Republican Leader McCarthy Files a 'Build the Wall' Bill, But No Action Until December

Susan Jones | October 11, 2018 | 7:41am EDT
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A section of border wall, north of McAllen, along the Texas/Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. (Photo: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

( - Just weeks before the midterm election, House Republican leaders finally have gotten around to one of the most popular planks of President Trump's presidential campaign -- building a wall on the Southwest border.

"Few things are more fundamental to a nation than a protected border," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted on Wednesday. "Proud to introduce the Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act. #MAGA"

On Wednesday night, McCarthy told Fox News's Laura Ingraham he expects the bill to pass the House. But its fate is uncertain in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to cut off debate.

"The name of this bill is 'Build the Wall and Enforce the Law.' So it fully funds the wall -- $25 billion -- but it even does more," McCarthy said. "You know, Kate's Law, which we passed, is a part of this. Stop sanctuary cities -- it keeps children safe because it removes the MS-13 gang members. And it denounces this movement, like in San Francisco, that allows illegals to vote in our election.

"But I saw what (House Speaker Mitch) McConnell just said today. He said we're going to have a vigorous fight over the wall in December. (McConnell told the Associated Press on Wednesday there might even be a partial government shutdown over border wall funding.)

"Watching what the Senate was able to do with Kavanaugh, I believe this gives them the opportunity and the time to get this done once and for all," McCarthy said.

McCarthy believes U.S. communities won't be safe until the wall goes up: "Think of the amount of fentanyl or the human trafficking that comes across...I would wish every American would spend one day with a border patrol agent. I was in down in El Paso -- this was the first place where the Border Patrol began. If they spent one day with them -- I don't think there'd be any question about building this wall and keeping our communities safe.

McCarthy is not the first Republican to introduce such legislation.

In August, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced his "Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act."

"We must keep our promises to the American people," Biggs said at the time.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Biggs and other Republican conservatives have been pushing for full funding of the border wall for two years, so leadership is late to the game:

"And so I'm glad to hear that our coming along and getting on board with Andy and a lot of the rest of us. It's nice to see, even though we will not have a vote between now and the election," Gohmert told Fox's Lou Dobbs on Wednesday. "Nice to file a bill like that now."

Gohmert said based on his long experience, when things are put off until December, Republicans do a "massive rollover and give the Democrats...whatever they want."

"That's what's happened every year. And I kind of think there won't be much more of a fight now. That's why they put it off to December. I personally think the best Christmas present we could give Americans is to be here fighting (for) the stuff they sent us here to fight -- on Christmas Day. What a great present!"

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