukewarm on wall funding, but Scalise is not among the foot-draggers:

"President Trump was clear in saying there's a legal way to come to America to seek asylum and there's an illegal way. We're not just going to let you storm a border and climb a fence," Scalise said. "Go to a port of entry and state your case. Make your claim. That's the way to do it."

At his rally in Mississippi Monday night, President Trump said Democrats "have become the party of caravans and crime."

"Republicans are committed to halting this incursion and defending the sovereign territory of the United States of America. We're very proud of it," he continued:

“And we've actually started big sections of the wall but we want to finish the wall. We've got to get funding from Congress, and if this isn't the right time to get funding when you look at what's happening at the border, there'll never be a right time, so we're going very strongly for funding for the wall."

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