Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Thursday that Washington will never fund a wall on America’s southern border unless President Donald Trump throws down the “gauntlet.”
Congressman Barletta spoke with Breitbart News editor Neil Munro at the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Annual Radio Row in Washington, DC, this week.
“The American people stood up and spoke that they wanted to elect this man president because he was going to build the wall and secure the borders,” Rep. Barletta said.
Congressman Barletta was one of the first lawmakers to endorse Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. He hopes to unseat Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the November midterm elections.
Munro asked Rep. Barletta if he believes President Trump should back funding a wall on America’s southern border before or after the November midterm elections.
Breitbart News’s Munro asked, “There’s an argument over whether the president should push for border wall funding before the election or wait ’til after the election. Do you have any perspective on that?”
Barletta said Congress has avoided funding the government for decades and that Washington will never fund his promised border wall until Trump puts the “gauntlet down.”
Congressman Barletta explained, “It has been Congress for decades now that have stood in the way of doing that, and sometimes, you have to say that enough is enough, and without putting that gauntlet down, this place will never do it. So I applaud the president for taking a stand.”
President Donald Trump told Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth on Friday that he would prefer shutting down the government over wall funding and border security before the midterm elections. However, he made a deal with Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to push the border wall funding fight until after the midterms.
Trump said if it were his decision, he would force a shutdown fight over funding the border wall.
“Most likely I will not do that, but we’re going to do it immediately after the election. I have the commitment from Mitch McConnell, from Paul Ryan, from everybody,” he said.
Vulnerable Senate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have signaled that they would be willing to support partially funding President Trump’s border wall. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp told Breitbart News she would remain willing to fund increased border wall funding and border security, depending on the September spending bill.
Politico noted that an election-eve shutdown fight might hurt Republicans’ chances of keeping their House majority, and “it also would not help endangered Senate Democrats like Donnelly, who are running as pragmatists who can make government work for their constituents.”