President-elect Donald Trump appeared willing on Friday to concede that taxpayers may foot the initial bill for his proposed wall along the southern border, though he insisted Mexico would cover its cost in the end.
Reports emerged Thursday that Trump was working with House Republicans on a plan to fund the wall project through appropriations.
From The Hill
The president-elect has repeatedly pledged that Mexico would pay for the wall designed to keep its citizens from entering the U.S. illegally, but he tweeted early Friday morning that “for the sake of speed,” other funds might be used first.
The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
CNN reported this week that GOP lawmakers were hoping to fund the border wall as soon as April. Republicans said they believed Democrats would fall in line with faced with the choice of funding the wall or shutting down the government.
“[It is] big dollars but it is a question of priorities,” Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) told CNN. “Democrats may well find themselves in the position to shut down all of the government to stop the buildout of a wall, or of a barrier, or of a fence.”
Trump has promised since the early days of his presidential campaign that the government in Mexico City would cover the final costs of the wall. He has proposed sharp tariffs on money that native Mexicans send back to their families as one way of making up the wall’s price, which is expected to run in the billions of dollars.