As congressional Republicans on Friday discussed quickly moving ahead with plans for a southern border wall using money included in this year’s spending bills, President-elect Donald J. Trump insisted that Mexico would ultimately pay for its construction.
“We’re going to get reimbursed,” Mr. Trump said during a brief telephone interview. “But I don’t want to wait that long. But you start, and then you get reimbursed.”
The congressional Republicans’ talk led to speculation that Mr. Trump was retreating on his campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall. Mr. Trump insisted he is not.
Republicans have balked at increases in domestic spending during the Obama administration and are unlikely to enthusiastically rally behind a proposal that could require billions of taxpayer dollars.
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Building a wall to keep out unauthorized immigrants could also face intense opposition from a bipartisan coalition in Congress that argues that a vast barrier along the border would be ineffective in stopping people who are determined to enter the country illegally and would represent a symbolic affront to the idea that the United States is a welcoming country that embraces immigration.
In the interview, Mr. Trump vowed that Mexico would ultimately reimburse the United States. He said that payment would most likely emerge from his efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with the Mexican government.
“It’s going to be part of everything,” Mr. Trump said of the cost of building the wall. “We are going to be making a much better deal. It’s a deal that never should have been signed.”
But he said that the trade negotiations would take time and that he supported the idea of using taxpayer money to begin construction of the border wall “in order to speed up the process.”
Read more @ http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/us/politics/trump-wall-mexico.html?_r=0 .