by WorldTribune Staff, September 13, 2017
House Speaker Paul Ryan said he believed just “one member” of the House wanted to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, a former congressman said.
The speaker made the comments at a private dinner earlier this year, Breitbart News reported, citing multiple sources with direct knowledge of the comments, including former Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo.
“You have to understand the level of fear that exists in the Republican establishment about this issue,” Tancredo told Breitbart News.
Quite right, commented Washington Times Opinion Editor Cheryl Chumley.
“Big Business lurks in the background. And it’s not afraid to take on politicians who threaten the Bottom Line.”
“The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want a wall … the pressure is greater from the Chamber of Commerce than it is from the members,” Tancredo said. “That’s the basic problem. It was then. It is now.”
Neil Bradley, senior vice president and chief policy officer for the Chamber of Commerce, said in a “Newsmakers” interview on C-SPAN that Trump was courting disaster by threatening a government shutdown over funding the border wall.
“My experience has been whoever tries to hold government funding hostage to get something — it’s usually not a strategy that has historically worked out very well,” Bradley said, Bloomberg Politics reported. “So it seems to me there are probably better ways for the president to get his priority of a border wall done than threatening a government shutdown.”
In a Sept. 13 op-ed for The Washington Times, Chumley noted that “Republicans, through action — or more to truth, inaction — and most recently, through Ryan, have shown an utter reluctance to get the (border wall) process going. It’s not only their business backers they fear. It’s public relations and media coverage.”
Chumley continued: “There’s been a growing trend from the left to set fires, break glass and toss rocks at police and citizens alike whenever a conservative idea seems to gather steam on Capitol Hill. It’s not just the Chamber that lurks; it’s antifa and its thuggish cohorts. Combine that with a media heck-bent on taking down this White House, and the final result, in the minds of campaigning Republicans, is this: Bad press leading to re-election loss.”
If Republicans “could actually stand tall for a principle that voters actually applauded — like the wall, like the repeal of Obamacare, to name a couple — then their own seats would be safe,” Chumley wrote.
“Voters would respond as they did with Trump — with record turnout at rallies and with strong voices at the poll booths. It’s the RINO whom conservatives are sick of; it’s the establishment they seek to unseat.
“Note to Republicans worried about the optics of a border wall: Want to win the hearts and voters of constituents? Take a stand, buck the party-first system and get behind an idea that actually resonates with the people, not just the special interests.”
A current House GOP member who supports a border wall told Breitbart one of the biggest problems is Republicans’ lack of knowledge of the history of the immigration issue and the failures to secure the border in the past.
“Another thing I have noticed is that members’ knowledge and opinions on immigration seem to only be traceable back to their arrival in Congress,” the GOP member said. “Not many brought much experience or knowledge on the topic with them. 64 percent swore in January 2011 or later. They only know that which was debated in the Obama era. Some are Never Trumpers.”
As Tancredo put it to Breitbart News:
“Every rally [the president] would whip up the crowd saying we’re going to build a wall. And so you had hopes that in putting so much rhetoric into it during the campaign that it would be hard to avoid it … but so far they have found a way to do so.”
All mention of the wall was dropped from the GOP’s spring budget proposals. The White House itself was unclear as to when funding might be expected.